7 Things that Need to Happen for Cruises to Resume from North America
As cruises have started to resume in Europe, you may be wondering what it will take for cruises to start up again and begin sailing from the USA.
With the CDC no sail order due to expire soon, and the cruise line association’s voluntary pause ending on October 31, many cruisers have been asking “When will we hear more news and updates?”
In this post, I’ll share what we know so far, and make some predictions as to what has to happen, not only in the cruise industry, but with the health situation both in the US and worldwide.
With cruises sailing successfully in Europe, with strict but manageable protocols, and some good news in the health field – the future of cruising isn’t as bleak as some may say.
You can also view this video, where I share more details on each point.
When and How Cruises Will Start Sailing Again
1. Cases decrease
First and foremost, the environment needs to be as safe as possible for cruisers, crew and communities. While numbers of cases were going higher for most of the summer, there has been some positive news as cases have begun to trend downwards.
While there’s no guarantee this will stay this way, there is some hope as things move in the right direction.
2. European Cruises set the example
Very positive news for the cruise industry is the example set by MSC and Mein Schiff, as well as many river cruises which have been sailing safely and following protocols which have been acceptable to local governments, guests and crew.
Costa Cruises, part of Carnival Corp. is now joining MSC cruising in Italy, with port visits.
This is very good news for cruising, and sets an example for cruise lines in North America as they reflect on what practices work best.
Read more: MSC Safety and Health Protocols for Cruising
3. CDC Public Input
The CDC issued a no-sail order which is due to expire shortly. However they’ve also requested public input through a series of 28 questions, all about how cruises should start again.
In addition, CLIA has a voluntary pause for cruises until the end of October.
Once we hear more from both the CDC and CLIA, this will give us an indication if it’s possible for any cruises to resume in 2020.
4. Rapid testing
Medical advancements will be very helpful as cruising resumes, as rapid testing has become possible and approved.
In Europe, part of the cruising protocol for many cruise lines, during this health situation, includes testing prior to boarding the cruise ship.
Cruise line executives have said in a variety of interviews that testing may be possible as cruises resume in North America.
While we don’t know exactly when vaccines will be available, and how accessible they’ll be, there has been much progress made in this area.
We do not know if vaccines will be required to go on cruises in the future (I suspect not), this is something that many cruisers say they would like to have before traveling again.
6. New Cruise Line Protocols
We are waiting to hear more from CLIA, as well as the individual cruise lines as to their exact protocols, for when they are ready to sail again.
Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line, have put together a Healthy Sail Panel of experts, looking at best practices and implementations.
Up until now, we’ve seen Norwegian Cruise Line share some of their plans for how they will be making their cruise ships safe.
However, we know that cruise lines do need to have their final plans approved by the CDC. Since the CDC’s call for public input ends on September 21, we can predict that new protocols will not be finalized until some time after this.
7. Cruise Ports
One of the best parts of cruising is traveling to new destinations and visiting cruise ports. However, in this environment, there’s a lot to work out.
Cruise lines need to ensure passenger and crew safety. Cruise ports need to ensure the safety and health of their residents.
We do know that in Europe, there have been arrangements made with each destination, and suspect this will be similar as cruising restarts in the Caribbean, Bahamas and elsewhere.
Will we visit private islands to start with less cruise ports? Will we need to purchase cruise line excursions rather than visiting on our own?
These are just some of the questions that we have, but unfortunately don’t know the answer to yet.
Here’s a video from YouTube, where I share more details and my perspective on what it will take for cruising to start again in the US
Final Thoughts: 7 Ways Major Cruise Lines Will Start Again
There has been progress in recent months, as cruises have slowly restarted in Europe as well as other places in the world.
While cruising is still paused and we’re still dealing with cruise cancellations, there is positive news. Hopefully, we’ll hear more from the CDC and from cruise lines soon, so we can know about how and when cruises will actually start up.
If there’s anything the last few months has taught me, it’s patience. Many things are out of our hands – yet still there has been progress, and in time we will safely cruise and travel again.
What do you think it will take for cruises to resume from North America and worldwide? Please let me know in the comments below.
Happy future cruising!
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