Why Cruise Lines Will Likely Require Face Masks on Cruise Ships
As cruise lines get ready to resume when it’s safe, many cruisers are asking, “Will I have to wear a mask on my cruise?“
The truth is, we don’t know yet.
But it seems likely, at least at the beginning.
While cruise lines, such as Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line have shared their NEW health and safety protocols, passenger mask wearing is not mentioned. However, they have said that these health and safety measures are just the beginning, and may evolve.
In contrast, Virgin Voyages announced their plans to cruise safely, and suggested that sailors (Virgin Voyages cruise passengers) will likely have to wear masks while cruising (I’ll include details below).
This might be too early to know for sure, but there are many signs indicating that wearing a mask on a cruise will be necessary, at least “sometimes”.
Are Cruisers Willing to Wear Masks on a Cruise?
Let’s first look at how cruisers feel about this topic
There’s no question, the subject of wearing masks on a cruise is controversial, even among loyal cruisers!
I asked the question “Would you cruise if you have to wear a mask? Why or why not.“ in my Life Well Cruised Facebook community, and these were the results.
For reference, similar responses can also be seen in other cruise Facebook groups and on cruise critic forums.
There were 3 types of responses
- No way! (majority – approx 70%)
- Maybe sometimes (the compromise)
- Yes, if it means I can cruise, I’ll do anything 🙂
Group 1 – No Mask for me!
For those that say they don’t want to cruise with a mask, the sentiment is strong. In most cases, it isn’t that people are against wearing masks if they need to at home, but that they don’t see this as enjoyable on a cruise vacation.
If a mask is made mandatory on a cruise, many say they’ll simply wait to cruise.
“I wear one in public at the moment and I would wear one on a flight but it would make the cruise less enjoyable.”
“We don’t want to wear a mask and be paranoid about everything.”
“No it would ruin the cruise for me. If we were forced by regulation to wear a mask, that denotes to me that it’s clearly not safe to go on a cruise.”
“It’s a vacation and it shouldn’t feel harmful. I have allergies and asthma and I get uncomfortable just making my grocery trip while wearing a mask.”
“I hate to say it, but I think it would ruin the carefree feeling for me.”
In their responses, many of these cruisers said that they were supportive of other changes and safety measures, such as no self serve buffet and reduced passenger capacity, but wearing a mask was a dealbreaker.
Group 2 – The Mask Compromise
Still other’s have said that they can see wearing a mask for part of the time on a cruise, and it still be enjoyable.
“It depends… maybe at muster drills and other large gatherings, but definitely not all day.”
“I could see wearing a mask to embark and disembark, and enjoy the evening shows and for runs to the bar.”
“Wearing a mask on a cruise ship is better than wearing a mask not on a cruise ship, so yes I would.”
All agreed that wearing a mask on a pool deck and sun lounger would not be enjoyable, but did feel that a compromise could be made for wearing masks when social distancing wasn’t possible.
Group 3 – We’re ready! (with a mask)
Finally, there are cruisers who are anxious to cruise and are comfortable with wearing masks, if required, on a cruise.
Here’s what these cruisers had to say:
“Yes, I would. Where do I sign up?”
“Yes! I wear a mask not only to protect myself but to protect others from anything I may spread. I am not willing to give up sailing and will help in any way I can.”
“I think it would be very wise for any crowded areas like theaters and atriums.”
“Yes! I’ve got one for every outfit!”
This is a smaller grouping, but as more people wear masks in society, at least in certain circumstances, this sentiment can grow.
True story – There are cute cruise themed masks sold online and on Amazon that are gaining popularity!!
5 Reasons Cruise Lines Will Probably Require Masks
Despite the fact that that wearing a mask on a cruise isn’t anyone’s first choice, it may be a reality for cruisers who want to sail on those early cruises.
1. If there is no vaccine
2. CDC recommendation
The CDC has stated they endorse the use of non-surgical masks and cloth face coverings. According to the CDC, the wearing of face coverings, has been shown to be an effective method of reducing transmission.
Cruise lines need the CDC to lift a current no sail order and also need to submit a comprehensive plan to the CDC, and have it approved before they can resume operations.
Even though this is voluntary, it’s hard to imagine that if the CDC’s current recommendation, that cruise ships would be exempt.
3. River cruise start up
4. Mandatory face masks in Vegas casinos and theme parks
5. Cruise line policies and statements
In this video, we discuss the topic of why masks may be required on cruises. If you haven’t checked out our YouTube channel yet, please do. If you enjoy it, I’d love it if you subscribed!!
Here’s the link: Life Well Cruised on YouTube
Final thoughts: Why You May Need to Wear a Mask When Cruises Resume
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