Omicron is again gripping the headlines and the high numbers are making the Americans worried yet again. With a steady increase in the number of infected cases on board, people might wonder whether or not a cruise trip is possible.
Should You Be Enjoying A Cruise Ride This New Year?
The cruise lines are still on the move with some new guidelines and changes. So yes, if anybody wishes to be a part of the sailing, check the details first.
The pandemic situation last year had forced almost every institution and organization to pull down its shutters, and the cruise industry was no different. But, this year, they might not prefer to do that.
In spite of the rising cases of the new variant, the cruises are supposed to run their businesses, but possibly in a bit different manner as cruise attorney Michael Winkleman has stated that the cruises would not be canceled.
However, the passengers on board should be ready for some itinerary changes as onboard cases are on the rise, which needs attention.
Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Freedom has canceled its port calls for Aruba and Bonaire and would be adding some other destinations for that. As for Royal Caribbean International’s Odyssey of the Seas, they too have denied port visits to Curacao and Aruba.
Some onboard cases have been reported on both the cruises and hence, the cruise guidelines would be tightened as of now. Most cruise lines like Carnival Cruise, Norwegian Cruise, and Royal Caribbean are pressing on the mask mandates.
The Royal Caribbean has even halted its bookings for now and the Norwegian Cruise lines want a 100 % vaccination of its passengers before boarding the ships.
Regarding the itinerary changes, CDC’s spokesperson Dave Daigle said that it is challenging to predict the state of future cruising as the health officials are still fondling for new facts. The new strain is so far tagged as a milder strain, but the scientists are not sure about it.
There can be severities too, so CDC suggests that people, who are unvaccinated or have not received their boosters, should skip the idea of going on board.
Daigle further added that all cruise operators are bound to keep the documents of the agreement of the US port’s approval for developing medical care, housing, and port components as per the CDC’s Temporary Extension and Modification of Framework for Conditional Sailing Order (CSO).
To make the deals customer-friendly, most of the cruise lines are offering some flexible refunds for cancellations. For instance, “Cruise with Confidence ” a program initiated by the Royal Caribbean Group’s Cruise, and inaction since last year March, allows guests to cancel the bookings 48 hrs before the departure time.
100% money is refunded in a Future Cruise Credit, which can be later used for any other sailing. If some passengers are tested positive before the trip, even then, this program is applicable.
The “Peace of Mind ” policy of the Norwegian Cruise line allows passengers to cancel bookings up to 61 days, departing through March, and get a 100% refund. MSC Cruises are giving their riders a chance to cancel bookings 48 hrs ahead of their bookings made through 31st March 2022 and 2023.
The Holland America Line also allows on borders to cancel up to 48 hrs before departure for bookings made through 30th April.
About 1.1% of the onboard population has been detected as Covid positive. A few are even making a return journey to disembark the infected passengers.
With several precautions and guidelines, many cruise travelers are feeling safer than any other place as they find Covid protocols to be quite effective at most cruises. So, if you think you’re healthy enough or have got all the necessary shots, just search for the perfect cruise of your choice and start sailing without worry.