With more and more people getting the COVID-19 vaccine here in the US, you’d think that the CDC would finally consider lifting the conditional sailing order and allow cruises to resume in a safe and controlled manner. But despite calls from the Cruise Lines International Association to allow business to restart in July, CDC spokeswoman Caitlin Shockey said the current order would remain in place until November 1, 2021.
As you can imagine, this is a catastrophic blow to the cruise industry, which has suffered huge financial loses over the past year since the pandemic effectively stopped cruises in their tracks. Given how quickly the coronavirus was spreading, it was smart to halt cruises until things were under control. But while airlines and theme parks are back to business as usual, cruise lines are still being forced to stay docked.
Personally, having already gotten vaccinated, and having seen the extensive cleaning protocols that the cruise lines have in place to help keep people safe, I’m more than ready to leave the confines of my home and go on a much-needed vacation. And given how busy my travel agent friend is with cruise bookings, I’m clearly not the only one.
To that point, a number of cruise lines recently announced that they are going to start cruising again starting in June, and to get around the CDC order, they’re moving their homeports out of the United States. Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas will be offering 7-night cruises from Nassau, The Bahamas, with stops at CocoCay (Royal Caribbean’s private island), Grand Bahama Island and Cozumel, Mexico. Meanwhile, Royal’s Vision of the Seas will be offering 7-night cruises from Bermuda, which sounds really cool.
Celebrity Cruises is also following suit, with their updated Celebrity Millennium setting sail from the tropical paradise of St. Maarten beginning June 5th, with two different itineraries to choose from – Aruba, Curaçao and Barbados; or Tortola, St. Lucia and Barbados. St. Maarten is one of my favorite islands in the Caribbean, and I love the different islands they’re visiting, so I’m definitely leaning towards this one!
For those of you concerned about safety, rest assured that the cruise lines are doing their part to keep everyone safe. The ships will sail with vaccinated crew and will only be available to vaccinated adult guests and children under the age of 18 with a negative test result within 72 hours of embarkation. I imagine masks will probably be a requirement as well, which should make for some interesting tan lines. 🙂
Naturally, these cruises come with slightly higher prices than normal, not to mention flights to Bermuda or St. Maarten are a bit more expensive than flights to Florida. But if you’re eager to get cruising again, I’m sure you’ll gladly pay the premium to get out of dodge and have some fun in the sun after all this time. You can find me on the Lido deck enjoying some fruity drinks.
So what do you say, are you ready to start cruising again, or is it still too soon for you?