It has been a long 14 months since our last cruise and I can honestly say, that I think it is time to cruise again! CLIA or Cruise Lines International Association, has been working diligently for the past year with member cruise lines, and public health and safety experts from around the world to develop policies and protocols to safely resume cruising. The underlying concept of these policies is to always put people first by maintaining the safety of their guests, crew members, and the general public in their destinations.
With this in mind, CLIA has proposed a layered approach to safely resume cruising. This approach is a door to door policy that begins with educating guests at the time of booking, safety at embarkation, and onboard, while ashore in foreign destinations, and finally, a safe return home. Crew members will test and quarantine prior to returning to their ships. Guests will be asked to test prior to boarding as well. Once onboard, daily temperature screenings and health questionnaires will need to be completed. Masks and social distancing onboard will also be required. Most cruise lines are also implementing more extensive sanitization and air filtration systems, contactless mobile ordering and payments as well. Shore excursions will also be highly monitored. Guests will be asked to only use ship sponsored excursions to limit the risk of contagion while onshore. Private islands will also be utilized to limit guest contact while in ports. Guests will have to agree in advance to adhere to these policies or risk being denied boarding.
Cruise lines have also greatly expanded their onboard medical facilities to allow for testing, treatment, and if necessary, isolation where needed. Cruise lines also have detailed plans in place in case additional medical treatment or debarkation is needed along their routes. Crew member safety is also highly prioritized with reduced capacity in crew cabins, enhanced cleaning, and onboard counseling when asked to quarantine.
The new policies that have been developed mirror and in some cases exceed policies already in use in Europe and Asia where cruising has already safely resumed! The safe resumption of cruising in these areas proves that cruising is safe and should be allowed to resume in the United States. The cruise industry has always been one of the most regulated industries. As such, they have constantly strived to maintain the safety of their guests and crew members above all else. They have demonstrated that their policies are working and their emergency plans are solid.
I have had Covid, I am also fully immunized, and I completely trust the Cruise Industry's Covid policies. If you miss cruising as much as I do, please take a moment to let the CDC know that it is time to begin the safe resumption of cruising from the US.