Dear Travel Agents/Advisors,
What about cruises?
Well, as I could have predicted, once a cruise addict or cruise lover, always a believer in cruises. The data shows that 76% of cruises have been rescheduled for later, and only 24% were cancelled.
Also, data shows that there was an increase in bookings of cruises from last year versus this year.
These factors alone show that people believe that cruise lines will comply with CDC regulations and will do everything to make every single cruise a great experience again.
Now, I believe that new ships will be delayed so they can be better ready for new regulations and the safety of cruisers and crew, like:
- Bigger and better medical facilities, with space to isolate passengers if needed.
- More sinks throughout the ships, so passengers can properly wash their hands.
- Fewer inside cabins or bigger inside cabins in case of another pandemic, where passengers can be confined to their rooms.
- Bigger dining rooms so tables can be placed at a greater distance from each other
- Maybe even bigger entertainment rooms to maintain social distance.
In terms of existing ships, I believe, that like the airlines, they will sell fewer rooms and slowly start back to avoid Covid-19 contagion.
- The buffet rooms will not be self-service, but trained crew will be serving the food. Cutlery and cups will be given out by the crew, and many will go back to disposable (environmentally safe ones).
- No more self-service coffee, ice cream by the pool, or even water cups.
- Rooms will be deeply cleaned 2 times a day.
- Elevator buttons, and handrails throughout the ship will be cleaned hourly or even more often.
- Each room might have an alcohol gel dispenser close to the bathroom and/or door.
- Bathrooms in the public areas will have automatic doors to exit the room (not individual stalls) so after washing hands, one doesn’t need to touch the doorknob.
- People’s temperature will be checked regularly: once they arrive on the ship, when they go on every excursion, and before entering the theatre and before going to the dining room.
- Passengers over 70 years old will need a letter from their doctor certifying that they are healthy enough to go to a cruise.
- Boarding times will be more restrictive and more enforced to avoid having so many people at the port at once.
- There will probably be a 24-hour turn over, instead of less than 12 hours, so rooms and the whole ship can be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
- Travel Insurance could possibly change. Some policies will cost more, and I believe that cruises will make it mandatory to purchase travel insurance.
- More medical staff, with better training, and rooms for isolation if needed.
- Excursions will have big buses with fewer people to allow for more social distance.
- Some destinations will be cancelled for now based on how Covid-19 cases are appearing.
These are my beliefs based on what I have read and learned from cruise lines so far.
Again, I believe this is all great news for travel agents/advisors. More and more people will be booking cruises, and first-time cruisers will soon be back once they see how safe and wonderful cruise life is.
What have you heard? I want to hear from you!
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