Studying itineraries very frequently, it has become apparent that the vast majority of cruise lines want to be able to publish their schedules, do publish them, but then struggle to adhere, due to prevailing outside influences. Not only do governments change their minds according to so many apparent whims, local port authorities alter the health requirements. It must be so frustrating, trying to operate under such restrictive conditions. As we are based in the UK, inevitably our articles have this influence. However, kindly leave a comment in the box below if you have an opinion.
To get onboard, stringent health tests apply for the good of all, creating a bubble. All well and good, but how many passengers are comfortable with wearing masks at all times unless consuming anything. Walking about the ship, despite passing checks and having both jabs, what will be the safety criteria when we don’t have to wear them any more. Are you a social pariah because you are on a cruise ship? Floating petri dish is no longer relevant, it was an insult in the first place.
How do passengers get away with being anti-vaxxers? Do they try to board, do they find a way round the validity, do they falsify documents? People who refuse to be vaccinated are vociferous, but I have not read anywhere, either main press or social media, of instances where they moan about not being able to cruise. It must happen that those who refuse to be jabbed want to travel by any method. Are airlines so stringent in their rules? It would be interesting to know the answer. It would appear that in the UK these people represent maybe 1 in 10 of the population, likely more in other countries where the resistance has been higher, especially in France and Germany. Will these people always be barred from travelling, or will the regulations be relaxed because it is against their human rights.
I prefer to concentrate on cruise ship travel, as opposed to flying etc., because this is what the blog is all about. I ask these questions because they are relevant. Various criteria of infection rates were met when various restrictions such as mask-wearing were introduced. What criteria will have to be met for them to be superfluous. In the UK Covid 19 infection rates decreased, so the Boris Johnson led Government relaxed the mandatory wearing of masks. But on cruise ships, there is no such criteria. Passengers and crew are tested before they are allowed to board, they live in a bubble for the cruise duration, except for going ashore, so why the masks?
Some schedules are outside UK waters, more coming very soon, destinations mainly to Europe. The prices are very attractive, a lot cheaper than pre-pandemic, but what I am wondering is this. How long will the companies be able to maintain the passenger levels. The Sky Princess has a capacity of 4,000, but at present is sailing with 1,400. Of course, the crew levels are proportionately lower, but is it really economic? They were desperate to resume, the photos of five cruise liners in Weymouth Bay were so sad, with a race to resume as soon as restrictions allowed. But what is the future of cruising, what will it be like in ten years.
- There will be more days at sea on round the world cruises. Some countries will struggle to keep Covid 19 at acceptable levels
- North and South American 28 day cruises will be very popular
- Spanish and Mediterranean will be mainstay schedules
- Small island itineraries will grow
- Confidence will return very quickly.
- Masks? I really don’t know.
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