Now that cruise lines have resumed operations in the United States—at least for now, anyway—there seem to be endless questions and debates regarding the safety of cruising while the pandemic continues. If you’re eager to set sail, you may be stuck in the quagmire trying to sort through all the questions and opposing opinions about cruising right now. As your trusted travel guru, I offer you my two cents on cruising during a pandemic.
Pandemic Cruising: What everybody is saying…
Are cruise ships America’s favorite way to travel or are they harbingers of another wave of Covid infections? Current opinions about cruising range from praising the safety measures and strict regulations now standard on all major lines, to claiming cruise ships are nothing more than giant petri dishes of disease. Those defending and promoting cruising list state of the art filtration systems, enhanced medical facilities including ICU units and isolation cabins, strict adherence to vaccination and testing protocols, and controlled shore excursions. The other group points out breakthrough cases among those vaccinated and people who have suddenly tested positive during a cruise. The arguments can get ugly, with accusations ranging from restricting freedom of choice to putting profits above welfare. But wich side is “right”?
Knowing Who to Trust
What advice can we trust? How can we make decisions after 18 months of lockdowns, closures, restrictions, masking mandates, covid testing, vaccinations, constantly changing travel restrictions, and economic fallout from all of the above? First-hand information is often the most valuable, which is why I paid attention when Dr. Stephen Ostroff took a cruise, on a ship larger than even risk-taking me might chance. Total 2,608 passengers.
Apparently, he felt comfortable.
Why? Because every one of those passengers was fully vaccinated and had a negative Covid test before embarkation. He also knew the ship had installed new air filtration and disinfecting systems, advanced medical facilities, and the ability to do contact tracing in the event of a passenger testing positive.
Trusting the Experts
Furthermore, Dr. Ostroff has credentials I trust—he is a CDC veteran of over 20 years, specializing in emerging infections diseases and has previously served with the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) as their chief scientist. I would sail with Dr. Ostroff anytime.
Being Mindful of the Ever-Changing Situation
I am as desperate as anyone else to break out of my condominium, head to the airport, and get on a plane to….well, anywhere. Right now, a cruise—preferably on a small ship with lots of amenities and personal attention—sounds perfect. Someone else to prepare new and enticing meals (covid confinement has made me very tired of my own cooking), daily excursions to places that have no resemblance to my backyard, even someone else to clean the cabin and make the bed (I am VERY happy to leave an extra tip to someone who relieves me of this daily chore.).
Covid has taught us a lot. We are not masters of the universe—an invisible virus can change everything. We must pay attention to our environment and understand our responsibilities. And accept our limitations. Does that mean we cannot get on a cruise ship, the preferred way to travel and experience the world for millions of Americans? Of course not. We just need to understand what it takes to make cruising during a pandemic possible and, most importantly, safe.
For the latest on cruise updates and safety regulations, including port and shore excursion information, contact DreamMaker Destinations when planning your next cruise. If you’re feeling the call of the open waters, we are here to make your cruising dreams a reality. Working together with you, we create a travel experience of a lifetime, while staying current on the ever-evolving travel regulations. Contact us today!