A Glimpse at What Embarkation for Cruising Will Look Like Once Sailings Resume.
Several of the worlds lagest cruise ships are making big changes to how they will be keeping guests safe once cruising returns. Royal Caribbean, Princess, Norweigan and MCS are just a few who have begun releasing new policies in preparation to begin sailings.
Coronavirus has decimated the cruise line industry and cruise lines are taking huge steps to protect passengers and crew members once cruising returns. Let’s talk about the steps some cruise lines will be taking and we expect more to follow suit.
Many cruise lines are changing their cancelation policies so that cruisers can cancel their reservations up to 48 hours prior to boarding. This helps people feel at ease that if they are experiencing symptoms or fall ill, they can cancel without being penalized. Keeping other guests safe.
Cruise terminals will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to each sailing. Once guests begin to arrive, social distancing will be strongly enforced. Indicators will line each step of the embarkation process to ensure the 6 feet social distancing is understood and followed.
Masks will likely be required during all stages of the embarkation process. They are not likely to be required at all times on the ship.
A digital embarkation process is going to be encouraged for guests. This process will likely be done via a mobile device or socially distanced kiosks.
Now to the nitty gritty. Several of the larger cruise lines have announced that every guest will be required to go through a temperature check, an expanded health questionaire AND a rapid COVID-19 test.
The test is a quick test that provides results within about ten minutes. MSC and Royal Caribbean have already announced they will be implementing the rapid test. We are certain others will follow suit.
For any concerns that arise a secondary health screening will be administered. Should a passenger test positive for the virus or display a temperature over a certain pre-determined number, that passenger will be denied entry.
This is very similar to what we are currently seeing at Walt Disney World. They have already implemented the temperature screenings and protocols for declining entry to those guests displaying a fever over 100.4 or higher.
Additionally at Walt Disney World, if one person is denied entry due to a temperature, the entire traveling party is denied entry. We expect Disney Cruise Line and others will carry this exact policy.
These same policies go for crew members. Crew members will be temperature checked and tested for COVID-19 prior to guest embarkation.
Additional measures will be put in place for guests traveling from countries that are categorized as high risk by the CDC or health organizations. Guests from those countries will be required to take a molecular test 72 hours prior to their trip. A negative result must be shown in order to complete the embarkation process.
Stay tuned for part 2 of this post where we discuss what cruising will look like once sailings resume.