She adds, “So many cruise lines are letting their clients travel later and are earning the trust and support of both clients and advisors. Travel Advisors are making sure their clients are getting the most up to date information as things change daily. The travel advisor is working twice as many hours to be sure this happens. They are owed a great deal of thanks for their outstanding efforts.”
Last week, CLIA announced an industrywide response to COVID-19, taking effect immediately, with the following actions by lines:
- Deny boarding to all persons who have travelled from, visited or transited via airports in South Korea, Iran, China, including Hong Kong and Macau, and any municipality in Italy subject to lockdown (quarantine) measures by the Italian Government, as designated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, within 14 days prior to embarkation.
- Conduct illness screening for all persons who have travelled from, visited or transited via airports in any destinations listed on the U.S. CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel page within 14 days before embarkation. Illness screening includes symptom history checks for fever, cough and difficulty breathing in the 14 days before embarkation and taking of temperature.
- Deny boarding to all persons who, within 14 days prior to embarkation, have had contact with, or helped care for, anyone suspected or diagnosed as having COVID-19, or who are currently subject to health monitoring for possible exposure to COVID-19.
- Conduct pre-boarding screening necessary to effectuate these prevention measures. Enhanced screening and initial medical support are to be provided, as needed, to any persons exhibiting symptoms of suspected COVID-19.
CLIA said more actions are planned following a meeting with Vice President Mike Pence and industry executives yesterday in South Florida.
Not Your Father’s Cruise Vacation
First-time cruisers who take advantage of deals, which in addition to lower fares, include hundreds of dollars in shipboard credits, free drinks packages, upgrades and complimentary WiFi, may be surprised at what they find.
Gone are the days of early and late seatings in one or two main dining rooms. Instead, there are multiple outlets, dozens on larger ships.
While traditional buffets still exist, there are also a wide range of restaurants. Specialty outlets offer options from popular celebrity chefs like Guy Fieri (Carnival) to fine dining featuring Daniel Boulud (Celebrity Cruises) and Nobu Matsuhisa (Crystal), as well as big-city steakhouses (Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line).
Entertainment is no longer just shows, ping pong and shuffleboard, but large-scale water parks, laser tag, climbing walls, zip lines, surf machines, bumper car race tracks, and full basketball courts. There are also visits to private islands, providing an array of activities, including snorkeling and sailing.
For the active minded, fitness centers stay open 24 hours and the equipment onboard rivals your favorite gym at home.
Most ships today offer extensive wellness options. Canyon Ranch spas can be found on ships from Regent Seven Sea Cruises, Cunard and Celebrity.
On vessels from Crystal, Ponant, and The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Club, one of the new entrants in 2020, you’ll find water sports platforms, including toys like mini-submarines and wave runners.
Unlike hotels, which can’t move, cruise lines have the flexibility of being able to alter itineraries without canceling the entire trip.
Scully says, “The cruise lines will continue to offer great value as they have always done in the past. It is still the best value in travel as you travel the world.”
The industry may also attract another type of bargain hunter. Since the middle of January, its three largest players – Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Carnival Corp., and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. – have each seen their stock prices have drop by more than 50% .