A Simple Guide to EVERY New Cruise Guideline Released by the Healthy Sail Panel


This article goes through the 74 recommendations put forward by Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line and shares examples of how these guidelines are already being implemented in Europe on cruise lines like MSC and TUI.

The healthy sail panel was created to help us get back to cruising.

The recommendations talks about everything from mask-wearing, social distancing, Coronavirus tests, and itineraries.

Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line have put together some guidelines that are going to get America back cruising.

There are some cruise ships already sailing in Europe, using processes which are very similar to the recommendations.

That means that we’ve got some real-life examples to show you in this video.

If you have any questions about the future of cruising, they’re covered by this document.

Recommendations in Regards to Crew

One of the biggest problems for the cruise lines is making sure that their crew does not bring Coronavirus onto their ships.

What they’re going to do to combat this is everybody who’s coming to work on a cruise ship will have to have a test when they’re at home, then they’ll have to quarantine for seven days on board the ship, have another test before they can start work.

So they need to have two negative coronavirus tests before they can even wander around the cruise ship.

These guidelines actually talk about a crew surveillance program, to make sure that Coronavirus isn’t spreading within the crew.

Some ways that they’re thinking about doing this is, for example, maybe testing a random 10% of the crew every single week, or testing people that have certain jobs, just to make sure that the crew aren’t spreading Coronavirus to other crew members.

It’s also recommended that crew that don’t actually work on the cruise ship, so people that work maybe in the ports, the porters, the people who work driving taxis, that they all have health screenings, but it isn’t recommended by these documents that they all have Coronavirus tests.

It would be just a massive task to Coronavirus test anybody who came anywhere near a cruise ship.

That wouldn’t really be very practical, but this does recommend that health screenings at least are in place for everybody who has anything to do with the cruise.

At present, in Europe, the cruise lines are actually doing coronavirus tests when the guests do get to the port.

That is good. It can be difficult for people to get Coronavirus tests when they’re on land. In certain places they are expensive, and they’re not easily accessible.

So having that at the port is good. But the problem with that is that people can test negative, and then, you know, a few days later test positive.

It isn’t a complete proof that somebody doesn’t have Coronavirus just because at that point they took a negative test.

So by having two, at least two negative tests, that really does make it as sure as possible.

When embarking a cruise, it’s not only the Coronavirus test that passengers will have to go through.

They’ll also have to go through a health screening, just asking them about if they’ve come in contact with anyone who’s got Coronavirus. Do they have any Coronavirus symptoms?

You would hope that you wouldn’t even come to the cruise port if you had symptoms, or had been in close contact with someone with Coronavirus, but is just, kind of, another level of testing to make sure that nobody, hopefully, has Coronavirus.

Recommendations in Regards to Temperature Scans

One thing that the cruise lines are doing in Europe, and are also recommended by Royal Caribbean and Norwegian, is that guests who embark a cruise have a temperature scan.

Temperature scans, just to the forehead, as they walk by. Very, very easy. It looks like it’s working very well in Europe, for MSC and Costa anyway. So fingers crossed that’ll also work for the American cruise lines.

The document sets out that anybody that has any symptom of Coronavirus, or a high temperature, would have to go through and have a second screening.

This is pretty much just them looking out in the first instance, if they see somebody who’s coughing up their guts in the corner of the room, this document suggests that they should investigate that further. And I would agree.

What Happens if Guests Break The Rules?

One thing that this document says that I really think even needs to be said, is that if the passengers don’t follow the rules, they will be either denied boarding, or kicked off of the cruise ship.

If you try and go on a cruise, and the cruise line’s asked you for a Coronavirus test, and you haven’t had a Coronavirus test, if you try to not wear a mask on board, the cruise line is going to kick you off.

It’s that simple. If you want to go on a cruise, you’ve got to follow the cruise lines rules.

If you’re somebody who’s had a positive Coronavirus test, or has been in contact with somebody who has had a positive Coronavirus tests within around 14 days, you’re not going to be able to go on a cruise.

If you know that somebody in your family has had Coronavirus, or you’ve seen someone down the pub with Coronavirus, don’t even go to the cruise port, because you will be turned away.

What Happens if You’re Denied Boarding on a Cruise Because of Coronavirus?

This does raise an interesting point about what happens to the people who are turned away from the cruise. That does, and it will continue to happen. You’re not covered if you haven’t got a specific insurance policy.

The cruise line doesn’t owe you anything if you can’t cruise due to Coronavirus. What MSC are doing here in Europe at the moment is that they’re offering a very cheap travel insurance policy that covers you for Coronavirus related things.

If you did get to the port and you were denied boarding, that would give you your money back, but that’s something you have to specifically get.

At the moment, we don’t know what the rest of the cruise lines are going to do, but it isn’t on the cruise line to refund you. If you can’t cruise due to Coronavirus, that’s your problem to sort out.

CDC Guidance

The cruise lines are going to be relying quite heavily on the CDC, just to work out what they should be doing. They’re going to be using the CDC guidelines to work out who is higher risk.

At the beginning of all of this, there was talk of, you know, some people having to have doctor’s notes, maybe people not being able to cruise if they’re overweight, and I’m happy to say that they’re not guidelines that these cruise lines are following.

Basically what this means is that they have to use CDC guidelines to work out who is a high risk, and just, just be aware of that.

They don’t have to do anything special at the moment, but the passengers who kind of show up for a cruise, it’s assumed that you’ve already made your own risk assessment. By getting to the cruise port and going on the cruise, it’s on you.

If you’re high risk or not, you’ve made that decision. It is going to be recommended that, if a cruise line knows that somebody is high risk, they instruct them to visit their health professional and do a kind of risk assessment. But it is on them. It’s not for the cruise line to do.

Informing Guests About Coronavirus Risks

When you go on a cruise in the future, you’re not only going to get your usual cruise booking documents, but you’re also going to get a lot of paperwork that explains to you about the risks of Coronavirus.

By going on that cruise, you’re accepting all of these risks. You’re accepting all of the things that are going to happen, like social distancing, and masks.

The cruise lines are free to do this. They can change that cruise contract, and most of the time when you book a cruise, it says in your cruise contract that they can change things, and it just is what it is at the moment. If you want to cruise, this is what it’s going to be like.

Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line are recommending that, at least once per day, all of the passengers have their temperature scanned.

At the moment, on MSC cruises here in Europe, the passengers are having their temperatures scanned twice a day, and if a passenger does miss that, they will get a letter in their cabin reminding them to go and have their temperature scanned.

It really is very easy to have your temperature scanned. A lot of them are just machines that automatically scan your face. It isn’t a difficult thing to do, but it’s just something we’re going to have to get used to doing on cruises in the future.

It isn’t just the temperature scans that the crews should be doing to make sure that the passengers aren’t ill, they should be routinely looking out for common Coronavirus symptoms. I think that just makes sense.

Can Guests Hide Their Symptoms?

Number 15 says:

“cruise operators should ensure education efforts are in place to help guests understand the importance of reporting their symptoms and potential repercussions of failure to report any symptoms.”

You can understand that some people would want to hide their symptoms so that they can get on with their cruise, but you can not do that, and you will be in big, big trouble if you try.

Recommendations in Regards to Mask Wearing

To prevent the spread of Coronavirus, passengers on cruises, in future, are going to have to wear masks. Masks are going to be worn when social distancing isn’t possible.

If you’re walking just down the corridor to a restaurant, you are going to have to wear a mask. If you want to cruise, you’re going to have to wear a mask. That’s it.

On cruise lines here in Europe, they’re not required if you’re sunbathing on the top deck. If you’re sat down to dinner, you don’t have to wear a mask.

It’s kind of just in those spaces where social distancing isn’t possible. When people are walking past each other, masks are mandatory, and you will be kicked off the ship if you don’t wear them.

We have a full post on mask wearing on cruise ships which you can read here:

Crew Wearing Masks

It isn’t just the passengers who have to wear masks. The crew will have to wear masks too.

You’re going to have to get used to your waiter in a restaurant wearing a mask, someone who serves you your food at the buffet wearing a mask, your housekeeper wearing a mask.

This is just how it’s going to be. Honestly. And most of the cruise lines have tried to assure passengers that you’ll still be able to tell that the person you’re talking to is smiling.

I’ve seen that in a few, kind of, promotional videos from cruise lines. And I don’t know why, but that always makes me laugh. The idea that everybody is still smiling, you just can’t see it. You can tell if someone’s smiling, even if they’re wearing a mask.

Reduced Capacity

When we get back to cruising, the capacity of the cruise ships will be reduced, and this document also sets that out.

Going forward, that Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line are happy to accept less passengers on their ship, so that all of their passengers can have a bit more space.

Some of the cruise ships can feel very busy sometimes. It does feel like there’s a lot of people on some ships.

A lot of that does depend on the design of the ship, but even still, trying to social distance everybody, with a full capacity, is very, very difficult.

So at the moment, when we restart cruising, we’re going to see reduced capacity. In Europe, at the moment, MSC Cruises are cruising at 70%, and that’s worked quite well for them. So we could see 70% ish onboard cruises in the short term.

To learn more about the cruises currently happening for MSC cruise line, check out this video:

6ft Rule

Onboard the ship, in the terminals, on cruise lines, private islands, you will find that everything is set up so that people can social distance.

At the moment, they’re sticking to the six foot rule, that’s what’s recommended by this guidance, and everything will be set up for that.

What you’ll see is you’ll see seats with seats that are blocked out in the middle. You’ll see marks on the floor that tell guests where to stand.

The whole plan is that everybody can stay six feet away from everybody else. You don’t have to stay six feet away from people who you’re cruising with, it’s just different cruise parties stay away from the other cruise parties.

There will be signage everywhere, so that all the passengers know exactly where they should be standing. If you can see in this video here, on the floor, it is marked incredibly well where every guest should stand.

Touchless Options

Wherever possible, cruise lines are going to be moving towards touchless things if they can. Quite a lot of check-in, and the documents that you need to fill out, can be done before you get to the cruise port.

So I think we’ll see an increase in online check-in, and using your phone for things.

Using Apps on Phones

Using your phones for looking at menus, they’re doing that on MSC here in Europe, and booking things like shows, as opposed to having things that you actually need to touch.

When it’s your phone, I know you’re touching it, but you’re not touching anything else. This is just yours. I know you are still touching a phone, but this is kind of your phone, so I feel like that’s all right.

You can learn more about your phone’s role in the future of cruising by watching the video below:

Sanitization Procedures

Not only is it really important that the guests do sanitize, but it’s very important that, ahead of time, the passengers know what kind of sanitation procedures are going to be in place.

For me, I’m finding it strange at the moment, because if I go to a restaurant or a shop on land, I have to sanitize my hands before I go in.

And that’s something I’m very, very used to do on a cruise, and it’s making me miss cruising more than ever. Cruise ships are already incredibly hygienic.

Cruise Ship Hygeine

They’re so much more hygienic than hotels on land, than trains, than any other thing you come into contact with in your daily life. Cruise lines are held to a really high standard of cleanliness, but this is going to be increased even more.

So tables, touchpoints, everything that guests come in contact with are going to be cleaned so frequently that it is just crazy. There’s a German cruise line cruising at the moment, called TUI, and they’re sanitizing things like the elevator buttons every half an hour!

They’re really ramping up on the cleaning, and something that’s already very, very, very clean. They’re also going to have special high-grade sanitizers too.

You can’t just use any soap and water to try and kill everything on a cruise ship. They’re going to be hospital-grade sanitized.

A friend of mine was recently on a TUI cruise, to learn how he got on, watch the video below:

Enforcing Hand Washing

On a cruise, you’re already washing and sanitizing your hands probably more than most people do in real life, but going forward, we’re going to see that even more, and it’s going to be very strictly enforced.

Passengers are going to have to wash or sanitize their hands before they go in the buffet, before they go into a lounge, before they go in a restaurant, before they do anything really, you’re going to have to wash and sanitize your hands.

Not only is this good for preventing things like Coronavirus, but it also stops/slows down the spread of things like colds and general flus.

Locations of Hand Sanitizers

All of these kind of hand sanitizers and things are already located in very convenient places, but this document sets out that they should be put in the most convenient places for the passengers.

So I think we’re going to see them popping up everywhere. Probably more places than you can even imagine.

I was trying to think of some, but I think there’s going to be more than you can even think of.

Training The Crew

The recommendations are that the crew of every cruise line are trained in things like hand hygiene, and it actually says that the passengers should be encouraged, not sure I like the word ‘encouraged’ there, to use hand sanitizer or wash their hands before recreational activities.

So pretty much this is saying that it’s mandatory to wash your hands before you go into somewhere like a restaurant, but it’s recommended and encouraged that passengers do that before recreational activities.

Personally, I would prefer that to be much stronger, and it just say, guests have to wash their hands when they’re told too.

Recommendations in Regards to Air Flow

One thing that a lot of people are worried about when it comes to returning to cruising is that the fact that Coronavirus is spread through the air.

At the beginning of all of this, some people were quarantined to their cabins onboard cruise ships, and Coronavirus did spread throughout the air conditioning to the different passengers.

So there are a lot of guidelines in this document about the air conditioning.

They’re going to “optimize airflow patterns, minimize unfiltered recirculated air, and use negative pressurization.”

So they really are thinking about the air. Don’t worry that they’re not thinking about this. They really are. There’s a lot of these.

Recirculated Air

Cruise lines are not going to be using recirculated air anymore, which is air that comes kind of from one room to another.

Air Conditioning Filters

There’s certain filters that they can install in their air conditioning that get rid of most, if not all, of the Coronavirus particles, and they’re going to be encouraged to do that.

Of course, that is more difficult on some cruise ships than others. But pretty much these recommendations are that the cruise lines have to do their best. They have to try.

Recommendations in Regards to Medical Centers

On every cruise ship, you will find a medical center, and in the medical center, you will find doctors, nurses, other people, medicines, equipment.

You’ll find all kinds of stuff down there. What is going to happen in the future though, is that we’re going to be seeing an increased number of doctors, and nurses, and all kinds of medical professionals, on cruises in the future.

To learn more about what you can expect to find in a cruise ship medical center, including what your options are if you get sick on a cruise, check out this post:

An Increase in Medical Personnel

This document recommends that cruise lines do increase how many medical personel that they have.

The cruise lines are going to have to have some sort of backup medical teams in case the main medical teams are busy.

They’re also going to have to make sure that they have people on board who are trained to deal with people who are severely ill, so that if somebody does catch Coronavirus when they’re on board, or brings it on board, they have the medical knowledge there that they need to treat it and prevent any further spread.

Increased Space in The Medical Center

Every cruise ship at the moment has space in their medical center for passengers to stay if they do get unwell, but what’s going to happen in the future is we’re going to see an increased amount of room for guests if they do get sick.

So time cruise line is going to be making space in their medical centers, just in case, because, I mean, it’s better be safe than sorry. Especially something like this.

They’re really going to be ramping up everything that they have in their medical centers. They’re going to have not only more crew, but I’m sure more medicine and more equipment.

What they’re going to be doing is they’re going to be having special places that they can isolate people.

They might be keeping a few cabins back so that they become quarantine cabins, but they have to have places where they can isolate, and treat people, and keep those people apart from everybody else.

Isolation

They also have to make sure that, not only can they keep them away, but they can keep them away from other people who are in the medical center, who may be unwell with other problems.

Nobody wants to go to the medical center on a cruise because they’ve broken their leg, broken their foot doing Zumba, something like that.

They get put next to someone with Coronavirus, and they get Coronavirus. That is a worst nightmare for a cruise line, and that’s not going to happen.

Medical Consultations

As we move to an increasingly virtual world, that’s also going to happen with the (medical) consultations.

If you’re somebody who’s feeling unwell, you’re in your cabin, it’s going to be encouraged to you to do a virtual consultation, as opposed to actually go to the medical center.

It’s also suggested that this could be done in the patient’s cabin, as opposed to going to the medical center, just because that reduces the risk of any Coronavirus spread if it did happen to be Coronavirus.

This does already happen, to some extent. If you are unwell, what normally happens is that a passenger will phone the medical center.

They’ll sometimes have a consultation over the phone, and it will be decided either, this is what it is, a very quick diagnosis if it’s something super easy, or you come to the medical center, or we’ll come to your cabin.

That tends to be what happens now, so it’s just going to be an increased emphasis on “don’t come to the medical center if you think you have Coronavirus.”

Keeping up to date with Coronavirus

Cruise lines are going to have to constantly keep up with what we know about Coronavirus, the way that we treated Coronavirus back in February and March (2020) on cruise ships would not be acceptable now.

And in six months time, we may know a lot more than we know now. So it’s very important that the cruise lines are constantly keeping up with this stuff, and it’s in their interest to do so. Every cruise line wants to get this right.

Medical Attention on Land

There are so many things that cruise lines need to plan before they can cruise again, and one of those is that they need to have medical centers, hospitals, on land, that they know they can give passengers to if there was any Coronavirus on board.

They have to already have done their research. They can’t be guessing off in a random port, and thinking, ah, where do we take this person?

They have to have a plan in place. Hotels, hospitals. You name it, it has to be preplanned.

Life On-Board

When you’re just wandering around a cruise, it is going to be quite different from what we’re used to, because they’re trying to social distance all of the passengers.

It’s not going to be uncommon for certain things to be one way, for there to be marks on where you’re supposed to stand. It’s going to be different, but I think we’re going to get used to it pretty fast.

And I would walk one way around the entire cruise ship if that meant I could cruise again. It would be quite annoying if your cabin is here, someone else’s is there, and you’ve got to go one way that way. But I would do that to go on a cruise right now.

Contact Tracing

It is suggested by Royal Caribbean and Norwegian, in this document, that the contacts and the people who are on the cruise should be traced to work out who has spent how much time with other people.

This is easier on some cruise lines than others. On MSC, here in Europe, who were sailing right now, they’ve got a wristband called MSC for Me, and what that does is it traces the passengers, and it can tell you how long you’ve spent near other people.

I mean, it won’t tell you that, but the cruise line can work out that stuff. This is of course so much easier for cruise lines that already have this stuff installed. Princess cruises have the Ocean Medallion, and MSC have MSC for Me. It takes years to install this stuff on cruise ships. They use miles, and miles, and miles of wires in the ceiling, across every single deck. So it isn’t something that cruise lines that don’t have this can just do for Coronavirus. It doesn’t work like that. But if that is available, cruise lines should use it.

This could also mean things like just keeping a guest list, so you know who has spent time in the same place as who. You want to know who’s been at Zumba, who did trivia, who ate in this certain place.

Just kind of keeping an eye on that could make tracing so much easier. The cruise lines, of course, are going to be collecting lots of statistics about how well this tracing thing is working out.

They’re also going to have to tell all of the passengers, all of the guests, that they are tracing them. You can’t trace people without letting them know that, but when you’re going on a cruise at the moment, you are accepting this.

If you try to go on a cruise and said, I refuse to wear the MSC for Me wristband on MSC, they would kick you off, because you’re not following the rules.

I know that some people do not like the idea of the cruise line knowing who is with who, and where they are. They already know that you’re on the cruise ship.

They know roughly where you are. Just knowing which restaurant you’re in, or how long you spend in the pub, I don’t think is a massive deal.

I should point out that these things aren’t used to track passengers when they get on land, which is why, at the moment, you have to do cruise line excursions, but more about that later in the video.

Quarantining

Going forward, cruise lines are going to have to have specific places where they can quarantine or isolate people who are unwell.

They’re going to have to have processes in place so that if a certain thing happens, they know this, this, and this is what has to happen next.

You do this, you do this, and you do this. Everybody needs to know what their part is if a certain situation should happen.

At the moment, the current process is that if somebody did have Coronavirus, they would be debarked from the cruise ship, and so would anybody else that they were cruising with. They would be quarantined on land.

That is the current plan. This may change in six months time, but at the moment, the cruise lines don’t want to keep people who have Coronavirus on their cruise ships, for obvious reasons.

The cruise lines are of course going to have to think on kind of a scale about this. At the moment they already do this for things like Norovirus, and things like hurricanes.

If there is a Norovirus outbreak, and a few people have that on a cruise, most of the time they’ll just have to deal with it and get over it, but if that reaches a certain percent of the passengers, sometimes a cruise would actually be ended early, and everybody will be disembarked.

We could see something similar with Coronavirus. So maybe in the future, if a couple of people have Coronavirus and they’re safely quarantined away, that won’t be a massive problem.

But if it gets to, you know, 10 cases or something on a ship, the entire ship has to be disembarked, the cruise has to end, and there needs to be processes in place to kind of work out when this happens.

It is incredibly important that if guests are disembarked because they have Coronavirus, or because they’ve been near somebody who has Coronavirus, that those people are kept as far away from the healthy people as possible.

It could be the case that, even if you’re not traveling with somebody, but it’s contact tracing, which shows that you’ve been with someone for a lot of your cruise, you could be disembarked too.

If the cruise line does tell you to disembark the cruise ship, you have to disembark the cruise ship.

They don’t have to keep you on board, especially if you do have Coronavirus, and you’re seen as a risk to the other passengers.

Coronavirus Processes

If somebody did get Coronavirus on a cruise, there needs to be processes in place so that all of the crew know, and that the passengers are told.

There’s a lot of people who would need to be informed if Coronavirus was found on a cruise, including the relevant health authorities of wherever the cruise ship was.

If somebody is found to have Coronavirus when they do go to embark the ship, this is much easier. They would just be turned away.

Ship and Port Liaison

Before a cruise ship can stop in a port, there’s two things that that cruise port needs to agree to. The first one is the cruise port needs to agree to have the cruise ship there.

This already happens. You can’t just show up and park your cruise ship anywhere.

But the second part is that that port needs to accept that if there are any infected individuals on board, they will happily take them, and quarantine them on land.

That’s very, very important. You can’t have different places saying, yeah, you can come here, but nobody can come if they’ve got Coronavirus.

You either have cruise ships, and you accept that responsibility, or you just close your doors to cruise ships.

Cruise lines do have to think a lot about the places that they’re visiting. If they’re visiting somewhere that really couldn’t handle a Coronavirus outbreak, they may not stop in that port anymore.

It’s much easier for the cruise lines to visit places like their own private islands, or big countries where they’re very used to stopping.

Changes to Cruise Itineraries

It is recommended by Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line, that the itineraries at the start are as simple as possible.

One thing that makes a cruise itinerary very simple for a cruise line is if they just visit their own private islands, because they have control of everything on those islands.

It’s also suggested that cruising should return with shorter itinerary lengths. We may see shorter cruises in places like the Caribbean.

Here in Europe, MSC are doing seven night cruises, up to seven night cruises seems to be kind of okay.

We may just see in the short term that we don’t have as many 14 night, or multiple month cruises. I think seven days is pretty good.

Excursions

If you want to cruise with Royal Caribbean or Norwegian Cruise Line in the near future, and you go to a port, you’re going to have to either take an excursion with the cruise line, or stay on the cruise ship.

This is already happening in Europe. MSC are doing this. And what MSC have done, which I think is great, is that they’re offering their excursions at a really good price.

What normally puts me off cruise line excursions is that they can be quite expensive, and there are cheaper options if you know how to find them.

But what MSC did was they did three excursions for 100 Euros, which is incredibly cheap. Hopefully Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line, and all the other cruise lines, will follow suit and do cheaper excursions.

That said, the cruise line isn’t forcing you to do excursions, which is something I’ve seen mentioned quite a lot. You’re more than welcome to stay on the ship.

Staying on the ship is a brilliant option and I’d highly recommend it. Here’s why:

The cruise line can’t just let people off into the wild once they’ve spent so long testing them, tracing them, and looking after them. You can’t just let people go out, get Coronavirus, and bring it back to the cruise ship.

There’s no way they could do that. The cruise lines are also going to spend a lot of time talking to the places where they take people on excursions.

So if excursions do go to a certain cathedral, they go to an aquarium, maybe they go to a set of shops, they’re going to make sure that those shops have the appropriate measures in place to keep all of the passengers safe.

The cruise lines are going to try and do more outside excursions if that is possible. Kind of a walking tour, maybe something like that?

Where they do do inside excursions, they’re going to make sure that the passengers are wearing their masks, that they’re social distancing, and that they’re keeping the same sort of standards that they’ve got on the cruise ship, but now on land.

To learn more about how social distancing will affect your next cruise, check out this post:

I have to admit, I’m not normally a massive fan of cruise line excursions. I normally go for independent excursions, or I do my own thing in order to save money.

I definitely am a budget cruiser, and I teach a course called How to Cruise For Less, which teaches all of my secrets on how to cruise as often and as cheaply as I do.

But for the short term, right now, if you want to go on a cruise, and you want to visit a port, you’re going to have to do a cruise line excursion.

Life For The Crew

The cruise lines are also going to have a lot of thinking to do about how they can keep social distancing within their staff. Staff on cruise ships do live in pretty close quarters.

What this recommendation does say is that, where it is possible, the crew should be given their own cabins. That said, that’s not really realistic.

If a cruise ship is sailing at 70% capacity, there isn’t the room to give all of their crew their own cabin.

But where it is possible, this is suggested that they do that. It does make sense. But realistically, I don’t think it’s going to work, kind of longterm.

Most of the cruise lines that are here in Europe, if you’re a crew member, you’re not allowed to get off in port, which is something that is not ideal, but hopefully it won’t be for very long.

I’m happy to report that in these recommendations from Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean, they have said that the crew, when they dock, can get off in port, as long as they follow some reasonable limitations on their movement, and they try and reduce their risk of catching Coronavirus and bringing it back to the ship.

Please be extra, extra (and more extra) nice to the crew

I really think that’s good. It is difficult, but crew members work for six or nine months at a time, and not being able to disembark in that entire time would be horrible.

Working on a cruise ship is already an incredibly difficult job, and it does look like it’s going to get more difficult.

Where possible, they’re going to be trying to keep the crew away from the passengers, because that’s the ideal situation.

But of course you do need some front facing crew. They’re going to be wearing masks. They’re going to be following all of the social distancing rules.

So just be extra nice if you do go on a cruise, if you’re lucky enough to go on a cruise anytime soon, just being extra nice to the staff. I’m sure you will. Just be extra, extra nice.

The crew are going to be subject to all the same sort of tests and quarantines, and they’re also going to have a lot of training to do to keep up with all of this stuff. So. Hard job, even harder.

Culture of Honesty

I like recommendation 70. We’ve got all the way to 70, so if you’re still watching this, you are amazing, and you’re going to be so prepared for your next cruise.

Recommendation 70 says “cruise operators should reinforce a culture of honesty, and collective responsibility within the crew.” I mean, that’s always good, honesty and collective responsibility.

You’d hope that they were doing that anyway, but. This isn’t just something where the cruise lines can kind of follow all of these steps, everything’s fine, and they never need to think about it again.

How Things Will Change Over Time

This is what’s going to happen for cruising in the very, very short term, but we’re going to see some of these things kind of decreasing as time goes forward.

When it comes to actually getting the cruise ships sailing again, it is going to be a phased approach. There’s currently two MSC ships cruising in Europe, and that is a very small percentage of their fleet.

We’re likely to see the same thing for Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, everybody. We’re going to start with a few ships, and they’re going to build it up.

Carnival did actually release kind of a guideline of what they’re planning to do with their phased return. I’ll leave that video below. Check that one out after this one.

What happens if I change my mind about the cruise I’ve booked?

You might be listening to this and thinking, “well, that sounds fine. I’ve booked a cruise, but I don’t want to do that.”

You may be wondering if the cruise line will give you a refund, and at the moment, most cruise lines are not giving refunds for people who cancel just because they don’t want to go.

If you’re somebody who’s not already made the full payment, you can usually cancel, and maybe lose your deposit. But at the moment, the cruise lines aren’t giving people the option to cancel.

I personally think that they should do. The product of cruising has changed so much.

If you booked a cruise last year, and you’re going on a cruise in six months time, you’re not getting what you pay for it. It’s very, very different.

Let’s get cruising again!

I am very excited to cruise. Nothing’s going to stop me cruising, but I do understand how some people are kind of thinking that’s not what I booked and I don’t want to go.

The way I see it is we either do this stuff on land, I have to wear a mask, I have to social distance, so I might as well do that at sea. That’s kind of how I see it.

I’ve got friends in Europe, in Germany, in Italy, who are sailing, and I’m incredibly envious of them.

Us, here in the UK, the Government is still not allowing us to cruise, but fingers crossed, when the Government says we can cruise, we are all ready. I’m so ready.

I have spoken to lots of passengers, and lots of crew members who were recently on an MSC cruise, to find out how they found these things in practice. Check out this video next.

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Emma Le Teace

Hey! I'm Emma. A cruise blogger, YouTuber and founder of the 'Cruising Isn't Just For Old People' Facebook community and website. You can learn more here: About Me.

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