Worried About Cruising in 2021? – Everything You Need to Know


If you are considering taking a cruise in the near future you may have a few worries. I wouldn’t blame you for that!

There are a LOT of things to think about and loads of things that we haven’t talked about yet. I’d like to put your mind at ease about a few things.

How Will Cruise Lines Reduce Capacity on Future Cruises to Cope with Covid Guidelines?

Cruise Lines will reduce capacity on future cruises by offering cruisers what is called a move over offer. Guests may be moved to other ships but should not be left without a substitute. In reality, it’s unlikely that cruise lines will have to do this as they very rarely are fully booked ahead of time.

At the moment, cruises in Europe are mostly cruising at 70% capacity. A lot of people are worried that if they’ve booked a cruise for next year, by the time we get to it, the cruise ship is going to be overbooked and certain people will just be kicked off.

You don’t have to worry about that. Cruise lines already overbook their ships on occasion. What they do is something called a move-over offer so that only people who want to change cruise do so.

What is a Move Over offer on a Cruise?

A move over offer is when a cruise line offers guests the chance to move their cruise for some benefit. They usually receive a 100% refund of their cruise price, plus a replacement cruise free of charge.

If you’re somebody who can be flexible, you can benefit from a move over offer.

If you don’t want to move from the cruise that you booked, it’s incredibly unlikely that the cruise line will cancel your cruise for you.

What Would Happen if Nobody Moved Over?

If nobody moved over the cruise line would offer increasing benefits for the other passengers to move cruise in order to reduce that capacity.

Chances are that the cruises aren’t going to be at over capacity by the time that we get there. A lot of people have been put off of cruising by 2020 and the majority of people don’t always book their cruises so far in advance.

If you’ve got a cruise booked for a year’s time, it’s very very unlikely that the cruise would already be booked over 70%.

Some first-time cruisers and some people who have even cruised a lot, are considering not cruising again, whether that actually happens or, if people will rebook later is unclear.

But it means that for you and me, that the cruise ships at the moment probably won’t be over capacity.

If you are somebody who’s worried about the cruise ship being over capacity and being kicked off your cruise, I would say don’t worry about that. You’re much more likely to be moved to another cruise ship.

If they decide to move around the cruise ships, this could happen. A lot has changed and the positioning of the cruise ships that might change. So a cruise ship that was supposed to be in Europe. might now be in America.

And in that situation, you might be kicked to another cruise ship, if you accept it. You don’t have to accept that change. If the cruise line does make a “substantial” change to your cruise ship, your cruise itinerary, you are entitled to a refund.

So in a worst case scenario, you could take a refund if that did happen, but don’t worry that you’re going to be kicked off just because they’ve overbooked it, and now they have to have reduced capacity.

Will Guests Have to Have a Vaccination or Health Passport to be Able to Cruise?

There are currently no cruise lines that have confirmed the need for a vaccination or health passport for guests to be able to cruise.

Assuming that your cruise is going ahead and you’re booked on the cruise, one big concern that a lot of people have mentioned to me is that they’re worried that they’re going to have to have vaccinations or some sort of health passport in order to get on the cruise.

I think if a vaccine does come out, it’s within the cruise lines rights to say that they only accept people on there who have vaccines. Whether that’s going to happen, I’m not sure.

There have been a lot of surveys done when it comes to vaccines. And it seems as though less and less people as time goes on, are willing to get a vaccine, which is interesting, but who knows what’s going to happen when we are really ready to cruise again.

What Happens if You Need a Negative Coronavirus Test to Board a Cruise But Can’t Get One?

If a cruise line requires guests to come to the cruise port with a recent negative Coronavirus test any guests without this would be denied boarding. The cruise fare may be refunded to the passenger depending on the cruise lines procedures and if the passenger has travel insurance.

If you’re going on a cruise and you need a negative coronavirus test to board that cruise, having to get the coronavirus test in a foreign place may not be easy.

This is going to be particularly difficult if you’re somebody who says from the UK and you’re flying to America. Maybe you’re staying in America for a week, then you’re planning a cruise and flying back. You’re going to have to source somewhere in America where you could get a coronavirus test.

They could get quite expensive. Fingers crossed, as time goes on, this does get easier and cheaper.

A lot of cruise lines are testing you when you get to the cruise port, but some aren’t.

What Happens if You Test Positive For Coronavirus at The Cruise Port?

Guests who test positive for Coronavirus at the cruise port will be denied boarding. All other passengers travelling with the guest who tested positive will also be denied boarding regardless of if they personally have had a positive or negative result.

Understandably, a lot of people are very, very worried, that they’re going to be left there, just without any kind of help. They’re going to be stranded in a foreign country without a cruise.

In this situation, you may be left on your own. I know this sounds ridiculous, but you may be left on your own in a foreign country having to quarantine and then sort out your return home.

They can’t let you on the cruise. They’ve got to let you go. If you need to quarantine and then sort out your return transportation home, that could be expensive, time-consuming, who knows what you’re going to do with the time off work.

That is a very real worry and it’s something that I do worry about. Due to this, I’ve booked home port cruises for the next year. I’m planning on cruising from the UK.

So if you’re somebody who’s looking at booking new cruises for 2021, I would strongly suggest home port cruises. They’re so easy.

There is not a lot that I love more than going on a cruise, meeting new friends, and realizing that I paid considerably less than everybody else for the exact same cruise.

Grab your free training here to learn how you can cruise as cheaply and often as I do:
How to Cruise For Less.

Travel insurance may not cover you, depends on your travel insurance policy. And it depends where we are next year. Fingers crossed, we’ll be in a better position next year.

Will I Have to Take Cruise Line Excursions to Cruise in 2021 and 2022?

All cruise lines currently sailing require quests to take excursions with the cruise line. Guests are not able to independently explore ports or organise another excursions due to the risk of Coronavirus.

If you are taking a cruise, you have to take a cruise line excursion, or you can stay on the ship. If you want to stay on the ship and just have some kind of self-imposed sea day, have the ship to yourself, they can be a really good option, but you can’t just wander off by yourself.

I personally am a big fan of staying on the ship during a port day, to find out why, check out this post here:

Understandably, a lot of people are worried about this, because, doing your own excursions is something that I really love. I’m definitely a budget cruiser.

There’s not a lot I love more than just wandering off and doing my own things. I feel like you get to see a lot more of a place, if you just walked on the side streets, you go to the normal shops that the locals go to, as opposed to all of the touristy shops that the cruise line excursions wants to take you on.

In the short term though, it’s the only option. I can’t think of any better option for the cruise lines, but this isn’t going to be forever.

What MSC have done is they’ve dramatically reduced the cost of their excursions. They’re about 30 euros per excursion, which is really good.

That said, if you’re a family of three, family of four, and you’re on a seven night cruise, seven, oh goodness, it’s going to cost you a lot of money!

Are You Worried About Cruising in 2021?

I totally understand why you’re worried about cruising in 2021 if you are. I think in some ways, maybe I’ve not helped with this.

I’ve shared a lot of videos, which are the first cruises happening right now. And I think a lot of people have seen them and thought, oh no, I don’t want to do all of that.

My cruise is in a year’s time, is it going to be like that? I don’t want that, oh no, panic, worry, worry, worry. And I don’t blame you if you’re in that situation.

Things are going to change a lot from now, six months time, a year’s time, the cruise lines that are cruising right now in Europe are trying out everything.

We’re still going to see social distancing, masks, coronavirus tests, all of the things that we’ve talked about for ages, but we don’t know at the moment what cruising is going to look like in six months or a year.

But I do know that we going to really, really, really, really need a cruise when it comes to 2021. So I’m looking forward to it. Things are getting better, even if it seems slow.

Now that you’re totally ready to cruise again and I have put your mind at ease about everything, you’re going to want to check out this playlist.

Want to learn how to cruise well on a budget? Start here: How to Cruise For Less

Facebook Group: Emma Cruises
YouTube Channel: Emma Cruises
For exclusive access to behind the scenes content, join here: Emma Cruises Patreon

Weekly newsletter: Weekly Newsletter

Emma Le Teace

Hey, I'm Emma, an award-winning cruise blogger, and YouTuber. I share cruise tips, tours, and videos on this website to help you master cruising on a budget. You can learn more here: About Me.

Recent Posts