According to CDC, the chances of getting COVID on a cruise are very high. So high, in fact, that at the time of writing, the CDC is warning against cruising altogether, regardless of vaccination status. But if you still want to hit the high seas, there are some things you should know.
If you decide to go on a cruise and if you contract COVID or come into contact with someone who has, be prepared to be quarantined on the ship, and possibly be disembarked at a port that you are not familiar with. Once quarantined there, you will possibly face expenses, such as: medical bills, hotel, travel, food and potentially the cost of travel if you need to be flown somewhere.
Life on board cruise ships have been reported to be dramatically different than what people are used to. Many are still requiring the use of masks in common area. There are limitations, entertainment is limited, onboard shows are being cancelled from time to time because of COVID. Ports are refusing ships or cruise ship destinations are changed and even cancelled at the last-minute. This has happened several times already, including banning a cruise ship from going to its own private island.
Right now, the cruise experience is different and involves a level of risk. There are several issues to consider. First and foremost, you’ve got to decide if this is the vacation for you? As far as COVID numbers, the ship industry says it’s a small risk based on the percentages because they’re carrying a lot of passengers and crew members. And they have a lot of safety protocols in place. According to them, going on a cruise is no more dangerous than going into a grocery store or crowded restaurant. Actually, the believe they are even safer because they have protocols in place that these business establishments on land do not.
If you do go, make sure you’re vaccinated, including booster shots. You may want to avoid the trip if you’re in a high-risk category with respect to your health. Next, it is very important to check cruise ship websites regularly ahead of your vacation. The ship’s policies should be clearly stated, including what you must do before going on the cruise as far as vaccinations, boosters, whether you need to show proof of a negative tests, and most importantly, policies regarding exposure to COVID during the trip. This includes what the cruise line will cover as far as associated expenses, including any refunds and expenses relating to being quarantined.
Check the CDC website for the latest advisories. They’re warning people not to take cruises, so it is up to you to decide if that is too extreme and if you trust the cruise line is taking the proper precautions. Also get travel insurance, it’s not that expensive and worth it, especially during these uncertain times.