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Cruises from major cruise lines like Princess and Carnival are set to resume at the end of June.
- Carnival extended its cancellation period through June 27.
- Princess extended its cancellation period through June 30.
Cruise lines are currently facing a no sail order issued by the CDC and have been told that this order could last up to 100 days from the date of issuance depending on other factors at play.
If the CDC director rescinded the no-sail order “based on specific public health or other considerations,” or the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s declaration of a public health emergency expired, then cruises could resume before 100 days.
These announcements came shortly after the CDC found that the cruise line industry had not sufficiently created a framework to deal with the pandemic. Whether it was how to provide testing and acute care to infected passengers or how to handle the logistics of transferring passengers over to local medical facilities, the CDC found that the cruise line industry did not have proper plans in place.
The end of June deadline would presumably give the cruise industry 2 1/2 months to prepare for handling the pandemic which should be plenty of time.
Also, one of the most heavily relied upon models for the spread of coronavirus shows that the disease transmission rates should be largely under control by the time that the end of June rolls around.
So while it is probably still a bit optimistic, I think it is at least possible that some cruises could be ready to set sail by that date or at least sometime shortly after.
The problem with cruise ships is that they can be breeding grounds for viral outbreaks.
That is why it is so crucial that the cruise line industry put together a sufficient protocol to provide better sanitization and practices for identifying and isolating sick passengers as soon as possible. There also needs to be some better systematic approach for finding a place for these ships to dock if an infection does breakout.
We’ve seen quite a bit of drama over the past few weeks involving ships getting refused entry at ports and canals because they are transporting sick passengers. I think that needs to be resolved before any ships head back out.
I also think that these cruise lines should send ships out on a rolling basis to “test the waters” and see if outbreaks are still occurring. It will likely be apparent very quickly whether or not they have tried to open things up too quickly.
I’m definitely not trying to jump on a cruise anytime soon so this does not affect me but I know quite a few people who are trying to get back on cruises as soon as they can, so hopefully this news is encouraging to them.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.