Welcome to 2021!...How has it been for you so far??... I bet I would get a mixed response to that question.
So, whilst we have still been busy helping get many of you back on track with your holiday planning, we are also being asked many questions about “what happens next”, “should I get my bikini out and ready?” and “will I now have to pack a matching mask for my formal evenings?”…
Unfortunately, as good as we are here at ecruising, we have no crystal balls or psychic powers to know for sure how this year will proceed.
This little hiccup in 2020 will lead to only positive experiences onboard ensuring a higher level of comfort and safety in a more controlled environment when compared to other forms of travel. Please keep in mind, that the below is based on current guidelines from cruiselines at this point in time and of course, subject to change and dependant on cruiseline.
At present, all cruiselines will enforce mandatory testing prior to boarding (until further notice). And there will be a 100% passenger and crew testing policy for any ship carrying over 250 passengers.
Proposed safety regulations include regular touch-free temperature checks, scrupulous behind-the-scenes sanitisation, mandatory table service, and super high-tech air filtration systems that circulate fresh air rather than recycling it between cabins.
There are certain situations where wearing a face mask will still be required (again, this is everchanging) – but capacities will be reduced, so less crowding in public spaces, and no more self-service buffets, so the experience of a more personal wait staff service.
Technology is your friend. Me, I like to get away from all devices when travelling, but the innovation of technology onboard is creating a safer experience (haha, not what it was originally planned to do).
Princess is a great example of this technology, and due to the major C-word occurrence of 2020, many Australians will be able to experience this much sooner. Princess Medallion Class ships allow touch-free boarding and communications though a small wearable piece of technology. No group musters or lining up at bars are just a couple of the benefits.
Other lines such as MSC, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Carnival and Holland America are all developing their own apps to enhance and personalise your onboard experience.
Another change we are seeing is people booking now for the larger trips away in 2022 and 2023, and then planning to treat themselves on smaller domestic-based getaways later in 2021.
We are seeing more inclusions being offered, and an amazing array of smaller ship enquiries, the beauty of these not only being less travellers on board, but the more exclusive ports and less of a need for tenders to be used.
Peace of Mind Programmes:
I will not list them all, but pretty much every Cruiseline has developed a programme to try and have a flexible booking policy. (if you need further information on these programmes, please visit our own ecruising site or ask us for further information).
This changes with each Company, but we have seen the introduction of Future Cruise Credits to override “non-refundable” deposits to ensure no value is lost from your pocket if you are still concerned about travelling.
In the case of “refundable deposits”, we have seen an easing of strict time periods in which decisions must be made by.
Again this is a positive move (and we acknowledge there are still certain conditions) – but overall, this is a positve and user-friendly step the Cruiselines have introduced.
….and of course, we still strongly encourage to investigate travel insurance to ensure your coverage and options.
There will be more practical changes our wonderful cruise industry are making. For those of you who love cruising, I know you will be back onboard regardless, but for those of you new to cruising or still feeling a little cautious, ask your questions, do your research, and you will find this will be one of the safest holidays you can take.
For me, I am waiting for the giant waterslide to be built, from the 14th deck straight down (I am approximating this at 265 km/hr, like a freefall….. ) into dragnet in the ocean behind the ship… this is where I will also find a massive pontoon with a bar and adult-sized unicorn floaties tethered aft to ride the ship's wake… my dreams are only small ones… *
**Information sourced from CLIA
*If you are from an engineering or seafaring background and know this CANNOT be achieved, please do not burst my bubble
SEAS THE DAY!