Cruising with Covid: What To Know Before You Go

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Zoey Matthews, Staff Writer

      The cruise industry has had a very bumpy path due to COVID-19. Some cruise lines, such as Princess Cruises, have even had to retire ships. One of their ships that they retired was the Star Princess, which had been in the lineup of ships for 19 years. But despite the challenges and changes the industry is currently facing, cruise lines will hopefully start cruising again soon. Due to the pandemic, all of the cruise lines have had to have been canceled, which caused them to feel the financial burden of having to deal with refunds and extra cruise credits to compensate for cruisers. 

     So far, there have been many changes onboard the cruises to keep passengers safe. One way that Princess Cruises have changed to keep the passengers safe is by making the muster drill, an important lecture that everyone on board the ship has to attend to learn how to stay safe on the ship, in passenger’s cabins instead of having everyone crowd together in a theater. The article “An Innovative Approach to Ship Safety” states “ We’ve streamlined the traditional safety drill to make it more convenient and crowd-free. Watch the required safety video anytime on embarkation day and anywhere on board, thanks to your MedallionClass app, or on your stateroom TV.” Another way that the cruises have changed, specifically Princess Cruises, is physical distancing. It is hard to know if you can go into the room or theater because you have to stay separate from other passengers. The article “ Physical Distancing” on the Princess Cruises website, states “With MedallionClass guests can get a real-time view of attendance in lounges, theaters, and other areas, and bookmark activities of interest, noting attendance limits.” These are just two ways that the cruise line industry has been changing so that can start cruising again.  

     Since almost all of the cruises were canceled in 2020 due to Covid-19, the cruise lines have had to give refunds to all the passengers that paid for them. A lot of cruise lines were also giving out onboard credit. In the cruise line Princess Cruises, if you had your cruise canceled or shortened then you would get a free meal in one of their specialty restaurants. Since the cruises have been canceled, it would take 90 days to get your refund, which has not been easy for cruises.

     Many changes have been made to cruises recently and they have had to deal with the refunds for cruises that have had to have been canceled. Princess Cruises have made many changes to hopefully start cruising soon and keeping the passengers safe. Cruising will hopefully start up again in the summer or fall of 2021.