Are cruise lines sailing?

Cruise lines continue with scheduled trips, but several cruise lines have canceled trips when necessary. Cruise lines ended pre-cruise testing for vaccinated guests on most trips, except for trips to Canada, Bermuda, Greece and Australia, depending on local regulations, and on trips of 16 nights or more. MSC Cruises sails with its full health and safety protocol. Carnival Cruise Line has avoided the test cruise route and chooses to sail with 95% of vaccinated guests.

Guests can request exemptions that are granted to a small number of passengers (mostly children). Recently, Carnival has instituted pre-cruise testing and mask requirements, regardless of vaccination status. Norwegian Cruise Line was the last of the three major cruise lines to resume service. The brand will sail with 100% vaccinated guests until at least the end of October.

Pre-cruise testing is currently required, but masks are not required. Norwegian Cruise Line already has three ships on board and Norwegian Epic is scheduled to start sailing on Labor Day weekend. The getaway will take place later in September. Celebrity Cruises sails with at least 95% of passengers vaccinated.

Recently, the cruise line has established a pre-cruise testing requirement, regardless of vaccination status, due to the increase in COVID status with respect to the Delta variant. Unlike other cruise lines, a mask mandate has not yet been established on Celebrity Cruises. According to Scrivanich, cruise lines currently sail between 70 and 100% of their capacity, depending on the destination. So, can you still find an offer? The answer is yes.

Since the beginning of July, Carnival Cruise Line has also been making headlines with the resumption of cruises. After Royal Caribbean, MSC Cruises has the second highest number of cruise ships currently sailing. But travelers worried about getting sick aboard a cruise ship can rest assured that cruise lines aren't sailing alone in the ongoing pandemic. Celebrity Cruises withdrew its testing requirement for cruise ships of five days or less for vaccinated passengers in August.

With cruise ships slowly resuming service to major cruise lines, it might be difficult to keep up with all the recent announcements. According to a recent survey among Cruise Critic readers, Gray Faust states that travelers consider cruises to be more attractive than other activities that carry a high risk of COVID-19.The list of things you can't do on cruise ships is shorter than it was a year ago, so as long as you know what to expect, you can enjoy an open water vacation. While the industry suffered a major blow early in the pandemic, with a skyrocketing increase in COVID-19 cases on cruise ships, travelers are now confident of returning to sailing. Carnival Cruise Line also changed its safety regulations, and Norwegian Cruise Line withdrew its mandate to wear masks on board this spring.

Whether they're booking scenic cruises on the American river or bringing the little ones together for a cruise with children on the ocean, travelers are taking full advantage of reasonable rates.

Elise Thorne
Elise Thorne

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