Before the pandemic, cruise ships were typically sailing at 100% or more occupancy. This is because the total capacity is based on double occupancy and some rooms can accommodate more than two passengers. However, a survey of Cruise Critic readers revealed that only 18% of those surveyed were “anxious for ships to return to full capacity”. As a result, most ships are currently sailing at a lower than maximum capacity, in order to promote physical distancing.
The Majestic Princess set off on its maiden voyage from the port of Los Angeles at approximately 60% capacity. Cruise lines are now planning to increase capacity in the coming months, meaning that quiet cruise days may soon become a thing of the past. According to Cruise Critic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its “COVID-19” program for cruise ships operating in the United States. The cruise industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, with many travelers being hesitant to book a sea trip due to safety concerns.
However, cruise lines across the country are gradually returning to pre-pandemic levels after initially implementing rules such as the use of masks and limiting the number of people on board. Cruise ship ratings are now the highest they have been in two years and are close to pre-pandemic levels, with the most significant recovery being seen among new cruise ship customers.