After more than a year, cruise lines are closer to sailing once again. According to the CDC update, the health agency released detailed protocols on simulated voyages. These are sailings that would precede the Conditional Sailing Order application for “restricted passenger voyages”.
However, the CDC update also mentioned that cruise lines with 98% of its crew and 95% of passengers vaccinated can forego test sailing. This is a step towards a resumption of sailing in July.
The CDC announced, “these instructions reflect the CDC’s reasoned judgment based on the best available current science regarding the subject areas covered in the document”.
How Did The CDC Update Impact Sailing Experience?
Of course, there will be changes in the way cruises operate. The trial sailing manual will include pandemic protocols. For starters, you have reduced face-to-face contact on the ship. Plus, social distancing is going to be implemented at all times.
If you love cruise ship buffets, this will also change. Passengers will also not be able to go maskless around the ship. The federal mask order will be applied on ships unless passengers are eating and drinking and if inside their cabin.
As for entertainment areas, social distancing will be practiced in entertainment areas from their mini-golf course to casinos. The CDC even suggests passengers to take the stairs instead of the elevators.
The agency also recommends having wearable proximity bands that will remind the wearer if he or she is not adhering to social distancing guidelines.
According to the CDC’s press release, “CDC is committed to working with the cruise industry and seaport partners to resume cruising following the phased approach outlined in the CSO”.
The cruise industry along with senators and governors pressured the CDC over the conditional sailing order. Cruise operators initially wanted to leave US ports to be able to operate again. And because of this, Florida and Alaska sued the federal government for the “unfair treatment” of the cruise industry.