But even though all this news makes us optimistic and we are looking forward to seeing boats on a large scale, there is no denying that the final stages are always the most difficult. As Richard Fain said a few weeks ago:
Ironically, we are now entering what should be the most positive phase of the process, but can also be one of the most frustrating. These are the most encouraging days in a long time. But the closer we get to our goal, the more impatient we inevitably become to reach it. It’s like dinner.
We have to be careful not to mess it up. As much as I love to indulge in dessert, especially if it’s chocolate cake, I know I have to snack before I eat the cake.
There are a few key pitfalls that cruise lines should avoid for a successful return. We look at the factors that can spoil a party and how to avoid them.
A ship with just 53 passengers and 66 crew on board has caused the biggest media frenzy since the pandemic began last November.
Sidrim 1 left Barbados, having successfully completed several trips in Norway, when one of the passengers fell ill and subsequently passed the COVID-19 test. What follows is a pack of wolves ready to blame the entire pandemic on the irresponsibility of the cruise industry.
Photo credit: EQRoy / Shutterstock.com
That’s the scenario many cruise ship executives are facing these days. The possibility of a breakup is real now and probably always will be. This means the media will be waiting for the opportunity to criticize the industry again.
The fact that the entire cruise industry has invested billions to make their ships as safe as possible will mean little if the cruise lines are not careful. That’s why we see many cruise lines taking the opportunity to book cruises with only vaccinated guests, and many cruise ports doing the same.
So what should the cruise industry do to avoid a media circus? Cruise lines must be the first to report any incident on board. If passengers or crew members are the first to spread news or rumors, it will seem like the ships are hiding more than is actually the case.
Secondly, ships must strictly enforce the measures on board. If the measures on board are not implemented carefully, it will only add fuel to the fire for the media.
We have a CDC director who seems to be shirking responsibility for the framework, and no navigational instructions, and the cruise industry needs to stand up and do something about it.
Photo Credits: Rob Heiner / Shutterstock.com
Dr. Walenski was responding to a question during a recent Senate hearing about who is responsible for the recovery of the cruise industry: I think the Department of Transportation and many others make these decisions. If the facts are clear, the CDC made decisions on spiderless orders last year.
If the cruise industry wants to take over from the US, it needs to put pressure on politicians to make their voices heard. Yes, most cruise lines are registered abroad. But the level of taxes and the resulting revenues are critical to Florida’s economy in particular.
Looks like it: Florida’s governor is urging the CDC to revoke the unwarranted conditional boating order.
To demonstrate how ill-informed the director is about the cruise industry, the CDC director sent out a tweet in early March asking people not to travel on cruise ships in Asia.
Cruises are not available to U.S. customers in Asia; it is impossible to travel to most Asian countries without good reason, and those that do sail have a good track record since leaving three months ago.
And yes, the biggest test for cruise lines will be the customers. Blockades still take place daily in most countries. Bars and restaurants are closed and daily life is anything but normal.
But places have become vacant. And the question is how guests in these regions will feel if the measures on board are too strict.
A cruise is a vacation for some, a way of life for others. If the cruises continue without fun, customers will think twice before booking again. And that could hurt the cruise lines even more than the whole pandemic.
The reasons we have listed above can be interpreted as too pessimistic. And I hope that’s the case. Right now, the next few months could be the most important in the existence of the cruise industry.
It’s time to cook or take a break. With the right measures implemented intelligently, with the right communication and with ships that are 100% inoculated in the start-up phase, little can go wrong.
Whether in the Caribbean, St. Maarten or Nassau, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Italy or the Canary Islands, the world will be waiting to see if we have a second Diamond Princess, or if the cruise industry can tell everyone she’s back!
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Passengers now want to know when it will be safe to cruise again. … Cruises may resume soon, but industry observers say most people won’t feel fully secure on cruise ships until later this year. The cruise lines are making extraordinary efforts to ensure that their ships are free of the coronavirus.
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