If you're thinking about booking a cruise for 2020-2021, you may want to consider the price, the timing of it and how much they're willing to keep everything clean for COVID-19! Bon voyage, folks!
Just a few short months ago, we were all glued to our televisions, watching images of the Diamond Princess sail around with700 confirmed cases of COVID-19onboard. David Fisman, an epidemiology professor at the University of Toronto, toldVoxthat the cruise line had “basically trapped a bunch of people in a large container with [the] virus." Then, we were warned that nearly 50,000 passengers may have been in contact withport workers infected with the virusin Fort Lauderdale, Florida.Cruise ship ports closedaround the world and thousands of cruise industry workers were laid off indefinitely. Some predicted the end of the entire industry.
While much of the world remains in lockdown and many borders remain sealed off to travelers, a surprising number of people are researching and booking cruises. We’re not just talking about a few people booking trips next spring, we’re talking about loads of people booking cruises set to sail—sometimes, with thousands of other passengers—thissummer.
When I began researching this article, I was expecting to find a handful of healthy, budget-conscious twenty and thirtysomethings looking to save a buck on cruises next year. While I did find that, I also heard from grandparents and families with young children who were looking forward to sailing in just a few months, some having zero reservations about boarding an airplane to reach the port city. Most people I spoke with expressed having full confidence inexistingcleaning protocols and safety measures on cruise ships. They think it’s smart that ships are adding additional safety measures due to COVID-19, but said the new hygiene protocols had little to nothing to do with their decision to book the cruise.
Why, then, are so many people booking cruises? Price has a lot do with it and, despite what many of us snobs think, cruise-goers are incredibly loyal customers. Many of the people I spoke with took annual trips with their favorite cruise line and quite a few even expressed cruising “at least” a couple times per year. This past January, I took my first trip withSeaDream(whose yachts accommodate fewer than 112 people), and seemed to be the only person that hadn’t already sailed with them half a dozen times. Just about everyone on board knew each other and they were discussing which trips they’d book next (many cruise lines also offer substantial discounts to customers who sign up for their next trip while still on board).
Y'all have fun and be safe! I'm looking forward to booking my own cruise for my first wedding anniversary in 2021! Let's do it!