Whether you’re an avid cruise enthusiast or merely dipping your toes into the world of cruising, you’d be forgiven for worrying about the industry over the past 15 months. However, with the recent actions by the CDC, there’s certainly some cause for celebration and hope for a cruise-filled summer once more.
Recent developments saw both Carnival and Royal Caribbean cruise lines receive permission to sail once more – and that list has grown further, with Disney and Bahamas Paradise cruise lines also permission for test cruises in the past couple of days. Here’s a recap on what test cruises are, and a look at the new cruise lines set to depart on them.
Test Cruises – What Travelers Should Know
The pandemic has been a trying time for the cruise industry. The implementation of a no sail order by the CDC has been a bone of contention for both cruise lines and American politicians alike, and has seen cruise ships all-but forced to sit idle for months. However, the CDC has provided a gateway for cruises to return once more – and test cruises are one of the routes back towards a season of regular cruises.
Test cruises consist of passengers over the age of 18 who agree to be tested and to have their results recorded after the cruise. The cruises must be a minimum of three days and two nights, have social distancing during meals and entertainment and cannot exceed 10% of their capacity. The test cruises must come to an end if 1.5% of passengers or 1% of the crew test positive for Covid-19.
Despite having restrictions that may hamper the typical cruise experience they have proved to be popular, with 200,000 people applying to take part in the Royal Caribbean test cruises in the first week that they were offered, showing the demand for cruises in the US. Cruise lines can skip test cruises if at least 98 percent of the crew and 95 percent of passengers are fully vaccinated.
More Cruise Lines Granted Permission – Information for Travelers
It was announced yesterday that Bahamas Cruise Line were given the thumbs up from the CDC to conduct a test cruise. According to their press release, the test cruise will include a full evaluation of Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s cleanliness and safety protocols.
The cruise will take part on their Grand Classica ship. It will consist of a small group of fully vaccinated passenger, who will join a fully vaccinated crew on board. The cruise is scheduled to depart on June 25th, heading on a two-night round-trip cruise from the Port of Palm Beach to Grand Bahama Island. All aspects of the regular cruise are set to be included, such as dining, entertainment and shore excursions.
Joining them in the ranks of cruise lines that have been granted permission is Disney Cruise Line. The cruise line is set to conduct a two-night test cruise aboard their Disney Dream ship, departing from Port Canaveral on June 29th. A spokesperson for Disney Cruise Line said:
“We have reached an important next step toward our gradual and responsible resumption of service, and are grateful for the productive dialogue with state, local and federal officials.”
In total, the CDC has given the green light to four cruise lines, with a further 6 applications currently under review.
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