MSC is setting the standard for large cruise lines as it’s about to complete its fifth successful cruise onboard the MSC Grandiosa without any confirmed cases of COVID-19.
As other large cruise lines continue to sit back and watch, MSC is setting the stage for large ship cruising and making a name for itself in the process.
Even if a case of COVID-19 is confirmed on board an MSC ship in the future, they have already proven that large cruise ships can successfully operate without outbreaks thus far.
MSC has implemented strict health and safety protocols which are going to set a new standard for large ship cruising as other cruise lines look to restart operations.
Some of the main COVID-19 protocols that have been put into place include:
- Mandatory COVID-19 PCR swab tests prior to boarding the ship
- Health screenings and temperature checks
- Staggered boarding times
- Sanitizing all luggage
- Foot traffic flow markers
- Mandatory social distancing
- Enhanced stateroom sanitation
- No private shore excursions
- Limited capacity on board
MSC is taking the health protocols seriously and is strictly enforcing those who pose a risk to passengers.
On the first MSC relaunch cruise that departed Genoa, Italy on August 16th, thirteen French tourists were denied boarding after one of the people in their group tested positive for COVID-19 during the swab tests. Because the group had traveled together on the bus all were denied boarding.
Managing Director of MSC Cruises in the UK & Ireland, Antonio Paradiso congratulated the MSC Grandiosa on Twitter for being on its way to completing its fifth cruise successfully while implementing the new health protocols.
#MSCGrandiosa is about to complete her fifth cruise in the Mediterranean after becoming the first @MSC_Cruises_UK ship to welcome guests back on board whilst implementing the Company’s comprehensive health and safety protocol. https://t.co/bu5y5moMeN via @YouTube @CLIAUK— Antonio Paradiso (@AntonyParadiso) September 18, 2020
The world has been watching MSC hoping for a sign that large ship cruising can be possible in a COVID-19 world and it appears for now that MSC has answered the call.
The MSC Grandiosa has been limited to 70% of its capacity and has been sailing the Mediterranean.
The MSC Grandiosa has had port stops in Genova, Civitavecchia-Rome, Naples, Palermo, and Malta.
In the initial relaunch, only guests guests from Schengen countries have been permitted to board the sailings so far.
“It is a real pleasure for me to be here and sail on board the first of our ships to return to service and to be able to welcome back our guests. Our main goal during these last months has been to put in place the right measures that will protect the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we visit. But at the same time, we have worked to ensure that we are able to provide our guests with a cruise holiday that they can enjoy and still experience all of the elements that they know and love from entertainment and activities on board through to protected ashore visits.”
Earlier this week, small ship cruise line, SeaDream Yacht club announced that they would be the first cruise line to restart operations in the Caribbean.
A total of 10 cruise lines have resumed operations so far.