Cruise ships off of George Town, Cayman Islands. (photo via gabrielasauciuc/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus)
The industry’s reaction to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) no longer advising against sailing on cruise ships was – no surprises here – decidedly positive.
“I’m glad that the CDC has removed what was, in my opinion, an unwarranted and unfair warning against cruising,” said Trish Gastineau, owner of Simply Customized Travel.
“Their requirements for crew and passengers to have vaccines, to be tested prior to sailing and wear masks, while constantly cleaning and monitoring guest health, was much more rigorous than any other in the travel industry.
“Most of us in the know felt safer on a cruise ship than we did when going to our neighborhood grocery store or to dine in a local restaurant not knowing if our fellow shoppers or diners might be contagious.”
Cruise ships at Port Everglades (Photo via Lauren Bowman)
Holland America Line President Gus Antorcha noted that the CDC’s “removal of its health notice related to cruise travel is an important step forward in recognizing the work we have done to protect our guests.”
“At Holland America Line, we continue to operate vaccinated cruises and have created a safe and healthy environment for our guests, our teams and the communities we serve, helping to ensure cruising is among the safest forms of socializing and travel,” he said.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to see that the CDC recognizes that it’s time to remove the travel health notice website,” said Virgin Voyages CEO Tom McAlpin.
“While we feel this was a long time coming, we recognize this move as a demonstration of all of the hard work this industry has done to ensure that we’re offering the safest way to travel.
“It’s refreshing to see them meet us where we’re at, and clearly where our consumers are at considering the major uptick in demand we’ve seen.”
Virgin Voyages remains committed to its elevated health and safety protocols and continues to put the wellbeing of its sailors and crew first.
“The brand recognizes what is working and looks forward to continuing to make strides that contribute to the complete comeback of cruising.”
Similarly, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) said that the safety of guests continues to be of the utmost importance.
“Cruise is one of the best ways to experience the world, and as we welcome back millions of passengers, we look forward to facilitating unforgettable vacation experiences in a way that continues to prioritize the health and safety of everyone onboard and the communities that we visit,” said Laziza Lambert, CLIA’s director, strategic communications and public affairs.
For her part, Cruise Planners CEO and Founder Michelle Fee heard the news at CLIA’s annual conference.
“We’re at CLIA’s Cruise360 this week and this news couldn’t have come at a better time,” she said.
“We’re thrilled to see the CDC taking these positive steps to rightfully recognize the steadfast work the industry has done to ensure clients’ health and safety from day one.
“We’re confident the pent-up demand for travel, coupled with the exceptional work cruise lines continue to do, will help propel us toward a full industry recovery sooner rather than later.”