On board the luxurious Regent Splendor, I recline on my comfortable sun lounger, sip a cooling Margarita, close my eyes against the late afternoon sun and think about the glamourous outfit I shall wear for dinner this evening…..
Unfortunately, my dream is shattered by the buzzing of my alarm clock! Oh well, no luxurious pampering for me today – instead of cocktails and gourmet dining, I’ll have to settle for a cup of tea and a piece of toast!
I must confess that I am really missing my cruise holidays – and I know that many of you feel the same.
A record two million Brits chose a cruise holiday last year and, with so many cruise experiences to choose from – ocean or river, small luxury yacht to large ocean liner or expedition ships – there really is a cruise for everyone.
Cruise activity supports well over one million jobs across a wide cross-section of industries and sectors and, with up to 2,500 jobs lost each day that cruises are not operating, it is important to our global and societal recovery that cruise operations resume as soon as the time is right.
CLIA – the Cruise Lines International Association – reports that a global, industry-wide Covid-19 policy is presently being put together for its ocean-going cruise line members. Once agreed, the policy will be put into action across the board to reassure passengers and to adopt best practice in order to control any future spread of Covid -19 or, indeed, any similar outbreak.
These measures – which will encompass a door-to-door approach from booking through to disembarkation – are being finalised now and will be announced in the near future. They will apply globally with some variance only for very small ships (less than 250 person capacity or expedition vessels) and examples include:
- Booking procedures and risk disclosures
- Staggered guest arrivals and departures
- Health screening including temperature checks for anyone boarding
- Augmentation of medical facilities and staff
- Capacity management/social distancing
- Dining restrictions
- Use of contactless technology
- Contact tracing
Cleanliness has always been a top priority on cruise ships and the industry has a strict long-standing global sanitation guideline which must be adhered to. No other travel and tourism or entertainment industry has this type of compulsory programme. In addition, as a condition of membership within CLIA, ocean-going cruises lines are required to fit their ships with medical facilities that meet the standards of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) which require that 24/7 medical care along with intensive care unit is available.
Ports of call will become more relaxed when the Covid-19 global policy has been agreed and implemented. However, if you really want to get back into cruising as soon as possible but don’t want to travel far, there are many great cruise lines sailing around the UK.
From a personal perspective, all of us at Delmar are keeping positive and we are delighted that most holiday suppliers have already opened up bookings for 2022, which gives us all an opportunity to plan ahead and have something to really look forward to.
And, after the recent big news that an effective vaccine has been developed, we could see the world opening up again even sooner than we had hoped!
Look out for our informative webinars or Facebook Live chats on our website: these are designed to inform and inspire you through these rather strange times.
Cruises will sail around the world again and when they do, I just hope that I can still fit into my holiday clothes!
Until then, keep smiling! 😊