CDC has new framework on resuming cruise ship sailing

ByErica Simon WABC logo
Monday, November 2, 2020
CDC has new framework on resuming cruise ship sailing
Experts say life on board is going to be the biggest change. Yes, that means frequent hand-washing and social distancing will still be in play.

All aboard! Well, maybe not yet, but soon.

The cruise industry was one of the first and hardest hit when COVID-19 hit America. Passengers were stranded on vessels and outbreaks became frequent. For months, major cruise lines have sat dormant, waiting for Americans to get a hold on the virus.

READ ALSO: CDC extends 'no-sail' ban for cruise ships through the end of October

What will cruises look like once the ban is lifted? Here's Norwegian and Royal Caribbean's joint proposed plan.

Experts said we're not there yet, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it's willing to let ships set sail with the right precautions.

WATCH: Travel expert lists top things to consider before booking cruise

How will it work? According to the CDC, cruising safely and responsibly during a global pandemic is pretty challenging, but what should you expect on board?

"This is very good news," said travel agent and cruise expert Chuck Flagg. "I am cautiously optimistic for the cruises to start."

Workers will be tested, and will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days before the cruise. There will also be a reduced capacity on the ship.

Passengers will be screened before they embark and the cruise can be no longer than seven days.

"I think you're going to see a lot of people booking suites and balconies," Flagg said. "That way they at least have access to fresh air. That's going to be the biggest change. But as far as life on board, I think it's going to be like going shopping. You're going to wear your mask. You're going to wash your hands often. You're going to keep socially distant."

READ ALSO: US cruise lines vow 100% COVID-19 testing in plan for resuming sailing

A restart is good news for the city of Galveston. It's a drive market that specializes in short cruises.

Flagg said as soon as cruise lines are given the green light, go ahead and jump on the opportunity and follow this advice: "Book with a travel agent. Book a refundable deposit. Book out as far out as you can," he said.

Experts said cruises could start anywhere between six weeks to two months. "Test" trips will be done to make sure the process is smooth and emergency plans are in place and effective.

SEE ALSO: Carnival Cruise cancels trips into Spring 2021 and sells 8 of its ships

There are new signs of trouble on the high seas and here's what the cruise lines are doing in the middle of the pandemic.

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