Cruise lines are resuming in North America as from June 27, 2020, eight cruise ships will resume sailings in August and the majority of the fleet will start cruises from September 2020. MSC Cruises has also announced that it will further extend the temporary fleet-wide halt of its cruise operation through to 31 July 2020.
Cruise companies have embarked on a number of improvements to fight COVID-19 and save their reputations, however, it could change the face of cruising as we know it. Indeed, some of those changes have already played out, strict medical protocols were implemented when a series of major cruise liners went into lockdown following outbreaks onboard.
The new era of cruise ship travel will be voluntary and should be rescheduled for a future date should a traveler feels unsafe. With all that said, I am positive that beginning of 2021 cruise will be operating all over the world.
This article will take you through the advantages and disadvantages of travelling on a Cruise on a normal context and also during COVID-19. The pros and cons of a cruise are very personal and everyone is different and what might be a pro for some people would be a complete deal-breaker for others, so keep that in mind. I would advise you to read brochures, book via travel agents, read the forums and make an informed decision.
Pros of travelling on Cruises:
- You get to see a lot in a short space of time: If you want to see more of the world but only have limited time, a cruise is pretty much the easiest way to do it. You will get direct access to some of the most popular destinations and will have enough time on-shore to taste different cultures in a single trip.
- Budget-Friendly: When you first look at cruise prices, they might seem expensive but when you break it down into cost per night. You’ll realise that price includes your food, drink, board entertainment and transportation, it will start to look like a pretty great deal.
- Hygiene: During the COVID-19 era hygiene takes priority for every individual. Rest assured all cruise lines have taken initiative in ensuring the safety of all travellers, screenings, deep cleaning, and sanitizing all surfaces. First thing first, discuss cruise ship travel with your healthcare provider.
- They’re EASY: Minimum effort, maximum reward. You get taken from port to port and don’t have to arrange any transport for yourself.
- No Packing/unpacking/repacking/unpacking again: On a cruise, you only need to pack and unpack once – all your gear is on board waiting for your return after every trip.
- They’re relaxing: On sea days and the hours between ports, you have plenty of time to relax. You can check out the spa, hang by the pool, do yoga or just sit with a coffee and enjoy the view.
- There’s plenty to do: It’s hard to be bored on a cruise when there are so many things to do on a cruise ship. Each ship has different facilities, from climbing walls. There are shopping facilities, evening entertainment, libraries, theatre shows and much more. Something for everyone!
- They are all different: No cruise ship or cruise line is the same. So, it’s a completely different experience every time you cruise.
- The food: Cruise ship food has a spectacular variety of food. There are diners, buffets, grills, steakhouses, pizzerias, and much more.
- Socializing: I don’t know about you, but meeting new people takes the crown for me. Since you’re in the same space for a set period of time you often bump into the same people. You might sit next to a couple at dinner, or during one of the shows. You might meet a friendly family at the pool. Life long friends can be made on a cruise.
- Tax- and duty-free shopping: Depending on where you’re cruising you can take advantage of this and shop until you drop.
The Cons of Travelling on Cruises:
- No network coverage: Being in touch with the outside world can be a bit of a mission, sometimes impossible. That is why it best you go on cruise holiday with close family and friends.
- You don’t have much time in each location: While cruising is an excellent way to see the world, you don’t have the opportunity to really get to know any city or country. You only have a short period of time in each place.
- There is no flexibility: If you really like a destination you can’t easily change your travel plans and stay like you could if you were backpacking or road tripping.
- Gaining weight: Ok, so this is a risk with any holiday, but cruises are particularly bad for it, mainly because the food is so damn good and plentiful.
- Extra costs: Shore excursions often cost extra and can be more expensive if you organised independently. Drinks packages can be pricey and not always worth it depending on how much you like to drink. However, most cruise lines have an allowance of wine and soft drinks that you can bring onboard. So take advantage of this to avoid extra costs. Not all onboard restaurants are included in your cruise price either, though they are usually reasonably priced.
- Poor internet access: Onboard Wi-Fi isn’t always great. This is fine for most leisure travellers, but if you have business to attend to or people to keep in touch with at home it can be a bit of a frustration.
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