Are you looking to plan your next cruise vacation? For over a year and a half, we’ve all been living a very different life and many of us are eager for adventure. Although you may be dreaming of your cruise, you might be wondering if it’s safe right now and what protocols cruise lines have in place for safety against COVID-19. 

From safety measures to acclaimed cruise lines, we’re going to share everything you need to know about taking your next cruise and having an incredible time. We’ll also share some amazing cruise specials!

Let’s get ready for your next getaway!

cruise ship on water; cruise vacation
A cruise vacation offers experiences for every kind of traveler. Photo by Alonso Reyes on Unsplash.

 

Is it safe to go on a cruise?

Living during a pandemic has understandably made travelers question what’s safe and not. The good news is that cruise lines are taking precautions to ensure passenger safety.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cruises are safe for those who are fully vaccinated. Those who aren’t vaccinated or who are susceptible to getting very ill should avoid a cruise vacation right now.

For safe travel, the CDC recommends the following before and during your cruise:

  • Obtain travel insurance that covers situations such as needing to cancel your trip or care during or after your trip due to the virus.
  • Complete a COVID-19 test 1-3 days prior to the trip and 3-5 days after.
  • Those who aren’t vaccinated should self-quarantine for a week after cruise travel. 
  • Avoid boarding a cruise if you’re experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.
  • During the cruise, wear a mask while in a shared space.
  • Keep a 6-foot distance between you and others on the cruise that you aren’t traveling with.
  • Regularly wash your hands or use hand sanitizer while traveling.

As we share the best cruise lines below, we’ll give you more details about how specific cruise lines are keeping passengers safe and well during their trip.

The Best Cruise Lines

With over 50 ocean cruise companies, it can be difficult to decide which one to book with. We want to take the guesswork out of it for you and share some favorite, award-winning options.

Carnival Cruise Line

People have been enjoying Carnival Cruises for almost 50 years. It’s no wonder they were voted best cruise lines for families, for the money, and in the Caribbean. Their 24 cruise ships depart from 13 US cities and some abroad. Best of all, you can choose from more than 700 destinations to sail to. 

Carnival Cruise ships are known to offer a top-notch vacation experience. There’s entertainment onboard like deck parties and music performances. Adventures presented off the ship include water sports in the Caribbean and walking on glaciers in Alaska.

Check out this 16-day Panama Canal Cruise from Seattle where you can see one of the most incredible man-made wonders and hang out at local beaches. 

COVID-19 Protocols

  • All staff and passengers are required to be vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination. This excludes children under 12 and those with a written note from their doctor stating a medical condition prevents them from being vaccinated.
  • Those who aren’t able to be vaccinated must present a negative COVID-19 test and have travel insurance.
  • All guests are encouraged to wear a mask when indoors.
  • Some youth programs aren’t being offered.
  • There are casino regulations in places including mandatory masks unless drinking or smoking.
  • There are hand-washing sinks and sanitizer dispensers throughout the ship.
carnival cruise ship
Carnival cruise ship. Photo by Obi Onyeador on Unsplash.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Known for its relaxed and fun atmosphere, Norwegian Cruise Line has 28 ships that travel to almost 500 worldwide destinations. They’ve been recognized as being the best cruise line for the money, for family, and in the Caribbean and Mediterranean.

What makes Norwegian unique is that they offer what they call the ‘freestyle experience.’ Travelers follow their own schedules and have access to a wide range of activities. Choose to enjoy the cuisine at several onboard restaurants, enjoy dinner and a show, or hang out at their water park. Off the ship, travelers enjoy experiences like ziplining through Caribbean rainforests or trekking to a volcano in Hawaii.

Take a look at this Caribbean cruise with Norwegian where passengers visit the stunning island on St. Thomas.

COVID-19 Protocols

  • All guests and staff are required to be fully vaccinated and undergo a health screening prior to the trip.
  • Medical professionals are on staff including a Chief Medical Officer.
  • They practice extensive cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Hand washing and sanitizing stations are available throughout the ship.
St. Thomas
St. Thomas. Photo by Katrina Mulfati on Unsplash

Royal Caribbean

Endless opportunities are to be enjoyed on a Royal Caribbean cruise. Unlike its name suggests, Royal features 280 destinations around the world. These include the Caribbean, Bahamas, Alaska, and more. They’ve been awarded a number of times including the best overall cruise lines and the best cruise line in the Caribbean. 

Royal Caribbean cruises are known for the adventure they offer. They offer world-class dining to top-notch entertainment on the ship. Off the ship, travelers enjoy things like snorkeling in the Caribbean or Hawaii and tundra trekking in Alaska.

Best of all, Royal Caribbean deals are often available for your cruise vacation.

COVID-19 Protocols

  • All crew members are fully vaccinated. 
  • Medical staff is on board to evaluate passengers when needed or requested.
  • Masks are required to be worn indoors unless eating or drinking.
  • Handwashing and sanitizing are available throughout the ship.
  • Vaccine and testing requirements vary by departure location.
people on cruise ship
Enjoy loads of adventure including waterslides on a Royal Caribbean cruise. Photo by Colin Lloyd on Unsplash.

Cruise FAQ

Whether it’s your first cruise vacation or you’re interested in learning more, these common questions should help you prepare for an incredible adventure!

Why cruises are the best vacation?

There are several great benefits to choosing cruises for a vacation.

  • Excellent value: Your trip costs typically cover all or most aspects including transportation, food, accommodation, and entertainment.
  • Straight-forward planning: Unlike other vacations, you don’t have to spend a ton of time picking your accommodation, adventures, etc. You can choose your destination and itinerary in one place and be on your way.
  • Easy to meet people: With so many activities, meeting new people is easy to do on cruises if you’re up for being social.
  • Fun offered for all kinds of travelers: Whether you’re taking a family, solo, or romantic trip, cruises offer a variety of experiences that cater to all passengers.

Should I delay going on a cruise during the COVID-19 pandemic?

As with any trip, it’s up to a traveler with what they’re comfortable with. The best practice is to follow the CDC guidelines we mentioned above and travel with a cruise line that’s serious about COVID-19 protocols like the ones we’ve shared.

How much does a cruise trip cost?

A great thing about cruises is that the cost can almost be anything from $50 per day to several hundred. With so many ocean cruise lines, the opportunities are endless. And, since booking your cruise will automatically cover most of your travel expenses, you can accurately budget for your trip. 

What is the cheapest month to go on a cruise?

Hurricane season is usually the most affordable time to take a cruise. Consider booking for late Summer or Fall, but travel insurance is a good idea in case your trip needs to be rescheduled.

In Conclusion

Cruises offer a memorable experience and loads of fun. We hope that you’ll enjoy your next journey on a ship. And, if you need guidance, Evolution Travel can help plan the perfect cruise vacation!

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