As the CDC extended its No Sail Order through Sept., it also asked for public opinion on the matter. Over the past 90 days, over 2,500 comments have been submitted.
Here’s a look at the feedback.
“I am an experienced cruiser with more than 65 sailings under my belt,” says Rose Alston. “When COVID-19 became an issue this year I was on a 30 day cruise and exemplary action was taken by the cruise line and port authorities to ensure we were coronavirus free. I truly believe all efforts will be made by the industry to protect passengers and I have no hesitation about re-boarding a vessel, especially those of 1,200 people or less. I have four cruises booked from Nov. 2020 – March 2022. In more than 30 years or cruising I’ve only had two instances of illness on board. They both were rapidly treated by medical staff and recovery was quick. So rather than penalize the industry and those of us who are avid cruisers, please remove the No Sail Order and let us return to the sea based on our best judgement.”
“Cruise Lines were already excellent at cleaning surfaces and having hand sanitizer available at buffets,” says Kim Egan. “They offer what they can but it should be left to the passenger to follow through. Personal responsibility is key. Medically fragile people can choose to not cruise, and it is their choice if they do. Let’s end this ridiculous and unfair ban and trust Americans to make their own decisions about their own lives.”
“It’s time for the traveling public to get back on the water. Travel is a staple of life enrichment, and provides a much needed boast to the economy. Cruise ship health protocols have never been better and are safe than going to the market. Anchors aweigh, please,” says James Ferguson.
“I am really disappointed in the CDC’s handling of this situation,” says Lynn Walker. “Simple and easy treatments for the COVID virus have been dismissed simply because the wrong person presented the idea. Faulty research continues to be brandied about even though it has been repudiated. The public needs to be allowed to decide for themselves if they wish to cruise. The medical facilities need to have adequate supplies to treat any outbreak while on board. The ‘grab it yourself’ buffets need to go. Cafeteria style serving can replace it. If you really must have your fingers in cruising, suggest shorter cruises with less than full capacity.”
“Work closely with the cruise lines to establish policies and procedures that must be followed, and then allow them to start cruising again,” says Arthur Jensen. “Unlike places like Disney World, cruise ships can easily scale back — if they are limited to 50% or 33% capacity, to account for social distancing, they can go with 50% or 33% of the crew, making social distancing economical. We went to Disney a week ago and felt safer than we do going to Publix or Walmart, because of the procedures that they’ve put in place. Do the same for cruise ships, and we will happily sail.”
“Cruising should be permitted to start back up,” says Leon Moore. “It is reasonable to have concerns with the confined area that cruisers are in, but there have been other viruses while cruising and the cruise lines have learned how to mitigate the chances of passengers getting those viruses. There are numerous hand sanitizer stations and even staff singing songs like washy washy to remind and encourage passengers to wash their hands. I’ve been on 11 cruises with my scheduled 12th being cancelled due to COVID-19. And I’ve never been afflicted with any virus. I see that cruise lines are taking even more elevated precautions to mitigate the chances of passengers getting this virus. I and many others employ the CDC to lift their cruise restrictions and let us begin to cruise again.”
However, not all the comments were as positive and optimistic.
“While many of us dearly miss cruising, I do not believe that many of us would trade our health for another cruise,” says John Benso. “I have seen at least one comment from someone who clearly represents the empty headed contingent, all but charging the CDC with conspiracy, incompetence and corruption. I do not fall into that category, and I understand there is no simple, quick solution to the present problem. That having been said, I would personally feel confident about cruising again only after proven, effective protocols were developed by the cruise industry that did not overly reduce the benefits of cruising. I would not choose to take a cruise on which I couldn’t enjoy myself and my fellow passengers at any of the ship’s bars or restaurants.”
“I can think of no more dangerous place than a cruise ship,” says PP Neale. “I’d feel considerably safer in a hospital. A large group of strangers, crammed together, for days, some of whom are asymptomatic, some of who have/will test negative— despite being positive. The major reasons to cruise are to eat and drink of necessity unmasked even if passengers are otherwise willing to mask up (a doubtful premise). It’s a no-brainer to keep cruise ships moored until a vaccine with a high degree of efficacy is developed.”