Cruise Lines Respond to Global Crisis

The ripples of COVID-19 sent tidal waves across the travel industry. While no destination or establishment has been left unaffected, the cruise industry has been notably impacted. Cruise lines have had to adjust to global impacts before and are no strangers to thinking quick and adapting procedures fast.

Carnival has amended its ship cleaning standards, above and beyond their existing rigorous daily cleaning regimen and standards. Cleaning rounds have become more frequent, and a heightened focus is placed on the sanitizing of tables, chairs, menus, and other surfaces in restaurants and bars before use.

Open deck sanitation is paramount for their crews, including sun loungers, outdoor furniture, mini-golf, sports equipment, handrails, and additional hand-touched surfaces in all public areas and lounges.

Wherever possible, Carnival staff is serving guests at food stations, including the Lido buffet and ice cream machines. Where not possible due to layout restrictions or other locations such as condiment set-ups and salsa bars, dedicated personnel are posted to monitor these stations and service and ensure they are cleaned and sanitized in a timely manner. In any self-service areas that remain, serving utensils are replaced on a more frequent basis.

Carnival stateroom surfaces and fixtures are thoroughly cleaned up to twice daily with particular attention to bathrooms and surfaces frequently touched. All guest corridors including handrails and stateroom door handles are frequently sanitized. During instances that guests display flu-like symptoms, the stateroom will receive additional deep cleaning.

The cruise line has even adjusted the temperature in their washers and dryers, increasing heat settings for enhanced disinfection of laundered goods, including bedding, tablecloths, towels, and napkins.

At night, a deep cleaning and disinfection process is conducted utilizing electro-static applications through specialized machines in highly trafficked public areas. This includes all restaurants, the fitness center, spa, lido deck areas, promenade, casino, medical center, public restrooms, lounges, bars, lobbies, elevators, atrium, youth activity centers, arcade and all crew public areas.

Much like Carnival, Celebrity has made a multitude of onboard adjustments. They’re also presenting travelers with new benefits and more flexibility in planning and departing on a cruise.

An enhanced Cruise with Confidence policy allows Celebrity cruisers more ways to sail. Simply book your vacation by August 1, 2020, to take advantage of perks like the Best Price or Best Offer agreement. Under this pledge, if the fare on your Celebrity sailing is reduced or the promotion gets better, they will honor your choice right up to 48 hours before you sail. Your AAA Travel Agent will help you in monitoring the pricing points, and act as a liaison between you and the cruise line, offering a double check that you are receiving the best offer available to you.

In the event your situation changes, Celebrity now offers you a window up to 48 hours before you sail to cancel and receive 100% Future Cruise Credit to use toward any sailing through May 4, 2022. Furthermore, if you want to take the same cruise the following year for the same price and with the same promotion, you can. Simply notify your AAA Travel Agent to start this change by August 1, 2020.

With updated policies and enhanced booking options, the industry as a whole is striving to earn your trust. From the booking process to your disembarkment, cruise lines are stepping up to make a difference.

At embarkation, Princess Cruise will require all guests and crew to participate in mandatory health screenings, which may include a thermal scan to check temperatures, and in some cases secondary screenings. Depending on the results, they will deny certain individuals boarding if it is felt they could pose a risk to others. Highly touched surfaces throughout each embarkation terminal will be sanitized continuously, and terminals will be thoroughly sanitized and, where possible, fogged before and after each embarkation and debarkation

And like the other cruise lines, Princess ships will sail with a highly capable medical team that will receive special training for COVID-19. Any guest or crew member who exhibits symptoms of respiratory illness will strongly be encouraged to visit the Medical Center for a complimentary consultation and, if appropriate, screening for COVID-19.

Whether you are considering a return to the seas or are exploring your first cruise options, you may have questions. AAA Travel Agents are here to help you make smart, safe, yet exciting travel plans. Speak to a AAA Travel Counselor by calling 1-800-222-7448.