Will You Cruise Again

I know that many of you booked a cruise this year…some for a long weekend to the Caribbean and others to Alaska, Europe and Asia. When the no sail order is lifted, will you rebook as soon as possible or will you give pause to cruising for the foreseeable future?

regent seven seas explorer

The Regent Seven Seas Explorer

My husband and I loved sailing on the Regent Seven Seas Explorer because of its relative small size with 750 guests and a crew of 550. The ship was elegant, our cabin was beautiful, the service couldn’t have been better and the food and wine which was all included in our fare was excellent. The whole ship was kept immaculate and crew members were always sanitizing all the surfaces. Hand sanitizing stations were in each public restroom as well as outside every dining area. With all that in mind, I’m still uncertain about taking another cruise anytime soon because of Covid 19 and no vaccine available in the near future.

Click on any photo to enlarge and see a slide show.

I would hope that future passengers boarding any cruise ship would have followed health authority guidelines during the pandemic and would not be a health risk to other passengers. What I wonder about are the ports of call that passengers would be visiting. Knowing that tens of thousands of tourists disembark cruise ships everyday to explore a new port of call, I wonder what health issues might still arise and  would unknowingly be carried back on board.

Symphony of the Seas

Mega Ship Symphony of the Seas Can Carry Over 6,000 Passengers

Mega ships such as the Symphony of the Seas can hold up to 6,680 passengers. That is the population of some small towns and not what I think of for a relaxing cruise. Because of the perceptions of health risks whether real or otherwise, a ship such as that doesn’t interest me, no matter how exotic the ports of call might be. Will future passengers try to practice social distancing, will they even have the slightest concern about thousands of passengers being in close quarters aboard a ship that size?

Have you wondered what has happened to the cruise ships since they have returned to their home ports? Actually some ships haven’t returned as ports like Miami have become crowded and have a shortage of berths. Some of the largest cruise lines own private cruise ports and islands where they have anchored their mega ships just offshore. That allows their crew members to disembark the ships and use the island’s facilities.

All the companies are now working to try and repatriate their crews to get down to a skeleton crew on each of their cruise ships no matter the size. They are working with the CDC as some of the ships had passengers or crew that tested positive or experienced symptoms and some still have known or suspected cases among their crew. As of April, the CDC extended the no sail order through July 24 or whenever the COVID-19 pandemic is declared over. Unfortunately some cruise lines have not informed the public of this.

I look at Regent’s catalog at least every couple of weeks and it is tempting when I remember the wonderful ports of call that we visited on our twelve day cruise.

Click on any photo to enlarge and see a slide show.

I’m still not certain though that I would book another cruise on Regent or even on another cruise line for the foreseeable future. It has nothing to do with the ship or crew as our experience on the Explorer was wonderful. It is the images we have all seen on the news of ships stranded at sea with passengers desperate to get home. I really can’t imagine my husband and I having to go through something like that ourselves. Travel restrictions that would affect the trip, not having the ability to disembark or being subjected to quarantine is still a real possibility once the cruise ships start sailing again.

I’m curious, would you feel safe booking a cruise or have your feelings on cruising changed. Instead of planning a cruise, have you given thought to how you might spend your next holiday?

 

About Karen

I travel the back roads of New England and beyond, sharing great food and interesting places.
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45 Responses to Will You Cruise Again

  1. Gorgeous photos and wonderful memories, but truthfully I wouldn’t step foot on a cruise ship if the trip was free. We’re not planning on going anywhere for a while until this shakes out a little further, and the first trip will probably be in our car. 🙂 Safe travels to everyone who does want to give it a try.

  2. Hi Karen!
    We are contemplating this exact issue right now. We were supposed to be leaving this week for a cruise in France on the Rhône (on Scenic) with additional time in Lyon and then Ireland, and again in July to the Baltic Sea and St. Petersburg on the Regent Seven Seas Explorer, and another trip in October which had not yet been fully booked! We have absolutely loved our previous cruises on ships the size of Queen Mary 2, on tiny river boats, and even the very small, hundred passenger cruise ships. I am anxious to cruise again but my husband is more hesitant. Your worries about being stranded are definitely valid, but we have been stranded in locations due to hurricanes, blizzards, and even airline bankruptcies. I do see that it would be much worse to be on a ship, confined to a cabin, and either sick or in danger of contracting the virus, or in a remote country without adequate hospital facilities. Oh, this is how our discussions go at home! To go or not to go?? I think we will probably go as soon as we are allowed. (don’t tell my hubby!) I’m curious to see what others think. Linda

    • Robert says:

      Hi Linda, I agree with the lockdown because it’s pain now gain later, and we also feel pent up and cannot wait to be on the sea again, we did not cancel because of the Covid19 but have moved this summers cruise to next year and soon as it is possible or other countries permitting, we will be booking again, I guess it all depends on a vaccine being developed but once we get the ok to travel (maybe we might have to show a free from Covid certificate before boarding) I am sure that there will be a rush of bookings and I am sure that ships will not be sailing empty 🙂

  3. Darlene says:

    We were just talking about this. We love cruising but I don’t think we will go on a cruise for a while now. Travel will change I’m afraid. No tourists allowed in Spain until October at the earliest. This will be hard on the tourism industry but good for our health and the environment.

  4. Karen,we have taken several trans-Atlantic cruises in the past few years, mostly for inexpensive, convenient and leisurely transportation to Europe where we then launched a variety of land tours. I can’t see that happening in the near future, but I won’t say we will not cruise again. We currently have a cruise credit with Royal Caribbean that we will have to use or loose at some point. Our immediate travels (once it is safe) will likely be road trips, with accommodations in VRBO’s as apposed to hotels. We have even been discussing the possibility of a small RV, even though we are not campers. I don’t think I will comfortably board an airplane for at least a year. Thanks for asking the question that has been on my mind a lot lately.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Karen…I don’t think that we’ll be cruising until a vaccine has been found. We, also, enjoy the smaller ships and wouldn’t dream of taking anything with thousands of people.

  6. Beautiful memories and photos Karen. We just don’t know if travel as we know it will go back to the way it used to be. I think that most will only remember the cruise ships as incubators for the virus and will be not as likely to book them , even if they are available. Maybe more road trips, camping and RVing may be the short path to travel. Once the international band is lifted, we don’t know about plane travel as people are going to be very cautious. Praying that everything is back in order in a year so that travel goes back to full swing. Hope you are staying well. Take Care

  7. Your Regent Seven Seas does sound like a real luxury cruise, but I agree, I think the whole cruise ship concept will change in the future…I have been on a cruise once, and it was ok, but I am really not comfortable being around a mass of people. I don’t like to fly anymore either, it feels like a herd of cattle. I prefer to travel in books and virtually, but if I was going to go on a trip I would definitely want to tag along with you, you always go to the most fabulous places and in style!
    Jenna

  8. Thanks for this post. My husband and I have never been on a cruise. To celebrate our 50th anniversary we booked an Alaska cruise on Viking sailing on July 15. We are waiting until June to make our decision. I’m not concerned about the ports in Alaska. It’s spending the night in Vancouver that worries me. No word from Viking yet. It’s interesting what you said about July 24. That’s only a few days after we are supposed to go.

  9. Lea Ann says:

    I personally wouldn’t take a cruise, even if the trip were given to me free. And I’ve felt this way even before the pandemic. It seems they were in the news far too often for me. With some sort of virus or situation afflicting their guests.

  10. Mad Dog says:

    That’s a fantastic staircase and profiterole.
    I get seasick, so I’ve never had any inclination to go on a cruise.

  11. Ingrid says:

    I’ve only been on one cruise and although it was enjoyable for the most part, it’s just not for me. I was willing to give cruising another try in 2021 with my adult children and their partners, but I think I’ll take a pass after all this. There’s nothing like traveling with your own bed and kitchen in tow where social distancing just isn’t a problem. Plus, I can’t imagine being stuck on a ship!

  12. I have never been on a cruise because I suffer very badly from motion sickness. Once, I boarded my father’s ship when it docked in Portland, ME… he was trying to convince me I wouldn’t feel the motion. Boy was he wrong — my equilibrium was off for several days. All that aside, I would agree with many of the others — we would need a vaccine to get me into a situation like a cruise.

  13. I am so glad we got to do our Alaskan Cruise last fall. My concern with cruising is not being able to get off. We still work and would work wait for us to return from a week vacation that is now turned into 2 weeks or even 3 to 4-weeks. More than likely not. I have my memories and will find ways to make and take new adventures in the near future. Be Safe and Take Care.

  14. kitchenriffs says:

    We love cruising, and love Regent. We have 3 cruises booked with them — one for this November, one for June 2021, and a future booking to be determined (we paid a modest deposit, and had planned to select a 2022 cruise once the cruise calendar for the entire 2022 year was released).

    We haven’t yet canceled the November cruise (we don’t need to make a final payment until early July) but can’t imagine we’ll be taking this. We don’t think we’ll be taking our 2021 cruise either. We won’t be cruising until there’s a vaccine that’s widely available. Or at least we don’t think we will — maybe if there’s really effective, quick, painless “cure” we might. But I doubt if we’d go even then — the vaccine is really the only practical solution. So I certainly hope we’ll be able to cruise again, but I do wonder. Travel in a pandemic world is going to be complicated, almost impossible. 😦

  15. Kathleen says:

    Nope, not until an effective vaccine is found.
    I don’t intend to fly until then either. What went, and is still going on here in NY, is unbelievable. Images of bodies being stored in trucks is forever in my brain.
    Like has certainly changed.
    Stay well!

  16. Larry says:

    A cruise has never appealed to us as we prefer to go to a beach, plant our feet in the sand, and relax for a week. And with the many issues on cruise ships before Covid-19, we knew we had no interest and now, you couldn’t pay me to take a cruise – well you ask 🙂

  17. I too wonder what the effects of this pandemic will be on tourism…and whether we’ll be able to resolve the contradictions of sustainability and travel in the future.

  18. plumdirt says:

    I went on one cruise fifteen years ago now and that was enough for me. It felt more like a traveling hotel and when I travel (which has been rare and, sadly, will likely now stay rare) I like to soak into one place more deeply. Cruises seem fine for short visits to the tourist surface of multiple places, but my preference is off the beaten path and more into the daily life of the local culture.
    Combine the pandemic with the awareness of ecological impact of common travel and I’ll be settling for videos of many of the places I would’ve loved to see in person.

  19. Gary says:

    I’ve never been a fan of cruise ships. I see all too many reports of outbreaks of infectious diseases and I also see the numbers of deaths on-board cruise ships. Once pandemic COVID-19 settles, I know I’ll probably feel more strongly about it after the criminal investigations on cruise ships have been finalised.

    • tyler4402 says:

      Noro Virus is the more common virus on ships with lax standards, it’s brought aboard by passengers with poor personal hygiene if you pick a ship where passengers frequently wash hands, shower and change for dinner you should be ok as most ships nowadays will not let you enter the dining room without first sanitising your hands’ and waiter service is always better than the join the queue and serv yourself, don’t be put off just do the research

      • Gary says:

        I see so many reports in the course of my work about outbreaks of not only gastroenteritis (mostly caused by norovirus) but also acute respiratory infections. Some cruise line companies are better than others but none of them can claim a perfect history. I usually advice family and friends not to spend their money on cruises.
        I also see the number of dead that have to be permitted across the border when a ship comes in. It doesn’t surprise me anymore.

      • Robert says:

        Hi Gary, this reply page has shown the whole of my post, I can only find an edited few lines (but I am new to the site) anyway I do hope my post will help the new to cruising which it was aimed at, and while it is a sad fact that people do die on cruises, until the last ten years or so cruising was the province of the older generation with a higher expectation of deaths and now with the massive new ships there are many more thousands of beds at sea so it is expected that more people will unfortunately naturally expire on ships

      • Gary says:

        It’s true and many people do take a cruise knowing that and look for to the cruise being the last thing they do.
        It may be when I reach a terminal state, I’ll take a cruise to enjoy the food and sea air before I die.

  20. Interesting comments! I wouldn’t go…but, I really have no interest in a cruise anyway. Some of the points brought up by the other comments are great. I think we are home for a long time.

  21. lulu says:

    We have cancelled all travel plans whether on a ship or otherwise. Until some of the mystery surrounding the coronavirus is revealed we are staying close to home. I’m thinking more overnight trips on Pipe Dreams!

  22. Penny at Enjoying The Simple Things says:

    The only cruise ship I have been on was a smaller river cruise ship through France. Probably only 130 guests on board. It was very enjoyable. I will not be cruising again. I probably will not even fly on a plane again….

  23. We have taken four cruises with Oceania and all four were fabulous. I would never take a cruise with thousands of people, only smaller ships. I am not sure if we will cruise again, not anytime soon for sure!

  24. sandy lawrence says:

    I second Penny’s comment and then some. No cruises. No planes. The fabric of trust and confidence in travel providers has been irreparably torn, so not even if there is a vaccine for Coronavirus!

  25. Sheryl says:

    I’m not planning on taking any cruises – but then I’ve never been on a cruise (so maybe I shouldn’t be answering the question).

  26. Eha says:

    Yes ! Once cruising will again be logical and allowed, I would not hesitate for a moment to relax in such an enjoyable mode of travel and ‘time-out’. Does anyone really think that this hard-hit industry would hurt itself when circumstances have already given it a near-fatal blow, by not being 110 % safe!! I am not particularly comfortable on wild and woolly seas but cannot wait until I can book a river cruise in France or Spain or Russia . . .

  27. Nancy says:

    I love to cruise! And I will again but time needs to pass by a bit to see what happens with this virus. Plus lots of countries that these cruise ships go to… have their borders closed… so like I said, time needs to pass by.

  28. lifeincharente says:

    We have only ever been on one cruise and that was in 2013. I spent most of my time in the bottom of the ship on a drip with pneumonia. The Italian Dr in charge said it was caused by the air con and because I had previously had pneumonia twice before I was to stay away from aircon. A very good reason not to go on another cruise!! Stay safe Diane

  29. Terry says:

    I have been on 6 cruises from the Panama Canal, Hawaii, twice to Alaska and to the fjords of Norway. With the way the cruise industry is going to larger and larger ships. No I have no interest in cruising for a long time. I just feel so claustrophobic on board even ships of 2,500 passengers. My travels will be limited to vehicular adventures in North, Central and South America for the foreseeable future.

  30. Juliana says:

    Oh Karen, I too love cruising…although we do mostly river cruises which holds up to 120 passengers…would love to book another trip…but will hold for now until the situation settles down…

  31. tyler4402 says:

    I cannot wait to get back on a ship and for the uninitiated, there is more to cruising than just getting on a ship and going somewhere, it needs research, do you want sea days, or a new port every day, a (good) TA can help because it’s no good going to a place where it rains all day every day at the time you want to go, researching the ports can also help, do you need expensive ships transport when you can step off and stroll into town, how many days do you want, there is a great choice but for me 14 nights is an ideal cruise.
    Research the ship, for me the ship is 60% of the holiday and today’s ugly tenement like behemoths do nothing for me, freedom dining, or set sitting club dining with a few formal evenings depending on the duration of the cruise, indeed there is a cruise holiday and a ship for everyone it just needs research

  32. NativeNM says:

    All forms of travel feel different these days. Think we will be doing more road traveling, at least in the near future. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and memories, it does sound like a wonderful experience!

  33. Sunnycovechef says:

    We were going to cruise this summer but pulled out the last moment. Now I don’t know if I can talk my husband into another one. But I know I will fly to Germany as soon as possible.

  34. Beautiful pictures and I love the comments and opinions. We have been on two cruises, one a family reunion in the Caribbean and one to Alaska. It’s not really our thing although we enjoyed them both for entirely different reasons. I don’t think we will be getting on a cruise ship in the foreseeable future, if it’s not covid-19, it’s norovirus.

  35. ladyfi says:

    Lovely scenes. I don’t do well on boats.

  36. Marcelle says:

    Hi Karen, I’ve actually never been on an extended travel cruise, but experiencing one with my family has been on the dream vacation list forever. We have just been waiting for the kids to get a bit bigger before we took a trip that on. My little one is 7 and my big kid is 13 now, and we still aren’t ready for a cruise LOL This pandemic has pushed any such trip much further out into the future for us, however. I’ve felt so awful for the passengers held on ships for quarantine, especially at the beginning of this outbreak. That would be a miserable situation, for sure.
    We will be sticking to our long summer road trips and have actually discussed renting an RV this time around instead of staying at hotels. We feel we can have more control over our environment that way. Who knew life would change so much this year, one just can’t take anything for granted. Stay safe and well, Karen. As always I enjoyed your beautiful pictures. ❤

  37. I Wilkerson says:

    Some friends had booked back to back cruises this winter/spring. They watched the news nervously, luckily from South America, and in the end got one of the last flights home, technically after the airport was closed. My husband and I had talked about a Fjord cruise for our 35th anniversary coming up. Alas I’m not planning even to fly until there is a vaccine at this point. Just when I got to be a Southwest a-lister 😦

  38. We haven’t taken a cruise yet, and we will definitely not be doing so in the near future. I think any kind of travel over the next year will have health risks. This situation isn’t going away any time soon, unfortunately. 😦

  39. I work with people as part of my day-to-day work, so I’ve been germ-conscious for decades. And during that time, I’ve been on a handful of cruises. While on the ship, I’m very aware of how “public” they are. I’m conscious about what to touch, what not to touch, when and how often to wash my hands, and not to touch my face with unwashed hands. I know I’m making myself sound like a freak of some sort, but I assure you, it’s not freaky. I do these things casually and normally and not obsessively. I do use sanitizer on occasion, but I much favor hand washing. And as a result, I catch a cold maybe once every three years or so. So, I feel comfortable with my level of risk. That said, I do think it’ll be a while before I take another cruise.

    • Robert says:

      Jeff, you are no freak, you are only taking sensible precautions which everyone should and is expected to do in order to protect yourself from Noro Virus which people do bring on board, and on the ships I prefer using the provided hand sanitizer is mandatory before embarking onto the ship or entering the restaurant, it’s common sense really

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