It’s Time for Cruise Lines to Be Transparent

All major cruise lines have been asking potential passengers to be patient for months while they work on everything from implementing protocols to partnering with disease control and prevention centers. They vaguely told us of the progress that had been made and insisted that if they had the answers, so would we.

But when it comes to real and credible information, they are incredibly reticent. No directors came forward to describe the status of their negotiations with the CDC. None of the rules provide a detailed and complete explanation of exactly what to expect when navigation resumes.

Instead, vague statements of progress were made, accompanied by successive cancellations. They launched new marketing campaigns to boost future sales without providing credible information about when they actually plan to resume operations.

Last fall, we learned that each ship had to complete virtual voyages before being green-lighted for revenue-generating voyages, but neither the cruise lines nor the DCC have since provided specific information about when any single ship will go through this new process. Nevertheless, they insist that they hope to set sail in the coming months.

It’s obviously an incredibly difficult time for the industry, and it’s probably understandable that it’s wary of saying what not to say. Mention that vaccinations may be necessary – emphasis on the word may – and on the forums people swear they will not swim in such conditions. The same applies to masks worn on board in public places.

PROVISIONS OF THE CDC : Passengers on cruise ships are required to wear a mask.

But we also know that there are just as many people who will follow all health and safety protocols if it means they can travel again.

Clearly, no one wants everything to go back to the way it was, like those who run companies that lose millions and millions of dollars a month to closures.

But it’s time for cruise lines to trust their customers as much as they want those passengers to invest in their business. They need to stop talking and hesitating and put all their cards on the table. In short, they must answer difficult questions, and they must do so with honest and unwavering answers.

Yes, the situation is volatile and information can change. But they must provide information that is accurate and relevant at the time they say they will go to sea, even if these dates turn out to be nothing more than a mirage before they return to the service (as so often happens).

The topics to be covered include

  • What is the status of the virtual yachts? When do they start and how do we decide who comes?
  • What exactly is life on board supposed to be like? What capacity does it think it can sail, what events need to be booked and what system will be put in place to ensure all guests can attend all events?
  • What about negotiations with the ports they want to call at?

Summary: The industry needs to be much more transparent in its dealings with the CDC. By keeping everyone from travel advisors to passengers in the dark, they are causing potentially irreparable damage to those who have been most loyal to them in the past.

Let me explain: CDC conditional shipping order for cruise ships

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