The Comeback of Cruises

Two years after they were originally booked, people are finally getting to go on their cruises to paradise.


Milica Buha, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In March of 2020, everything got shut down. COVID-19 began to escalate around the same time as Spring Break. Spring Break was just a few weeks away when everything took a turn in the middle of March.

One of the major problems during this time was vacations and figuring out how to navigate cancellations and safety measures. More specifically, figuring out what to do about cruises. This may sound like a light issue, but it was the exact opposite.

The massive cruise ship is sailing through the Bahamas at sunset preparing its travelers for a paradise vacation. Amelia Vasiliu, the photographer, has not been a cruise in almost three years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

An abundance of people were seriously ill and passing away on cruises. People were getting stuck on ships and quarantining due to the pandemic. The inevitable spread of the virus was ruining their dream paradise vacations, turning their Spring Breaks into a nightmare as they feared the rapidly spreading COVID-19 pandemic. Suddenly, there was a rush to cancel and move planned cruises because no one wanted to be in the position of quarantining on a ship with a virus that did not have extensive research. Cruise lines began to cancel their cruises and postpone them, they also gave credit back to people who did not want to postpone it.

However, COVID-19 did not slow down during the course of the next year. It intensified and mutated and pushed normal life farther and farther away from normalcy. People’s cruises kept getting moved around and most people did not want to go on them because they had such a negative reputation with the likelihood of COVID-19 spreading.

Now, in 2022, the pandemic has started to slow down and life is finally starting to return to normal. We are in March of 2022, exactly two years later from the beginning of the pandemic. Spring Break time is approaching upon us again, and this time people can take the vacations they want. Cruises have began to regain popularity and people who had cruises planned from two years ago are able to take their cruises now.

Cruises are large ships that are like portable hotels. They are a popular choice of vacation and can carry a significant amount of people in a small amount of space. Since everyone is so close together the transmission rate of COVID-19 was high in 2020.

One of the legacies of the pandemic is that cruises are not the same as they were, much like everything else. More protocols are made such as getting tested for COVID-19 in order to take a cruise and providing a vaccination card. Not all cruises are involved in the CDC guidelines, though. For example, according to the CDC, “CDC cannot confirm the COVID-19 public health measures implemented on ‘Gray’ designated ships or cruise ships not listed on CDC’s Cruise Ship Color Status webpage. Therefore, CDC does not have information about precautions and interventions, such as mask use, crew testing, or vaccination status for passengers and crew on these ships.” This illustrates that it is recommended to find out if the cruise you want to take has the proper CDC protocols because not all of them are affiliated with CDC guidelines.

Kathryn Motes, a rising Junior at Lafayette High School,  is planning on taking a cruise over spring break. “We have to show proof of vaccination and send proof of passports in advance to taking the cruise, it was even required to book the cruise,” she said.  “We have to show a negative COVID test 72 hours prior to boarding the ship. If you get symptoms on the ship you are required to notify staff and quarantine.”

Cruises have a high-risk factor to them because so many people are staying together on one ship in a very condensed area. Since there are so many ways to contract COVID-19 from staying on a cruise ship, cruise lines are doing everything they can to ensure the safety of passengers.

Even though cruise vacations are different than they used to be, they still can be extremely fun if the proper precautions are taken to ensure the health and safety of all passengers!