Ever since cruise lines first had to put their operations on hold due to coronavirus, people have been making it known that they want cruises to be allowed again. This is an encouraging sign, as high consumer demand is one of the key components to the cruise industry being able to restart successfully. In order to gauge just how people are feeling, both the CDC and CruiseCompete.com have reached out to travelers. Here’s what they found out.
The CDC questionnaire
Back in July, we reported on the CDC asking people for their opinions on how the cruise industry could become safer moving forward. While it was mainly geared towards people within the industry, they ended up getting responses from travelers as well. While there aren’t concrete figures like you might see in a more formal survey, the responses still seem to indicate that many people are eager to get back onto cruise ships. One response reads, “I think it would be fine to open the cruise lines back up with proper cleaning and sanitation,” further elaborating that cruise lines aren’t inherently more risky than places like malls or grocery stores. This idea of the cruise industry being unfairly singled out was echoed by other commenters as well, with one saying, “People are catching it everywhere.”
The CruiseCompete.com survey
While there were some differing responses on the CDC questionnaire, the survey administered by CruiseCompete.com suggests that most travelers want cruising to return. The most important figure from this is that 62.3% of those surveyed said they are definitely likely to book a cruise before 2021 ends. Additionally, 86.6% said they were somewhat likely to do that. The top destinations that people are excited to travel to don’t seem to have changed that much since pre-COVID. The most popular destination is the Caribbean/Mexico, followed by Europe and Alaska. Safety still seems to be in peoples’ minds, however, with an increased number of people saying they are interested in small ocean ships.
The hardcore crowd never wavered in their support of cruises, but others seem to want to jump ship at the beginning of the pandemic. These two surveys make it seem that more people are now coming back around to the idea of cruising. The CEO of CruiseCompete.com, Bob Levinstein, summed it up well, saying, “That educated consumers are so ready to start cruising again speaks volumes for the health of the industry.”
Yay, some good news! This support alone likely won’t make cruising return worldwide much sooner, but it might spur the CDC to help cruise lines develop safe and practical health plans. We shall see.