If you’re someone who loves travelling via cruise ship, you are probably dying to go on a journey to an exotic location right now. It can be tough to have patience and outlast the wanderlust, but it is important to be as safe as possible. In some areas of the world, however, cruising is making a slow return. But that’s not to say that these cruise lines and the nations they are from are being unsafe. In fact, increased safety measures have been the key to certain cruise lines getting back into business. Costa, one of the few cruise lines operating right now, has revamped their entire way of travel. Cruise Industry News sailed with them to see what has changed, and they reported on all of it. Let’s check it out!
If you are going to sail during a pandemic, the most important step to ensuring safety is to make sure that no one onboard is sick. That’s a given, but it’s more complicated in practice than it sounds. Costa has developed a relatively rigorous screening process that they are currently using to avoid any coronavirus cases on their ships. Key to this is actually performing a rapid result coronavirus swab. All guests get one before getting onboard, and their tests come back within an hour. To prevent transmission between guests before getting tested, Costa has travelers sign up for boarding times online. This makes boarding a more staggered experience without as much exposure between guests. Additionally, travelers undergo an online health screening before even being swabbed.
Life onboard the ship
As you might expect, the experience of actually being on the ship has changed a good deal. Social distancing is enforced, and the rules mandate mask use in all indoor group spaces where this isn’t possible. Capacity for most venues has also been limited, including the elevators, which now only accommodate four individuals. There are also frequent stations that allow people to check their temperatures. Many of the typical onboard entertainment areas – such as spas, nightclubs, and games involving physical contact – have been shut down completely.
One thing that has contributed to the feeling of safety on Costa ships has been their implementation of new technology. Perhaps the most helpful of all is their new air conditioning. Rather than just circulating the same air throughout the ship all day, the air conditioning expels old air. Costa is also using credit card records to help keep track of the movement of guests, allowing them to more easily track cases if any were to occur.
It may not be a perfect system that can guarantee no possibility of spreading the coronavirus, but it increases the safety of guests by far. We’ll have to wait and see if this approach is truly safe and sustainable, but it seems like it’s working so far.