LLYMI Cruise Health & Safety Information
**We will be updating this page frequently – Latest update June 5, 2021**
Cruises are starting back up from US ports! All of the major cruise lines will be starting back with sailings in June and July. Some of these sailings will be “test” or “volunteer” sailings to ensure that the crew is familiar with new procedures onboard, and some will be actual guest sailings. Currently the CDC has approved port deals for 22 vessels to cruise from 5 different homeports with six more ships to be approved quickly. Our friends at Royal Caribbean have 3 test cruises on 3 different ships approved the end of June and July so far - plus Alaskan sailings starting in July.
For some background info it is good to understand that all cruise lines in the US are currently under a “Conditional Sailing Order” from the CDC that was put into place last year. That CSO expires on October 31, 2021. The guidelines and requirements put in place for the initial start up sailings are in place during the CSO timeframe, and it is anticipated that many of these will change or be relaxed by the cruise lines as that CSO expires. We are very encouraged by what we are hearing from the cruise lines even NOW in this stage, and that causes us to be more optimistic about our sailing next February. The purpose of the "test" cruises are to ensure their safety protocols are in place and their staff is trained.
This is perhaps the biggest question on people’s minds – “Will covid19 vaccines be required?” This is the information we have verified from our Royal Caribbean reps as of June 5th.
- Royal Caribbean will be strongly recommending passengers to be vaccinated, but they will not require it. Passengers who are not vaccinated will have different boarding procedures which will most likely require testing negative for Covid19 before boarding.
This is GREAT NEWS to hear as they are beginning. From all we have heard, we STRONGLY believe / understand that it will become more relaxed after the CSO expires in October. The cruise lines are all working together to show that cruise IS safe and their protocols work. As that is shown, things will relax even more.
To read about this latest announcement, go to THIS ARTICLE.
Masks and Social Distancing:
The latest (as of May, 26th) guidelines from the CDC for cruises starting back are that with a high level of vaccinated guests expected, the need for masks and social distancing will be greatly reduced. They are recommending a very limited need for this.
This is also something we STRONGLY believe / understand will get even better – or go away completely as the CSO expires.
Our understanding from our cruise contacts and insiders is that there will be SOME decreased capacities as they start back up, but those would be gone soon or definitely when the CSO expires.
New Health and Safety protocols put in place:
This list is not exhaustive yet, but we know these things have been put in place:
- Enhanced and upgraded filtration of the HVAC systems onboard the ships.
- Upgraded cleaning protocols for ALL areas of the ship – especially all common areas. This includes better and more frequent cleaning.
- Covid 19 testing for all passengers and crew during embarkation.
- Potentially (not a sure thing) a pause on food and beverage buffets. The food will be served by the ship’s crew.
- Upgraded use of personal cell phone apps for onboard information, reservations, check-in, etc. facilitating a touchless process for many things keeping the potential for any contamination to a minimum.
- Increased staffing of medical facilities onboard – and upgraded equipment and treatment available.
- Some new procedures are possible for excursions depending on the requirements of the country and port being visited.