Coronavirus is dominating every news channel, every newspaper and our socials are full of it! It’s hard not to worry, especially if making travel plans which so many of us are at this point of the year!
You will also have seen stories of passengers having to stay on cruise ships and many may feel that’s a reason to avoid cruise ships - it’s not! Here’s why!
Q, What’s the current situation? A, China remains the epicentre of Coronavirus but as you’ll know it has spread to some degree with new cases confirmed in a French ski resort today! It shows no signs of letting up any time soon and the difficulty is that it can take up to 14 days for the symptoms to reveal themselves. So you can be carrying Coronavirus for several days before you realise it!
Q, Aren’t there lots of people on ships affected by Coronavirus and trapped with Coronavirus onboard ? A, NO, there is just 1 international ship confirmed as actually affected by Coronavirus being onboard! The Princess Cruises Diamond Princess is affected and is currently in quarantine. Passengers are being kept onboard at the instruction of authorities for a fixed period of time until it can be confirmed that these passengers do not have Coronavirus. 61 have tested positive to date and have been taken off the ship for medical care!
Q, Did I not hear of other ships affected? A, You may have heard some rumours and scares but no truth in them! Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the seas had a suspected case but this was negative! Holland America Line have a ship having difficulties with the itinerary due to ports being closed but there is no coronavirus on board! We believe this is also true of Crystal Cruises Symphony! Costa delayed disembarkation on Smeralda but the passengers in the end were diagnosed with standard flu!
Q, How did Coronavirus get onboard? A, Diamond Princess was on a 2 week cruise which started before we really knew anything about Coronavirus! A passenger was on the 2 week cruise and is unlikely to have been aware they were even suffering Coronavirus as it can take up to 14 days to reveal itself! In that time they evidently have been contagious and whether on a cruise or at work or anywhere else they were going to pass it on! This resulted in others catching it!
The passenger started showing symptoms and the medical team onboard treated the passenger and as the world found out about Coronavirus it became clear this passenger could be suffering from it!
Q, What’s to say this won’t happen again? A, Cruise Lines are now going to phenomenal lengths to ensure that no one who carries Coronavirus will get onboard! For example:
✅ Every single passengers recent travel history is checked before boarding - if they have travelled through certain countries they are being denied boarding.
✅ If to get to your cruise ship you’ve transited through certain airports, even if it was just to change plane then you’ll be denied boarding!
✅ Every single passengers nationality is being checked. Certain nationalities are not currently allowed to board!
✅ Every single passenger has their temperature checked when they arrive to embark. If it’s too high or they are showing any symptoms then they are denied boarding. We believe this may even be happening every time they get onto the ship at each port! So the moment something develops it will be caught!
✅ Cruises lines have the brilliant advantage of being able to change itineraries at the drop of a hat! So if there’s a port where there’s a risk, where something has developed in the hours prior to visiting cruise lines can skip or change ports to help ensure existing passengers are not exposed!
Q, What else are they doing? With lots of people onboard surely things spread easily? A, Cruise Lines are doing phenomenal working to ensure that the virus simply cannot exist pre cruise or during the cruise. For example:
✅ Terminals are being closed and completely sanitised before and after passengers arrive
✅ Ships are always cleaned from top to bottom every single day as standard. The cleaning standard onboard cruise ships is very very high! However cruises lines have further increased their cleaning and sanitisation processes!
✅ Anyone who has cruised will know that there is hand gel everywhere and washy washy people to ensure you use it!!
Q, I still think I’ll give it a miss and take a different type of holiday! A, Of course! That’s your choice! However, just ask yourself questions such as this when making your holiday choice...
🤔 What checks is a hotel making on its guests prior to arrival? None...
🤔 How does a theme park keep everything sanitised? It simply can’t...
🤔 How can you be sure that an Air BnB or a Villa is being cleaned to a high standard between guests? You can’t...
IN CONCLUSION - KEEP HOLIDAYING AND CHOOSE CRUISE!
Its important to state at this point that there is no reason to stop travelling with the only advice so far around non-essential travel to certain points in Asia. There is no reason to change or cancel plans and the best advice is to be sensible, ensure you continue practicing good hygiene, pick up some hand gel if it helps and to take care.
However, in our opinion, as of now there is only one holiday type where you can be sure that your fellow passengers have been screened prior to taking their holiday with you, that their recent movements have been checked, that the cleaning regime is of the very highest standards, that there is a focus throughout your holiday on staying safe and that there’s a team of people ready to look after you should anything happen to you or anyone around you...
You have all of this on your next cruise (and only on a cruise) and therefore if you want to take all the possible steps to stay safe on holiday this year then it’s the only holiday you should be taking!
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