Passengers who have just returned from a cruise will be greeted with a deluge of questions: What was the itinerary like? Was the food good? Were the crew friendly? Did the ship have Wi-Fi? But the one question that all cruise passengers have in common is how to deal with the return of the luggage. You might have to wait days for it to arrive, which is particularly frustrating if it’s an important item. If so, it will be the main topic of conversation at the first chance you get.
Cruise lines are facing a major problem. While the majority of passengers who have booked a cruise on one of the world’s top cruise lines were happy to be on their way, there have been some unruly passengers who have returned to their ports early. While some of these passengers were unhappy with the service they received, others were unhappy with the cost. But, why are cruise passengers returning early? What is going on?
You may have noticed a new trend in the cruise industry. With many major cruise lines announcing that they will no longer offer a complimentary bottle of wine on board, passengers are now looking for other ways to drink during their cruise. Aside from the increase in champagne sales, the industry is also offering paid wine tastings and other alcohol-based activities. In an effort to make the port of call as painless and easy as possible for returning passengers, some cruise lines are offering makeovers, tours, and even personalized menus to help ease passengers’ return.. Read more about cruise ship breaking news today and let us know what you think.
Cruise lines are meeting – and in some cases exceeding – passenger expectations, according to travel advisors who have sailed in recent weeks.
“Everyone I talked with was ecstatic to be on a cruise once again. Chris Caulfield, a CruiseOne franchise owner from Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., who traveled aboard Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas from Miami, remarked, “I missed this.”
On Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas, CruiseOne’s Chris Caulfield, far right, with his family. (Photo courtesy of Chris Caulfield)
“Royal Caribbean was very explicit about the rules, so guests understood what to anticipate before boarding.”
The sailing was like any other pre-pandemic sailing, he said, with the exception of a few health and safety regulations, such as wearing masks inside until eating or drinking, and some locations being accessible only to vaccinated visitors.
“There were less people, which was great since it meant no queues for anything. “The service was excellent since the staff couldn’t do enough for everyone,” Caulfield remarked.
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However, there was a little disadvantage to sailing with fewer people.
“While having fewer people aboard was definitely beneficial in certain respects, such as reducing wait times, I think it had an effect on the general vibe onboard since the trip seemed more relaxed back and subdued,” he added.
“I missed the excitement and energy that having more people adds to the cruise experience. Of course, when passenger numbers rise, this will return, and the general atmosphere was joyful, as everyone was pleased to be back aboard cruising.”
Caulfield expressed his pleasure at the prospect of cruising once again. “I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I was back on board, taking in the scenery from my balcony or just relaxing by the pool while listening to the band. After a long time, everything seemed right.”
Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise partner John Frazier of Waterville, Ohio, also traveled on the Freedom of the Seas and stated the trip surpassed his expectations, thanks in part to the excellent service.
“The staff was ecstatic to be back at work after such a long time off, and the service was fantastic,” he added. “They were extremely keen to ensure that everyone was not just safe but also having a wonderful time.
“With the exception of check-in taking a little longer than before, the new health and safety procedures did not slow things down.”
Valerie Dorsey of Royal Palm Beach-based Cruise Planners just returned from a Bahamas cruise on Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Serenity.
“I was a first-timer on this line, although having sailed many times,” she said. “The crew’s friendliness and welcome, the cuisine, the facilities, and the excellent spa all surpassed my expectations.”
Sailing from Nassau, on the other hand, was less than ideal, as “there was a lot of paperwork, so there were some comments about how inefficient it was.”
Breeze of the Carnival (photo via Carnival Cruise Line)
“I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth the process has been and how closely they have been abiding by the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and their own panels,” said John Maddox of Bartlett, Tennessee-based Travel by John, who sailed on Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Breeze out of Galveston.
“It was as near to ‘normal’ as I have felt in the past several months,” he said. People were ecstatic to feel secure and connected to the water as well as their fellow travelers. It was essentially the same experience as previously, save for the personnel wearing masks (and needing to wear masks when we called on Cozumel).”
In the view of Richard Turen, managing director of Naperville, Ill.-based Churchill & Turen, “when the history of this pandemic is written, the cruise industry will be lauded for being the most aggressive of all travel sectors in designing successful protocols to protect passengers.”
Turen, who just returned from his annual holiday aboard a Ponant boat with his family and 46 customers, claimed no health or safety concerns arose.
“Our French captain summoned everyone to the theater and patiently explained why he prefers masks to be worn on board,” he said.
“The atmosphere was even more upbeat than one would anticipate, as we all recognized how lucky we were to be traveling overseas in July 2021!
“I was a guest speaker on board, and all I could think about was how happy I was to be there.”
One of the biggest travel trends of the past year has been the way passengers are returning their cruise tickets. Since October of 2016, the Royal Caribbean International cruise line has been letting passengers rebook their cruises, but only if they have not been on a previous cruise for at least a year. If you haven’t been on a cruise in a year and you want to return, you have to go through the full process again.. Read more about cruise news and let us know what you think.
This article broadly covered the following related topics:
- cruise ship breaking news today
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- royal caribbean covid rules
- royal caribbean cruise cancellations 2021
- cruise line updates today