The return of cruises: What you need to know before you set sail

AAA anticipates cruising from U.S. ports starts in July

Cruises are making a comeback after a 15-month hiatus

After fifteen months of waiting, cruises are back. Cruising has started around the world but AAA is anticipating cruising from U.S. ports to start between the beginning to middle of July.

There are some changes. For one, your cruise ship won’t be at full capacity. Micki Dudas, director of leisure travel sales at AAA said it will be ship-by-ship. For example, Adventures of the Seas with Royal Caribbean started cruising out of the Bahamas with only1,000 passengers.

Some cruise lines are requiring you to be vaccinated, others aren’t. It all depends on where the ship is departing from. Even if your cruise line doesn’t require a COVID-19 vaccine, the ports you stop at along the way could so do your research.

The cruise ship boarding process will be more controlled, and there won’t be large crowds.

“With new lifting of restrictions with the CDC you will see the buffets returning, but they will not be self-serving. You’ll still be able to see all the entertainment on board, some of the social distancing and mask requirements will be lifted for those passengers that are vaccinated,” said Dudas.

What you need to know before booking your next trip

Here is a look at more changes.

Christie Wills, communication officer at Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts said as people get their vaccine shots they mention their top reason is an upcoming trip or getaway to see loved ones. She’s excited people are getting back to traveling because that’s one of the benefits of more people getting vaccinated.

For people wondering what’s the safest way to travel or are just not ready for a major trip like a cruise, Wills suggests a short road trip with other vaccinated people and very few stops. Then stay at the home of someone you know who is also vaccinated.

“If you decide to stay at a public area like a hotel then you would want to minimize the amount of time you’re at the breakfast area, minimize the time you’re at the lobby, you want to spend as much time as possible outdoors,” said Wills.

As a reminder, masks are still required when passing through a transportation hub like airports or cruise ports.

About the Author:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.