It’s the weekend we’ve all been waiting for – ships are finally back at sea. It’s been a long time coming, with a more than year-long pause for the industry we love. But cruising is back on the agenda and the waters around the UK are poised to welcome some of your favourite cruise lines back over the coming summer months. Everything you know and love about cruising will be right there waiting for you, but there’ll be some extra measures in place to ensure the health and safety of guests and crew too. Here’s a quick guide to what to expect on a UK staycation cruise this summer.
All aboard! But first, some little pre-cruise checks…
Cruise lines are taking your health and safety so seriously that protocols are in place to protect you before you’ve even arrived in port this summer. Before anyone boards a cruise ship this summer, they’ll need to prove they’re well enough to travel and that includes the crew too. Pre-cruise health questionnaires, contactless temperature checks and rapid Covid-19 testing is likely to be part of the embarkation process for a little while now. Fortunately, it’s pretty effortless and shouldn’t hold things up too much when it comes to finally setting foot on board a ship! Once you’re on, and throughout the cruise, temperature checks and regular testing will keep things ship-shape.
Keeping it clean
Things are about to get seriously clean around here! In order to maintain the highest hygiene standards, cleaning teams will be deployed to terminals before and after each embarkation and disembarkation. Many ports of call will also be fogging terminals and even luggage with a virus-defeating concoction.
A socially-distanced check-in
This is 2021 and social distancing is de rigour, so it’ll come as no surprise that cruise lines will be employing some of the measures we’ve come to know and…well, know…in their new check-in procedures. Online check-in will be encouraged and staggered embarkations will be the norm to avoid crowds gathering. On board, nifty pieces of tech like Royal Caribbean Group’s Muster 2.0 and the Ocean Medallion by Princess Cruises will make social distancing around the ship a breeze.
Super clean and more spacious than ever
Public spaces will be cleaned more frequently and areas touched often, like handles and handrails, will be cleaned continuously. There’ll be hand sanitiser around the ship, plus upgraded air-filtration systems.
Staterooms will also be cleaned more frequently throughout your holiday, with a deep-clean at the end of the cruise ahead of the next guests embarking.
Dining – more space, less queues
We aren’t ashamed to admit that meals punctuate our days on a cruise and dining will still be a highlight, though you can expect a couple of little changes along the way. Tables will be spaced further apart to maintain social distancing and table service will replace buffets in some instances.
UK summer staycations in 2021 offer a combination of scenic seagoing-only holidays and cruises with ports stops included. If you’ve opted for one that visits ports, you’ll find cruise lines working with destinations to make sure you’re as safe whilst there as you are on the ship. Some cruise lines will specify that you must book one of their excursions if you’d like to head ashore, with groups kept to small numbers and work done ahead of time to make sure all those attractions you stop by are operating safely too. We’re all only too familiar with how quickly the situation can change these days, but cruise lines have planned well ahead and will ready to change itineraries at the drop of a hat if necessary for safety reasons.
Home time, for now
Using the NHS Track and Trace app or leaving our details when we’ve been out for dinner has become routine and some cruise lines will be using the same approach this summer, so you’ll be kept in the loop should anyone fall poorly post-cruise.
There’s still time to cruise this summer – scout out your UK summer staycation here.