TravelPerks response to recent CDC Warnings
Before everyone rushes to judgment regarding the newest CDC guidance regarding cruise vacations, let’s first unpack what the cruise industry is and has been doing. They have been expeditiously changing their safety protocols, better than any other public venue, as needed to ensure safety.
- The cruise industry is the only industry in the U.S. travel and tourism sector (hello, airlines?) that is requiring both vaccinations and testing for crew and guests. Cruising is the only industry monitored in this way -- under super-strict requirements -- which is why you hear more about cruises.
- According to the CDC’s system, a cruise ship triggers CDC observation when reaching a threshold of 0.10 percent of passengers (i.e., 7 out of 6,500) testing positive in the last seven days, or if even just one crew member tests positive.
- In the U.S. alone, the cruise industry administers nearly 10 million tests per week — 21x the rate of overall U.S. testing.
- The latest data shows that, even with higher rates of testing, the cruise industry continues to achieve significantly lower rates of occurrence of COVID-19 — 33 percent less than onshore.
- The majority of Covid cases identified on cruise ships are asymptomatic or mild, posing little to no burden on medical resources onboard or onshore. Vaccination rates onboard a cruise ship are above 95 percent and many are 100% — significantly higher than the overall U.S. population.
- No setting can be immune from this virus — however, cruise ships offer a highly controlled environment with unique science-backed measures, known testing and vaccination levels far above other venues or modes of transportation and travel, and significantly lower incidence rates than land. These protocols encompass the entirety of the cruise experience, incorporating testing, vaccination, screening, sanitation, mask-wearing, and other science-backed measures.
- More than 100 cruise ships have returned to U.S. waters (even more worldwide), carrying nearly 1 million people since June 2021. I was one of those people in Alaska, Mexico, and the Caribbean with 4 different cruises in 2021, and I have 10 weeks of trips planned for 2022. So not only am I sharing facts here, but I am also advising from personal experience.