Just as the cruise industry was regaining “steam”, the Omicron variant began to spread. Because of this, cruise ships worldwide were severely impacted or cancelled altogether. Moreover, are recent reports of coronavirus outbreaks onboard some cruise lines. Although this may be true, leading cruise lines like Princess Cruises are taking additional precautions to protect its passengers.

Before You Can Get Aboard

All cruise lines are observing certain health protocols. Although these protocols are subject to change, some standards will be in place indefinitely. For instance, you must have received your final doses of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before departure. Even further, you must have proof of vaccination status, whether it’s a card or on an app. In addition, you must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within two days of departure.

What If You Haven’t Received Your Test Results

In light of the Christmas holidays, COVID-19 tests were administered in large numbers. For this reason, testers were notably busier to keep up with the demand. Further complicating matters is having to wait for the test results to come back. However, if you do not receive your test results by the day of departure, there will be staff to test you.

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Take Advantage Of Cruise Ship Technology

Many top cruise lines use branded apps to enhance your onboard experience. For example, some apps allow you keyless entry into your cabin. Other functions allow you to make purchases, creating a boarding pass or book excursions. Although these apps functions are largely standard across cruise lines, Princess Cruises has something different.

Princess Cruises Medallion on a Necklace in front of a Princes Cruises cruise ship
Medallion on a Necklace (credit: Princess Cruises)
Princess Cruises Medallion App

What may eventually become standard across cruise lines is the Princess OceanMedallion. Featured only on Princess Cruises, the OceanMedallion is a wearable device that performs functions like an app. Yet in this case, you wear the device with a complimentary lanyard. OceanMedallion allows you to unlock your stateroom door handsfree, make purchases and more. Complementing the device is the MedallionClass app, as well as an assortment of optional accessories.

Enhanced Health Safety Measures

Just last week, Princess Cruises implemented additional health safety measures to protect passengers. That is to say that higher grade face masks, like KN95 are required. Additionally, you are required to wear masks indoors and outdoors. Princess Cruises also introduced a smoking ban inside ship casinos. Instead, smokers must use a designated area elsewhere on the ship.

Keep Your Mask On

In an effort to keep you and others safe, you are required to keep your mask regardless if you indoors or outdoors. Of course, there are exceptions, such as when you’re eating or drinking. You can also use the pool or hot tub without a mask, in addition to facial treatments. However, those policies may change. Be sure to wear a surgical or KN95 mask onboard but be wary of counterfeit masks. For further protection, you can wear 3M N95 mask and a disposable mask on top of it.

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Wash Your Hands Frequently

This also goes without saying but you should frequently wash your hands on a cruise ship. This is particularly important when you’re in public spaces like restaurants or fitness center. Similarly, it’s a good rule of thumb to carry hand sanitizer with you. For example, you might want to sanitize your hands whenever you press an elevator button. Moreover, wash or sanitize your hands when opening doors.

Public Hand Sanitizer Dispenser onboard the Majestic Princess cruise ship
Hand Sanitizer Dispenser, Majestic Princess (credit: Randy Yagi)

Avoid Touching Your Eyes, Nose & Mouth

To further protect yourself on a cruise ship, you should try to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. This may be challenging as people tend to touch their face about 23 times an hour. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that the most common way Covid is spread is coughing or sneezing. Don’t forget to use the public hand sanitizer dispenser spread throughout the ship.

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Keep Your Distance

Although it can be difficult at times, try to keep yourself 6 feet from others not in your party. To put it differently, take the next elevator if you have to. And by all means, try to keep as much distance as possible when passing through cabin hallways. You can consider additional preventive measures, like dining where it’s the least busy. Of course, give yourself and your party plenty of space from others when watching a live performance.

Get A Room With A View

If you haven’t booked your stateroom or suite, you should get a room with a view. That is, book a room on a cruise ship that has a balcony with ocean views. If you already have reservations for inside room, see what you can do to get an upgrade. While virtual balconies are readily available on cruise lines, you’ll get more fresh air with the real deal. Obviously you’re paying more but having a balcony will improve ventilation and reduce your risk of COVID.

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About The Author

Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer who served as the National Travel Writer for CBS Local from 2012-2019. More than 900 of his stories still appear in syndication across 23 CBS websites, including CBS New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. During his peak years with CBS, Randy had a reported digital audience reach of 489 million and 5.5 million monthly visitors. Additionally, his stories have appeared in the Daily Meal, CBS Radio, Engadget and Radio.com.

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