The fear surrounding the pandemic has undoubtedly made companies, organizations, and individuals act completely illogical.
But when the lunacy comes from an allegedly reputable and respectable government entity it makes you wonder if the whole country has gone mad.
The struggling cruise industry had finally made a comeback after a nearly two-year hiatus only to have the CDC strike them down yet again by redefining the “new normal” – which essentially means the destruction of the beloved cruise ship.
Travelers and cruise lines all over the world were just recovering from the nightmare early in the pandemic when thousands of passengers became stranded at sea because no one would let COVID-19 positive individuals depart the cruise ship.
Popular cruise line Royal Caribbean International was one of the first to break through the bureaucratic red tape and launch their ship, Adventure of the Seas, from Nassau Cruise Port in a long-awaited return to the industry.
After a handful of successful voyages, Royal Caribbean International announced they are ending trips on four of their ships because of “on going Covid-related circumstances around the world,” reports CNN.
Just as in many cases, the beloved cruise line stated they are using an “abundance of caution”.
It seems overkill to shutdown half of a multi-million dollar company that the consumer wants just because someone “may get sick.”
They were already using an “abundance of caution” when they implemented increased safety and health measures, including requiring testing and vaccinations for all passengers and staff.
Royal Caribbean did say they would provide a full refund to passengers affected by the cancellations on the four ships who won’t have a chance to leave port; Visions of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas, and Symphony of the Seas.
But that doesn’t make up for the lost vacations and memories many were counting on.
The statement from Royal Caribbean regarding the disappointing news continued to read, “We regret having to cancel our guests’ long-awaited vacations and appreciate their loyalty and understanding.”
Royal Caribbean now requires guests 12 years-old and older to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination if the cruise ship is departing from any US port, CNN reports.
However, different countries have their own set of vaccination rules so point of departure can change your requirements drastically.
The vaccination rule has already proven futile when an Alaskan cruise was ruined from a handful of fully vaccinated passengers getting COVID-19 while on board, but no one wants to point that out.
The CDC released a harrowing warning to those wanting to travel by sea, increasing the risk assessment to its highest level.
This means citizens are advised to avoid cruise ships at all costs, whether you have the COVID-19 vaccination or not.
So, why exactly should one be encouraged to receive the vaccine if it doesn’t improve your travel options and doesn’t prevent you from contracting the disease?
The shift in risk level from the CDC has scared off scores of potential passengers from booking their next vacation on a cruise line and frightened industry leaders into stifling trips as to avoid becoming another headline in the “Cruises Gone Bad” series.
The Cruise Lines International Association speaks for all of us eager travelers who are perplexed by the situation when they said in a statement:
“The decision by the CDC to raise the travel level for cruise is particularly perplexing considering that cases identified on cruise ships consistently make up a very slim minority of the total population onboard — far fewer than on land — and the majority of those cases are asymptomatic or mild in nature, posing little to no burden on medical resources onboard or onshore.”
Sadly, as we have seen in multiple industries, the detriment brought on in the name of “COVID-19 safety” has nothing to do with the reality of the situation and more to do with the perceived threat of it.
Hopefully Royal Caribbean will able to survive this financial storm and live to sail another day.