Yesterday, Norwegian Cruise Holding Group sent a plan for a July 4, 2021 restart to the CDC. The plan lays out how the cruise lines will manage safety from prior to the cruise through debarkation. NCLH consist of Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceana and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. And as with a growing number of cruise lines, vaccines will be required, at least a first.
The plan is laid out to cover passenger and crew safety,ship safety, protocols while ashore and response to outbreak situations. These are just a few pieces of the plan.
Mandatory Vaccines for initial sailings
For embarkations through October 31, 2021, all crew and passengers will be required to be vaccinated at least two weeks prior to sailing to board the ship. As things change, NCLH will reevaluate.
Antignon test will be provided by the cruise line and must be negative prior to boarding on embarkation day.
Mask will be required in indoor venues other than in staterooms and where social distancing is not possible. Eating in the dining room or drinking at a bar will not require a mask.
For the initial restart, they will have reduced capacity on the ships. The number I have seen the most has been around 60% but we will know more later. This will provide more space for each passenger. Of course incremental increases will be made as safety allows.
Contactless Food Service
Staff will serve all food and beverages throughout the ship in restaurants and lounges.
Social Distanced Check In
A staggered embarkation and a new check in system allowing guest to sign documents electronicky.
Ship Wide Cleaning and Filters
EPA approved disinfectants will be used and are being used through out the cruise with enhanced cleaning schedules.
NCL has upgraded the air filter to medical grade MERV 13 or HEPA Filters capable of removing 99.9% of airborne pathogens including COVID 19.
Improvements in Medical
NCLH has upgraded not only their medical facilities on board but they have increased space used and added medical staff. In addition, they have created new partnerships with onshore medical facilities.
They created a new on board position, Public Health Officer. The PHO will oversea the cleaning and sanitation of the entire ship including public areas and accommodations.
For at least July and August, passengers will be required to purchase cruise line shore excursions in order to go ashore.
Isolation and Quarantine
The line have dedicated spaces for quarantine if needed.
There is more to this announcement plus some FAQs so check out the site for more information. NCL Site.
After the new information from the CDC on Friday, this is hopefully a step forward. If the CDC accepts this plan and other cruise lines follow, we could get back to cruising sooner than later.
Keep in mind, this is the plan set forth by NCL and does not represent anything final from the cruise line or what other lines will be doing. I would expect this to be implemented but of course things can change every day so keep your eyes and ears open
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