I’ve been very curious as to what will cruising be like when my favorite form of vacationing begins again. Yesterday, Princess Cruises published an article that highlighted a bit about what we can expect from my favorite cruise line. While there is nothing truly concrete in this article about how cruising will be exactly, there are several items highlighted where Princess will have a bit of an upper hand on MedallionClass ships. As some of you long-time readers of my blog know, Princess is my favorite cruise experience for myself. There are a great many cruise lines that offer incredible & amazing vacations, each line offers different things for different people. Finding a cruise line that works for you and your family is one of my jobs as a travel agent. Today, we’ll be concentrating on Princess Cruises. Here’s what they are saying about CruiseHealth in which guest safety is their priority. This information was updated on their website on October 7, 2020.
From Princess Cruises:
What will cruising be like once ships are permitted to sail again? We’ll provide details closer to our return so you’ll have the most up-to-date information. But here are a few of the measures we’re pursuing as we work with public health officials and medical experts to develop our health and safety protocols. Please know that these are just the start as we adapt to the latest science and ever-evolving situation.
THE MEDALLIONCLASS DIFFERENCE
Touchless experiences are available on all Princess MedallionClass™ ships. While MedallionClass was created to make your life easier at sea, it also makes it easier to meet current challenges, letting us respond dynamically to an ever-evolving situation. Look for this Medallion® icon below for features that promote a safe, physically distanced and personalized service.
PRE-CRUISE & ARRIVAL
Faster, contactless boarding is yours when you get Ocean Ready. Receive your Medallion® before you leave home and use the app to fill out your pre-cruise health questionnaire.* You’ll then be able to select your preferred time to arrive at the port to help stagger boarding. Physical distancing will be maintained throughout check-in and embarkation. Your stateroom door will even unlock as you approach.
*Shipping to your home currently available for U.S. residents only.
Enhancing Sanitization and Screenings in All Embarkation Terminals
We’re making sure embarkation reflects best practices by including:
- mandatory health screenings including pre-travel testing for COVID-19, touchless temperature checks and health questionnaires
- secondary screenings (and health checks throughout the cruise) when necessary
- we will refer anyone with signs and symptoms of COVID-19 for additional medical screening and testing before allowing to board
- thoroughly sanitizing embarkation terminals with a safe disinfectant proven to quickly kill coronaviruses
- cleaning highly touched surfaces continuously
An Innovative Approach to Ship Safety
We’ve streamlined the traditional safety drill to make it more convenient and crowd-free. Watch the required safety video anytime on embarkation day and anywhere, thanks to your MedallionClass app, or on your stateroom TV. Visit your muster station during select hours prior to your sailing and check in your medallion with a crew member – this way, you’ll know exactly where to go in case of an emergency.
Purchase anything on board without handling cash or cards using touch-free technology, courtesy of MedallionPay™. With OceanNow®, you can control physical distancing like never before. Order wherever you are, and the food, drinks and items from our shops will find you, even if you move. Plus you can also access entertainment and casino gaming through the MedallionClass app on your smart device.
We’re enhancing our already rigorous cleaning protocols, developing sanitization measures following the recommendation of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These include:
- sanitizing staterooms and public areas, especially frequently touched surfaces, with a disinfectant that’s known to kill coronaviruses
- encouraging guests at venue entrances to use the hand-washing sinks and hand sanitizer dispensers
- adding handwashing facilities and hand sanitizer dispensers in high-traffic areas
We’re maximizing fresh air and enhancing air filtration by upgrading our ships’ HVAC systems to MERV 13 filters that remove a large portion of airborne particles, following the highest CDC guidance. Air is replaced throughout public spaces and staterooms every five to six minutes. Plus, we’re adding HEPA filtration systems to key areas such as medical centers and isolation rooms.
Across the fleet we’re making it easier to practice physical distancing by managing the timing, size and flow of groups in onboard venues and for events and helping you make informed decisions about what to do on board. Where and when physical distancing cannot be maintained, guests will be required to wear masks. When it comes to meals, there will be no self-service. We’ll do the serving for you.
On MedallionClass ships get a real-time view of attendance in lounges, theaters and other areas, and bookmark activities of interest, noting attendance limits.
Keeping Our Crew Healthy
It’s critically important that we keep our teammates well, which is why we’re reinforcing healthy behaviors and protocols. Our crew will undergo daily health screenings and frequent testing.
Nothing is more important than being prepared. We’re making sure we’re ready for potential cases.
We’re equipping the Medical Center and staff on board with what they need to handle potential issues:
- COVID-19 testing on all our ships and/or use of laboratories ashore
- a highly capable medical team with the necessary expertise to deal with COVID-19 patients, and supported by medical experts through telemedicine services
- outpatient and inpatient facilities, including critical care
- medication known to improve outcomes for COVID-19
- medical centers and staterooms identified for those in isolation equipped with HEPA air filtration
- partnerships with local and regional medical providers
Stay Healthy While Cruising
Here are some healthy travel habits recommended by the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control — be sure to practice them on your next Princess® cruise!
Local Partners in Health
We are working with local health authorities and government officials in the destinations we visit to make sure our health measures align with theirs. We’ll follow the health protocols for every port we visit, sanitize transportation and may reduce capacity on shore excursions.
Where can you learn more about COVID-19? The World Travel & Tourism Council and Carnival Corporation hosted a Global Scientific Summit on COVID-19 on July 28, 2020 featuring a panel of leading experts, who discussed the virus, disease, prevention, treatment and cure. The sessions are available to view here.
I hope that this has been a bit helpful in reading about how Princess is re-imagining the cruise experience. I, for one, can’t wait to sail again. I’ve got two Princess cruises booked for 2021, and I’m counting down the days until my next embarkation. If you’d like to begin your countdown, reach out to me, and let’s begin planning your next vacation!