Our cross-country road trip finished today in Miami after leaving Las Vegas 37 days ago. We had such a wonderful time. Here we boarded the fabulous Crystal Serenity for a four-and-a-half-month Grand Voyage. We are a lucky couple.
We are so thrilled to be back here. We love the ship, our cabin, and our lifelong cruise friends that we have made through the years.
But today I want to focus on the elephant in the room – Omicron. Are we nuts? Let me answer with an emphatic I DON’T THINK SO!
Remember, in early March, 2020, before the ship cancelled the cruise, Allyn and I left in Sydney because of Covid fears. We took a lot of ridicule from many on board. We are extremely strong advocates of vaccines, boosters, mask mandates and whatever it takes for safety. So, what’s the deal?
We feel safer here that we do anyplace other than just staying alone in our home. Let’s review what has changed at Crystal.
Crew and guests – Every single person on the ship is vaccinated and tested upon embarkation. A positive test means no boarding.
Masks are worn by everybody in all public areas except while eating or drinking.
All guests wear a tracing watch-type item to identify whom they are near.
Anybody who tests positive is quarantined in a new specially sealed cabin for 10 days or leaves the ship to quarantine.
The ship itself – Each guestroom and public area has 100% fresh, non-recirculated air. That is a big deal to stop massive sickness outbreak if some catch Covid.
Each guest room and public area is scrubbed from head to toe with products listed on the EPA List N and meet the criteria for use against COVID-19, norovirus and other infectious diseases.
The buffets are still there but not self-served. There are one-way lines and mandatory spacing.
The guest experience – Granted it is somewhat inconvenient wearing a mask, but we do in public at home also.
Every time we enter a dining room, they take our temperature – no big deal.
The tracker is like wearing another watch – no big deal.
There seems to be no reduction in food or entertainment quality. If anything there is extra staff in general because there are relatively few guests. We know that could change.
We are ready for some ports to be canceled or changed – With Crystal Serenity, the ship is the destination. Flexibility is a must.
On the last voyage, some crew did get sick and others were in contact. Each was quarantined on board and then quarantined in hotels in Miami. Because of that the entire Spa and gym are currently closed until they can be properly staffed. – That type give and take is necessary for safety. So, I walked the deck today instead of the treadmill.
The bottom line is that there are some inconveniences just like we have at home now. Of course, folks need to decide for themselves whether to put up with them and whether the protocols are enough for their own safety and comfort.
As for us, we are giddy to be back on board. We feel safer here than we do at home in stores, restaurants, and other public places. If our entire society would have followed these steps, then this terrible pandemic would have been over a while ago. Our fingers are crossed.