It was over a year ago in early 2020 when news of a new strain of virus (SARS-CoV-2) began to emerge. The resultant disease is known as COVID-19. Some described the virus as being very serious and potentially deadly while others dismissed the science and told people that it would be gone in a few weeks or worse that the virus was a hoax.
Now just over a year since I last stepped foot on a cruise ship we have a better idea of the truth - a full blown world pandemic is in progress. Over a half million Americans have died of the virus, and more than 2.5 million world wide. Many millions more that have recovered from the virus continue to exhibit serious long term effects.
I am one of the lucky 2% of Americans that have been vaccinated. The pharmaceutical industry has worked hard to develop vaccines to prevent Covid-19 but it is estimated that it may take until the end of 2023 for vaccines to be available worldwide.
The cruise industry has been hit hard. Only a handful of ships have sailed in the past year. All of the cruise lines that operate in the US remain closed. Ships remain in ports or anchored just offshore, void of passengers and operating with a minimum crew. Several of my personal favorite ships have been taken to the scrap yards. Definitely a sad chapter in the history of the cruise line industry.
As I write this the earliest any cruise line will be operating is June of this year, but I wouldn't put even money on that date.
Personally I have only one cruise boooked, The Odyssey of The Seas. A complimentary cruise from Royal that I should have taken several months ago, but rescheduled to January 2022 with a few extra concessions on the part of Royal.
There definitely will be changes in the cruise industry product, changes that are still in a flux of design and change. Personally I am waiting to see exactly what the changes entail before I book any more cruises. Some of the changes I could care less about, others I will consider long overdue, and others possibly could diminish my love for cruise ship travel. Only time will tell.
I hope another year does not lapse before I update this blog, only time will tell. In the meantime, stay safe.