MisterCruise.com is all about keeping cruising travelers informed about the cruise topics of the day, showcasing special offers and discounts from cruise lines and cruise agencies and answering any and all cruise travel related questions from the traveling public.
I know that, for any type of travel to any destination, knowledge equals safety, and traveling safely truly makes one a Smart Traveler. With a lifetime of knowledge in the travel industry, and with a focus on the cruise segment of the travel industry, I am here to share my knowledge with you, and, hopefully, that will equal the guidance you seek to help you make decisions that will keep you safer when traveling, help you to pay the least possible for the cruise you want, and help YOU become a Smart Traveler!
Peter Coloyan Sr.
President, Smart Traveler
With the recent announcement that over 120 countries have not yet administered any Covid vaccines, and the unknown efficacy of the existing vaccines on variants that have arisen from multiple countries worldwide, including Brazil, England and South Africa, the prospect of a "back to normal" cruise calendar is uncertain.
Canada has extended its no-cruise policy for one year, and despite a measure of success with mitigation efforts on Europe cruises since July of 2020, the industry is still facing an uncertain future. CLIA (the Cruise Lines International Association - the cruise industry association which represents most cruise lines) member cruise lines, which had hoped to resume cruises sailing from US ports back on September 15, 2020, has annonced members' "best practices" for future cruises departing US ports, once allowed. Outside of the USA, some cruises resumed sailing months ago, based on the local laws and guidance provided by government health authorities.
(From CLIA) CLIA members have agreed to adopt multiple layers of protocols informed by the insights and guidance of leading experts in health and science, including but not limited to:
So, is it Safe to Cruise?
In a word - NO! At least, not everywhere - yet! I have sailed on more than 120 cruises on over 90 ships, and have toured another 60 or so ships. After sailing (or even a cruise ship tour) I have often pointed out to the cruise lines' management certain problem areas / policies that I have encountered onboard that may compromise health and/or safety for cruise passengers. In conjunction, I have made suggestions on how to improve and/or minimize/eliminate the negative consequences that these discovered issues may have. Unfortunately, because changes always come with increased costs, most of my suggestions have fallen on deaf ears - until now?
Since there is now an effective vaccine for Covid-19, I, and my family, will be looking forward to cruising again, but only from, and to, ports with significant Covid vaccine acceptance and distribution, and only on ships strictly adhering to the above listed protocols! But, for those who have any kind of underlying health issue like diabetes, asthma, heart disease, COPD, etc. and/or are over 65 years old, I would HEARTILY suggest refraining from cruising at this time! If you are not in the high risk group, I would still wait until worldwide "control" of Covid is attained!
I certainly do not enjoy putting out these recommendations! But,because of the former US leadership, which failed to do anything to contain Covid, I cannot, in good faith, suggest that there is a normalcy to cruising from US ports at this time, or any time soon! We must trust facts and science implicitly, and to do otherwise is putting lives at risk. Until Covid-19 is under control worldwide (and, hopefully, eradicated), dealing with an annual vaccine for protection may be the "new normal" for the cruise industry, and life in general. I am happy to see the measures cruise lines have taken so far to handle safety for Covid-19, but, just as scientists had been warning that this Coronavirus pandemic was a matter of when, not if, that is the same guidance given for the next one - it is not "if", it is "when" will it occur. Cruise lines must be ready the next time!
Many of the changes I promoted last year to ensure passenger safety, and which I discussed with several cruise lines' management, have been adopted, and are included in these new protocols. For avid cruisers, the cruise news is getting better, but we're just not there - YET!
Q? - I prefer just walking off my cruise ship and exploring on my own to taking bus tours, I have been on several ocean cruises, and it has been a great money saver, but next year, I am doing a Europe river cruise, and I was curious as to how it would be there? Thank you, Jean Impellitier, Fort Lauderdale, FL
A! - Most river cruise excursions in Europe are walking tours since many attractions are very close to the river, which was, and is, the lifeline of any European city. Walking tours will require varying levels of fitness as defined by each river cruise line for their excursions, and in many historic European towns there are cobblstone streets. For those with mobility issues, slower paced tours are usually available.
Thank you, Jean, for your great question!
Mister Cruise - Peter E Coloyan, Sr.
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BONUS INFO FOR ALL -
Mobility issues and river cruises: For river cruise excursions that involve bus travel, you will be required to store mobility aids beneath the bus in the luggage hold, and climb the steps onto the coach. In Europe, excursions are often included in the price of a river cruise, and, if included, you’ll be wasting money if you can’t join them due to an inability to climb the stairs of a coach..
One of the best things about a European river cruise, regardless of whether it's on the Danube, Rhine, Moselle, or any other river, is the scenery continually passing by as seen from the ship. Historic castles, vineyards, and beautiful vistas often fill both banks of the river as your ship cruises by!
Accessible, or not?: There is a river cruise somewhere in the world for those with most any disability or mobility issue. Plus, new river cruise ships are launched every year, with more, and better, accessibility. So, don't think you can't go just because today there may not be exactly what you want where you want it. It may be coming next month, or next year! As river cruising grows in popularity, the options for accessible river cruising will expand - and we will help you every step of the way!
With so many cruise options, it's impossible to know which is truly the best, and truly the most accessible, for YOUR particular needs! Without years of experience and the knowledge and access to information that those years bring, consumers run the risk of paying more than they need to, or getting less than they expected to! Just talk to an expert - cruising is NOT something that you want to, or can, in most cases, book online. Especially if accessibility is an issue - please.don't try to do it yourself!
That is where we come in! A service of Smart Traveler, we put you in touch with the best cruise counselors for your lifestyle and budget, and with your particular needs in mind- and our service is FREE. -yes, it costs nothing to utilize the services of a Cruise Expert.
In fact, we guarantee that, at the time of your initial cruise reservation, you will never pay more than if you booked it yourself directly! In addition to absolutely NOT paying more using our services, for over 80% of our reservations, our customers pay less, sometimes MUCH less, than if they booked it themselves and you have an Expert on your side!