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Grandparent Alert: Are You Ready To Cruise?

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Are you ready to cruise? If you’re ready, willing and able to board a cruise ship, you are not alone. Repeat cruisers are anxious to return to the high seas say several recent surveys. Cruise companies report bookings for 2022 are exceeding 2019 levels. That’s because parents and grandparents again look forward to getting a lot of bang for their vacation buck on a cruise.

As you repeat cruisers know: activities, meals, and lodging are all included in the price, plus morning-till-night programming for kids as well as adults. That’s at considerably less than many resorts charge.

Ready to Cruise?

You Skip-Gen travelers who are toting the grandkids to rekindle your relationship after a year apart will appreciate that cruising is an easy way to travel with grandchildren without having to entertain them 24/7. 

Carnival Mardi Gras – Image via Carnival

Ready to Cruise, Carnival Cruise Choices

Carnival Cruise Lines has confirmed its plans to return to guest operations from the Port of Galveston on July 3, with Carnival Vista to the Western Caribbean, followed by the Carnival Breeze on July 15. Carnival Horizon will sail from PortMiami starting in July. They’ll start weekly departures from Seattle to Alaska on July 27 and continue until Sept. 14.

Carnival Cruise Line’s newest and most innovative ship, Mardi Gras, will sail seven-day itineraries to the eastern and western Caribbean in August at the soonest, as crew is trained on the new equipment, technology, and procedures. 

ready to cruise
Image via Carnival

At this point, these cruises are available for guests who have received their final dose of a CDC-approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination, in accordance with current CDC guidelines. That may change but it still doesn’t mean you should ignore my cruise safety tips – please follow them and all current instructions from the cruise lines who are just trying to keep everyone safe.

Ready to Cruise to Alaska

Princess Cruises will resume operations in Alaska starting July 25 through Sept. 26, with seven-day cruises onboard Majestic Princess, a Medallion Class ship, visiting signature ports, glaciers and attractions in Alaska including Glacier Bay National Park, Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan. These cruises are for those who have been vaccinated.

Princess has fun technology in its OceanMedallion wearable device that grandkids will love. Just book meals, shore excursions, order room service or notify the chef someone has food allergies before your next meal using the device. 

Holland America Line’s ms Zaandam Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska – Photo by Andy Newman/Holland America Line

Holland America Line will resume its cruise operations to Alaska with seven-day itineraries aboard Nieuw Amsterdam, calling at Juneau, Icy Strait Point, Sitka, and Ketchikan, with scenic cruising in Alaska’s iconic locales, including Glacier Bay and Stephens Passage. The first cruise for the brand is scheduled to depart July 24, with 11 Saturday departures that will operate through October. 

Caribbean Ports Make You Ready to Cruise?

Meanwhile, there are options to sail from Caribbean ports and in the Mediterranean. Luxury Seabourn Cruise Line, known for unique all-inclusive cruises on smaller ships, will be cruising in Greece and from Caribbean ports this summer, for example, while you can also sail in Greece and the Mediterranean this fall aboard Holland America’s Eurodam.

From any of these companies or your travel agent – as about value-added amenities including drink packages, free Wi-Fi,  cabin upgrades and specialty dining as well as new itineraries. I’m sure that 2022 will bring more choice, new itineraries, the reopening of Asian ports and even more news about each line’s private islands.

Seabourne Odyssey – Image via Carnival

That seclusion, that aquamarine water, that privacy and natural social distancing… it makes me ready to cruise right now. 

What are you waiting for?

Whichever line you choose, look for value-added amenities including drink packages, free Wi-Fi,  cabin upgrades and specialty dining as well as new itineraries.

Will Fellow Cruisers Be Vaccinated?

“Cruising is back and having vaccinated ships for these cruises in 2021 ensures that we can deliver the experience just how our guests remember and expect,” said HAL’s Antorcha. Many cruisers agree. According to a recent survey from CruiseCritic.com, 80% would prefer to cruise on an all-vaccinated ship.

They’re in luck, because both Holland America and Princess cruises are designed for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to embarkation. Since the CDC suggests parents wait until their children are vaccinated before cruising, these ships will not carry many children under age 12.

Shipboard crew vaccinations will also be in accordance with CDC guidelines. Stay in touch with your travel agent or the cruise line, as onboard protocols and vaccination requirements will be adjusted as necessary.

About the Author

Author Eileen Ogintz has traveled the world with her family for her nationally syndicated travel column, Taking The Kids. A big fan of family cruising, she has authored this post about Atlas Ocean Voyages for sponsor FamilyTravelConsulting.com

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