As the world gradually adjusts to the new normal, more and more cruise lines are announcing their plans to return to the seas. Cunard and P&O Cruises have now also revealed details of their enhanced well-being measures to protect the health of all on board as well as the destinations they will visit.
By combining their wealth of experience with the expertise of the foremost accredited scientists, medical professionals and government advisors, Cunard and P&O want to assure everyone that they will continue to deliver the same signature holiday experience that guests have come to know and love.
All guests will be subject to testing for COVID-19 in the period before travelling and/or at the cruise terminal. If a guest tests positive for COVID-19, or if anyone in their household has any symptoms of COVID-19 or are self-isolating in the days prior to their voyage, they will not be permitted to board the ship.
Working with their partners in the ports, the cruise lines have enhanced their boarding procedures. In the cruise terminal, you will be required to adhere to the wearing of face coverings and social distancing, in accordance with all current guidelines.
Further health screening will be conducted before you board your ship. This will include a review of your health declaration questionnaire, a temperature check, and more comprehensive medical screening if required. If a guest tests positive for COVID-19, or is identified as having COVID-19-like symptoms, or if they have been exposed or potentially exposed to COVID-19 then they will not be allowed to board.
Standards have been raised even higher by new enhanced measures, ensuring all areas of the ship are inspected and cleaned even more regularly, with products proven to be effective against COVID-19. Additional hand sanitiser and hand-washing stations will also be available for your comfort and wellbeing.
You must take out comprehensive holiday insurance before setting sail. However the cruise lines will continue to operate medical centres on board each ship, staffed around the clock by fully accredited doctors and nurses to help support your health needs.
Cunard and P&O are committed to delivering the highest standards of health, safety and wellbeing for their guests, crew and the wider communities visited. To achieve this:
- All members of the crew will also undergo health screening and testing for COVID-19 before boarding.
- Enhanced onboard ventilation systems have been installed to provide improved filtration and increased fresh air on board.
- There will be strict adherence to approved guidance for every aspect of the holiday experience.
- Everyone on board will need to adhere to the most up-to-date guidance regarding the use of face-coverings and social distancing, which will be required in all public areas.
- Plans are in place, tailored for each ship, to manage medical needs, including dedicated cabin capacity for isolation should this be required.
Dining aboard the ships will always be part of what makes a cruise so special. Going forward:
- You may be asked to pre-reserve a table at your chosen restaurants.
- You will only be permitted to dine with your travelling group or household.
- Dishes in buffets and deck grills will be served by waiting staff.
- Restaurants and bars will be adapted for social distancing as required.
The show will go on! A comprehensive programme of music, theatre and guest speakers will still be available on each voyage, with measures in place to adhere to the latest wellbeing and social distancing guidance.
Shared leisure and activity spaces such as shops, spas, gyms, pools, and children’s clubs will be operating but will be subject to the latest approved guidance to minimise contact, reduce the number of guests in each area, and maintain the highest levels of cleanliness. Social distancing measures will be in place in all public areas and lifts will have limited capacity. Pre-booking may come into effect for certain onboard activities.
Your cabin steward will maintain your accommodation to newly improved housekeeping standards throughout your stay. To enhance your stateroom experience even further, an extended complimentary room service menu has been introduced for you to enjoy as you relax in your cabin, including an updated in-cabin television service providing essential updates.
You can still go ashore and explore the amazing ports on your itinerary, initially only with organised and vetted shore experiences.
Port transfer and organised shore experience operators will be subject to new policies and procedures to reflect the latest approved guidance in line with onboard protocols, and will comply with all local guidance relating to social distancing and face coverings, which may differ from the guidance in your home country. Temperature checks and health screening may be carried out again on re-boarding the ship.
All guests and crew will need to complete a passenger locator form to adhere to the UK Government’s Track and Trace initiative. Local country initiatives may also apply at the time of sailing.
Despite these troubling times, it is reassuring to know your money and cruise will be in safe and trusted hands, with the added confidence of ABTA and ATOL protection, when you book with Cunard or P&O.
A flexible transfer policy ensures that before your balance due date you can transfer your booking as many times as you like, should the need arise. With such expert support to hand, you can relax and focus on enjoying your holiday.
As the world evolves so may these policies and procedures, but rest assured the cruise lines will have every aspect of your voyage covered, and hope that as you return to sailing you will find these new measures both comforting and easy to adjust to.