By Brian G. Miller, The Journey Tutor
Cruising is again.
After greater than two lengthy land-locked years, my spouse Judy and I not too long ago sailed on the Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas out of Miami. Through the pandemic-induced slowdown, the cruise traces have been busy making a number of modifications and enhancements, each seen and unseen, that make the onboard expertise even higher than it was earlier than.
In Royal Caribbean’s case, the time was properly spent. Here’s a abstract of what we discovered on our first cruise again:
1. Getting on the ship has by no means been simpler
As a result of you are able to do much more on-line earlier than you cruise (add your individual photograph, signal well being varieties, and so on.) you possibly can breeze by the cruise terminal and onto the ship with superb pace. You received’t even be delayed by having to select up your Sea Cross card: it is going to be in your stateroom when you get on board.
2. There’s an app for that
The Royal Caribbean App to be used throughout the cruise obtained some main upgrades throughout the downtime. Even with out having web entry, you possibly can see the every day schedule of occasions, together with ones you’ve both signed up for or highlighted for future reference. (However don’t fear, the printed copy of the Cruise Compass will nonetheless be in your mattress if you return every night time.) You may entry every day menus in every meals venue and even choices and costs in every bar. And you may keep watch over your spending as every buy exhibits up within the app as properly.
3. A streamlined security/muster drill
Royal Caribbean has executed an incredible job of streamlining the required security/muster drill and making it a lot much less of a pace bump in your first day on the ship. You may watch a fast video in your stateroom TV or in your cellphone. You additionally should cease by your designated muster station and verify in with a crew member at your comfort throughout the first few hours onboard. That’s it. You’re executed.
4. Cleanliness onboard the ship
I’ve all the time marveled at how clear cruise ships are and the way there may be all the time a crew member cleansing one thing nearly wherever you go on the ship. The deal with cleanliness is now supercharged. Hand sanitizer machines are by no means distant, from outdoors every financial institution of elevators to random areas across the ship. You must stroll by the handwashing sinks as you enter the Windjammer buffet. And there are nonetheless crew members across the ship continually cleansing.
5. The workers missed us as a lot as we missed them
The worldwide crew members aboard the ships have had a troublesome time over the previous 12 months or so. It was nice to see so many smiling faces and to really feel as welcomed again as if we have been lengthy misplaced household. If doable, the degrees of vitality, enthusiasm, and repair are even larger than earlier than the shutdown.
6. No masks, no drawback
I feel we sailed on the primary week when vaccinated cruisers not needed to put on a masks. Every crew member was nonetheless sporting a masks on our crusing. We wore masks within the airport, on the airplane, and within the cruise terminal. What a beautiful reduction to have the ability to take them off as we boarded the ship. Masks necessities have dropped off at most ports of name as properly.
7. Getting off the ship has by no means been simpler
We skilled one of many smoothest disembarkations we’ve had in almost 30 cruises. We went to the Windjammer for breakfast after which returned to our cabin. As soon as our preassigned numbers appeared on the TV and have been introduced over the general public deal with system, we strolled instantly off the ship. After discovering our baggage, it was a brief stroll again to actuality: The U.S. Customs varieties are gone, and with a fast photograph scan of our faces, we have been outdoors the constructing and boarding our bus to the airport.
8. Extra room onboard
Whereas ships appear to be getting fuller every week, that is nonetheless a good time to expertise a cruise with just a little bit of additional elbow room. From the elevators to the seating in the principle theatre, proper now’s the perfect time to cruise with the fewest individuals.
Cruising evokes an excessive amount of ardour and loyalty from its passengers, with good purpose. Now that it’s simpler and safer than ever earlier than, isn’t it time you referred to as your journey advisor and began counting down the times till you’re all aboard?
This submit initially appeared on TheTravelTutor.com on April 17, 2022.