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Cruising During The Pandemic

Just an introduction, I am Deon “Success” Jenkins. I am the owner and CEO of Travel With Success Travel Agency. I am a Travel Advisor and Accredited Cruise Counselor,

certified thought CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association). My first cruise was in

June 2018 on the Carnival Victory (Now the Carnival Radiance). After that first cruise, I fell in love with cruising and decided that I would make it the one of my travel business niches. If you are looking to learn more about cruising, feel free to contact me but setting up an appointment with this link. If you are looking to book a cruise for yourself or set up a group cruise, please click on this long and fill out the form and I will certainly help you plan an amazing cruise experience.

Early in 2019, the covid-19 pandemic caused havoc on the travel industry. The cruising industry was hit the hardest, being shut down for 18 months. During this time, I had a major case of the cruise blues and I walked around like a sad puppy who had lost his favorite toy. As we progressed through the pandemic and vaccinations began to be distributed, revenge travel became a thing. The term “Revenge Travel” became a popular way to describe consumers dusting off their itineraries shelved by the pandemic, and doing family reunions, big splurge vacations and re-visits to favorite places. When I was asked to participate in the first cruise sailing since the pandemic hit, I excited screamed, “YESSIR, COUNT ME IN!!!!”. I didn’t care where it was going, how long the sailing was going to be or what port it was leaving out of. It was a perfect wat to kick of my Revenge Cruise Tour. I was totally surprised to learn that I would be going on the Norwegian Encore, sailing out of Seattle Washington. As a kid growing up, the Seattle Supersonics were one of my favorite NBA teams and I had always wanted to visit the Space Needle. On this inaugural cruise, we traveled to Ketchikan, Alaska (Yep, I check off two more states on my quest to hit all 50). In October, I partied like a Rockstar on Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady. After Thanksgiving, I enjoyed my first back-to-back cruise. The first cruise was on the Carnival Mardi Gras (the first cruise to have a rollercoaster on it). Then, I rode down to Miami, FL and jumped on the Norwegian Encore again. Still feeling the cruise fever, I too a voyage on the Carnival Sunshine right after Christmas and returned home just in time to celebrate New Year’s Day. In 2022, I ended January with yet another cruise on the Norwegian Encore (if you haven’t guessed it yet, this is my favorite ship…I am hosting a group on it in 2023 during the week of valentine’s day so come and “Experience Love At Sea” with me. Check out info on this cruise by clicking here). I took a few months off to recuperate from all the fun. It wasn’t long before I found myself on a couple more cruises in May. I enjoyed two beautiful Royal Caribbean ships, the Navigator Of The Seas and the Allure Of The Seas. I have 4 more cruises left on the books doe 2022 and will be hosting groups on 3 ships in 2023 (Check out these group sailings by clicking here)

Cruising during the Covid -19 pandemic has been an amazing journey thus far. The protocols and testing requirements have changed a lot since the return of cruising to now and it also varies from company to company. I want to talk about a few common topics I get asked a lot by my clients and other people who are looking to travel. Most people only know what media portrays and hearsay from people that might not have necessarily been on the forefront of cruising during the pandemic, so I want to shed a little light on some of the common talked about topics and questions I get from my clients and people who hit me up looking to learn more about cruising.

As we navigate through the pandemic, cruising protocol are always evolving. Many health and safety measures have been put into place to minimize the catching and spreading of Covid-19 on cruises. The two most common questions I get from clients about cruising are “do I need to be vaccinated to cruise” and “do I need to take a covid-19 test?” While the debate on whether the booster will become a requirement, most cruise lines do require Guests to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Generally, between 1-3 days before cruising, guests are required to take a covid test and supply the negative results to board the ship. The next question I get a lot is about wearing mask. It is mandatory for all crew members on cruises to wear mask. The requirement for guest however fluctuates depending on the cases of covid-19 on land. The cleaning standards and protocols on cruise have always been higher than on land. With the pandemic, it was elevated to an even higher level. Hand sanitizing stations are located all over the ship. Crew members are constantly cleaning and wiping down heavily traveled areas and all common areas. If you happen to be up at 3am in the morning, you can catch the crew sanitizing the whole ship before the guest wake up in the morning. Buffet and dining areas receive just as much attention. Before entering the buffet areas, guests are asked by crew members to “washy washy”. Some of the entertainment and songs they crew sing to the guest are cute and very catchy. When in the buffet, most ships have the crew serve the food on the plates for you. The serving crew will take care of your empty cups and plates and finished food items to eliminate cross contamination. Each time you want something else, you are encouraged to get a new cup, plates, and utensils. In the dining halls, the same care is taken. The table is set for your meal and in between courses, the serves will remove all used utensils, glasses, plates, and finished food items. Every drink is brought to you in a new glass and new utensils for every course. A lot of emphasis is placed on having as least touch point as possible. Many things like menus and various forms of information can me obtained from simply scanning QR codes around the ships. Each cruise line has an app, where you can access just about anything and everything. Here are a few things I have observed during my pandemic cruise. When I was on Royal Caribbean, the karaoke hosts always wiped the microphone with disinfectant wipes after each performance. Personal hand sanitizer and mask were in the rooms when I first walked in. On Norwegian, I watch a couple of servers reset an entire dining table in two minutes. They cleared the table of all dishes and leftover food, removed the tablecloth, sanitized the table, brought out a new tablecloth, places new dishes, glasses, and silverware.

In closing, I can honestly say that I feel safer on a cruise than I do on land. The care and attention placed on health and safety of all guest and crew members continues to exceed my expectations. If you are looking to try your first cruise, looking to plan a special event on a cruise or have a group cruise, please contact me by putting in a request by clicking here. I look forward to assisting you in creating an Amazing Cruise Experience.

Sincerely Your Person Travel Agent,

-Success Jenkins

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