In a stunning turn of (long overdue) events, the CDC removes health notices related to cruise vacations reversing course on its stance on the safety of cruising. I’ve been on a handful of cruises since Fall 2021 (a couple on Virgin Voyages, a couple on Royal Caribbean, and one on AMAWaterways) and due to the protocols, have felt safe (and returned healthy) on each. Of course, cruising is different in 2022 (and here’s what you can expect) but with this announcement, you have the green light to enjoy an amazing cruise vacation.
News of the announcement, “CDC removes health notices” spread quickly, and the cruise industry commented immediately:
[The] decision by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to altogether remove the Travel Health Notice for cruising recognizes the effective public health measures in place on cruise ships and begins to level the playing field, between cruise and similarly situated venues on land, for the first time since March 2020.CLIA (Cruise Line International Association)
We’re absolutely thrilled to see that the CDC recognizes that it’s time to remove the travel health notice website. While we feel this was a long time coming, we recognize this move as a demonstration of all of the hard work this industry has done to ensure that we’re offering the safest way to travel. It’s refreshing to see them meet us where we’re at, and clearly where our consumers are at considering the major uptick in demand we’ve seen.Tom McAlpin, CEO Virgin Voyages
The CDC’s removal of its health notice related to cruise travel is an important step forward in recognizing the work we have done to protect our guests. At Holland America Line, we continue to operate vaccinated cruises and have created a safe and healthy environment for our guests, our teams, and the communities we serve, helping to ensure cruising is among the safest forms of socializing and travel.Gus Antorcha, President Holland America Line
After more than two years of warning travelers about the dangers of contracting COVID-19 on a cruise amid the pandemic, in removing the heath notices, the CDC has recognized the efforts of cruise lines to create safe environments for travel. This positive step is made due to the willingness of major cruise lines to be part of the voluntary Covid-19 program which, in part, assigns a color code to each ship based on their policies to travel with vaccinated guests and ensure safety protocols are followed.
Read: CDC Cruise Ship Travel Guidelines
Your decision to take a cruise in 2022 should be made with some things in mind, for example:
- Your overall risk for severe illness
- Your vaccination status (and the requirements of the cruise line)
- Your willingness to be tested before boarding your cruise
With these things in mind, and realizing there are great deals available, now is a great time to book your next cruise and do so knowing the cruise lines are committed to your health and safety and the CDC wholeheartedly agrees.
About the Author
Joel is a co-owner of JJ Travel Associates (a Dream Vacations franchise), blogger-in-chief at JoelKnowsTravel.com, lover of all things travel (especially UNESCO World Heritage Sites), wannabe comedian, and the person you should call if you're thinking of planning a vacation.