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Cruising during a pandemic: What you need to know before setting sail

Ginny Maurer from Cruise Planners joins us to answer your questions.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — 2 Wants to Know is talking to Ginny Maurer, with Cruise Planners Travel, about traveling during the pandemic.

Changes to cruises because of COVID-19

  • What are the vaccination requirements to sail? Each cruise line is a little different but CDC requires no more than 5% be unvaccinated. Those that are unvaccinated will have additional requirements. Some cruise lines are 100% vaccinated - no exceptions.  The crew is also 100% vaccinated and all passengers will take a test prior to boarding even though they are vaccinated.  
  • Capacity levels of the ship - as of right now most cruise lines are operating at about 1/3 capacity.
  • Dining - buffets still exist but you are served so no one touches the utensils.
  • Even more sanitizing stations on board than usual.

When is the best time to plan your travel for the best pricing and availability?

Average 2 seasons ahead so now would be the time to be booking spring and even early summer travel. Alaska minimum of 9 months to 1 year in advance. Also, if you are considering Europe for next year - now is the time to start the planning process.

Also depends on the number of travelers. If you need rooms for 5 or more or more than 2 rooms I recommend booking at least 9 months to a year out.

Great travel locations for this fall and winter

The Caribbean and Mexico are still extremely popular. If you want to stay closer to home consider NY or DC or ski vacations out west. Cruising is also a great option for this fall and winter.  The ship's capacity is limited to approximately 50% throughout the year.

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