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What To Expect When Cruising Returns

17 February 2021

Guest Embarking onto the Ship

Updated Wednesday 23rd March 2021

After almost a year of no cruises for UK guests, positive vaccine news and successful voyages from ships such as MSC Grandiosa mean UK cruisers can soon see the return of cruise holidays. While you'll still be able to enjoy unforgettable itineraries aboard breathtaking ships, there are going to be some changes to the onboard experience. Keep reading to find out what to expect when cruising returns.

For more information, please here to preregister your interest, browse all available UK Coastal Cruise sailings and our comprehensive breakdown on the UK's return to cruising.

What to expect when cruising returns

1) Health Checks Before Boarding

Prior to embarkation you may be expected to complete a health questionnaire, as well as temperature checks and further screening just before boarding. These temperature checks may be repeated throughout the cruise when rejoining the ship after shore excursions. Saga Cruises has also announced that all guests must have been vaccinated at least 14 days before their cruise, although other cruise lines have not followed in their footsteps so far.

2) Fewer Guests Onboard

When you return to cruising, you may find that there are fewer guests onboard as cruise lines ensure that social distancing can be maintained. Capacity in venues including restaurants and theatres will also be reduced, although more show times and meal seatings will make sure that you don't miss out.

3) No self-service buffets

Onboard dining options are often a highlight of a cruise thanks to the wealth of options on hand. Buffets are particularly popular, with guests able to try delicious dishes from around the world included in their cruise fare. While this impressive selection will still be available, you should expect to see changes including self-service buffets replaced with table service or staff on hand at each station to fill up your plate.

4) Increased cleaning

Cruise lines already have very stringent onboard hygiene protocols, but cleaning will become even more frequent, with a particular focus on high touch points including door handles and rails. Staterooms and public areas will also see an increase in cleaning procedures, with fogging taking place where possible.

5) Cruises to Nowhere

When cruise lines first return, there may be an increase in cruises to nowhere. Sailing from UK ports, you'll be able to spend a few days at sea making the most of the ship you choose. While you may not visit any ports of call, you'll get the chance to truly make the most of all the amazing cruise ship activities, entertainment and dining.

cruises to nowhere

Now you know what to expect when cruising returns, read about a day on Anthem of the Seas to find out what sailing looks like with Royal Caribbean. Alternatively, check out our blog on MSC Cruises return to service to find out how MSC Grandiosa has resumed itineraries.

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