"Cool" cruise change

Some here read the saga of my travels on the “plague ship”. And that was an environment where everyone was vaccinated, tested and so on.

My expressed opinion at the time has not changed: If you take a cruise today, unless you have recently recovered from the variant de jour, you have a remarkably high probability to become infected by COVID while you are aboard.

I just received this from Royal Caribbean, a major cruise company:

Dear valued Travel Partners,

As the cruise sector continues to evolve and adapt to an everchanging environment, we look forward to moments where we can share progressive movement. While continuing to prioritize the health and safety of our guests, crew, and the communities we visit, we are excited to begin transitioning to a point that more closely aligns with other travel and hospitality sectors. With that, we are pleased to announce the easing of test requirements for most U.S. itineraries.

• Fully vaccinated guests will only have to show a test result at boarding if the sailing is 6 nights or longer.
• Unvaccinated children will still need to show a test result to board all sailings, regardless of length. However, they will not need to test again at the terminal.
• Guests will now have the same test standard, regardless of vaccination status: You can show a negative test result from a supervised PCR or antigen test taken within 3 days of boarding day.
This revision does not apply to guests whose itinerary visits Canada or Bermuda. These clients will still need to follow our current testing protocols until further notice.

So, like officer salaries of Fortune 500 firms, each tries to outmatch the others by claiming “it’s only parity”. You’ll notice that a cruise of less than a week doesn’t require testing, so you are likely to come home with an unexpected present for your friends and family.