When we decided to start booking cruises again in the past year, we considered several options since the pandemic. Would a larger ship be safer than a larger ship that might have more comprehensive protocols to keep its passengers and crew safe from contracting the virus?
After paying lots of attention to existing sailings during the last few years, we decided to continue our journey on April 8 on a similar ship to the above Celebrity Eclipse with a passenger capacity of 2886 across the Atlantic Ocean. Most ships are not sailing at maximum capacity, and we expect this ship will have less than 2000 passengers at boarding, although we won’t be able to confirm this number until after we board and set sail.
The Azamara ship, for example, is one of the six Azamara cruises we’ve booked for 2022 and 2023. Their passenger capacity ranges from 600 to 800 passengers. Based on Covid-19 and other viruses contracted on cruises, we felt the smaller ships would be more advantageous for us with less likelihood of getting sick.
However, we won’t have to sacrifice the amenities we enjoy and utilize, the quality of service, and the variety and quality of food served onboard. Azamara is a highly rated cruise line with the utmost services in all areas. Neither of us cares for water parks, gaming areas, and rides that many of the enormous ships have added for families.
Our goal is to relax, enjoy the company of other passengers we meet along the way, get some exercise moving about the ship, and for me to use the health club, which all Azamara ships have as amenities. We’ve read many reviews about the quality of the food and the varied options, many of which work well for my way of eating. The chefs have arranged suitable and delicious meals for my way of eating, on most of the ships we’ve experienced in the past,
Let’s face it; we’ve been on 27 cruises since we began sailing in January 2013. We’ve had some great experiences, and we’ve had some mediocre experiences. However, we were thrilled to be out to sea in every case.
Unfortunately, on several of our past cruises, we’ve come down with the dreaded “cruise cough,” or the “cruise flu.” Surprisingly, we’ve never had the common norovirus prevalent on many sailings. Never once have we had to seek medical care for the flu or virus on a ship.
Although, on the Antarctica cruise, I had to seek medical care for an injury to my knee from falling in Buenos Aires that became infected before we set sail. (A person rushed past me on the cobblestone sidewalk, sending me to the ground, landing on my knee). A few days before we left, I needed to take a different antibiotic than I was prescribed in Buenos Aires at the urgent care facility. The doctor on the ship provided me with the appropriate medication, and a few days later, I was on the mend.
Neither of us has had Covid-19 or Omicron. We’ve been vaccinated and boosted. But that’s no guarantee we can’t become infected while on a ship. Of course, we’ll follow the required protocols as directed and take additional precautions of our own, hoping we can avoid infection.
With Omicron raging worldwide, particularly in the US, we don’t feel that sailing is any worse than shopping at a market, visiting friends, and dining in a restaurant. Whether we choose to believe them or not, statistics support our peace of mind. We aren’t foolhardy. We’re cautious.
Photo from one year ago today, February 8, 2021: