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View from front of cruise ship
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Cruising Is Back!

SmarterTravel

With one cruise line resuming sailing out of North America, many are set to follow this summer.

Celebrity Cruises Sets Sail for the First Time in Over a Year

The wait is over at long last. For the first time in fifteen months, a cruise ship has set sail in North America. Celebrity Millenium embarked from Philipsburg, St. Maarten on Sunday, June 6, marking not only the first sailing since the COVID outbreak began but also the first time Celebrity Cruises has homeported in St. Maarten. This seven-night cruise will visit Aruba, Barbados, and Curacao. 

Welcome Aboard Celebrity Cruises

Cruise ship on open ocean from Celebrity Cruises fleet
Celebrity Cruises

Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO of Celebrity Cruises said of the launch “What an honor to now be the first to enthusiastically say, once again – ‘Welcome Aboard!’”  Senior Vice President of Hotel Operations Brian Abel added “Once onboard, they will discover reimagined accommodation, spa and entertainment offerings, along with considered and thoughtful health and safety measures… The end result of all that we have implemented will make cruises one of the safest ways to explore the world, while enjoying a wonderful and uncompromised vacation experience.”

Safety Precautions on Celebrity Cruises

With the assistance of their Healthy Sail Panel, Celebrity Cruises has taken the utmost effort to ensure the safety of everyone on board. Safety precautions include: 

  • A fully vaccinated crew and 95% vaccinated guests onboard. 
  • Reduced capacity onboard. 
  • Staggered arrivals and departures to ensure the least amount of people getting on board at once. Guests will make an appointment for their preferred time. 
  • Celebrity Cruises eMuster app has been expanded for more contactless transactions. 
  • Face coverings required for check-ins and check-outs. 

Cruise with Confidence

Couple strolling on cruise ship deck
michaeljung | Adobe Stock

If you are tempted to start cruising again, but are still a bit nervous, Celebrity Cruises’ Cruise with Confidence policy means that if within 48-hours of sailing you are still too nervous to get onboard, you can cancel with no penalty, and receive a 100% Future Cruise Credit to use by April 30, 2022 toward any sailing through September 30, 2022. 

Celebrity Cruises 2021-2022 Schedule

Celebrity Cruises upcoming sailing schedule includes: 

June 19 – Celebrity Apex – sailing the Greek Islands and Cyprus
June 26 – Celebrity Edge – sailing the Caribbean from Ft. Lauderdale, FL 
July 3 –  Celebrity Silhouette – sailing the UK coastline 
July 3 –  Celebrity Flora – Luxury yacht sailing to the Galapagos Islands
July 23 –  Celebrity Millenium sailings to Alaska from Seattle 

For the full schedule of 2021 and 2022 cruises, click here

MSC Cruises to Set Sail in North America August 2

MSC has announced they will resume operations on August 2, after a simulation cruise on July 17 to ensure the ability to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 onboard. They have not yet announced their extra safety precautions, however, they were the first cruise line to resume sailing in Europe after the COVID-19 breakout, so you can expect to feel safe while onboard. You can check their Health and Safety Measures page for updates.

MSC Cruises Open for Booking June 16

Starting June 16, guests can begin booking trips on MSC Meraviglia departing from PortMiami and on MSC Divina, which will depart from Port Canaveral. Cruises on MSC Divina will resume beginning September 16. Guests will first be able to book 3 or 4-night cruises to the Bahamas (including MSC Cruises’ exclusive new private island destination, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve) on MSC Meraviglia, with the addition of 7-night cruises to the Bahamas and the Caribbean for travel beginning September 18.

On June 16, you can book your cruise aboard MSC Meraviglia here, and MSC Divina here.

Total CruiseFlex

Like Celebrity Cruises, MSC’s CruiseFlex policy allows you to cancel your booking up to 48-hours before your scheduled departure, If your cruise booking is made through July 31, 2021, and your cruise departure date is through September 30, 2022.

Carnival Cruises Plans July 3 Restart

Carnival has announced July 3 as their date to resume operations. Cruises will be available to guests who have received their second vaccination at least 14-days prior to departure. Beginning July 3, Carnival Vista will resume sailing from the Port of Galveston, with Carnival Breeze resuming on July 15. Carnival Horizon is expected to restart in July out of PortMiami, although no definite date has been set. All 3 cruises sail to the Caribbean.

Norwegian Cruise Lines To Resume North American Operations in August

Norwegian Cruise Lines has announced an August return to North America, with their newest innovation ship, Norwegian Encore debuting on August 7, departing from Seattle and sailing to Alaska. The Norwegian Gem will begin sailing from Miami on August 15, with a 7-day cruise to the Caribbean. 4-day cruises to the Bahamas will begin in November. Other sailings now bookable and set to resume this year are:

Norwegian’s Peace of Mind Booking and Sailing Policy

To ensure the safety of all their guests, Norwegian has a Peace of Mind policy, which makes sure you are safe while onboard and allows you to cancel without penalty. In partnership with the Healthy Sail Panel, Norwegian wants their guests to feel safe, and to do so, will require all guests to be fully vaccinated within 14 days of departure. Their cancelation policy allows you to cancel up to 15 days before departure for cruises departing through October 31, 2021, for a Future Cruise Credit, or a full refund when you cancel up to 60 days prior.

Royal Caribbean Comeback set for July 2

Celebrate the 4th of July on the sea with Royal Caribbean. Freedom of the Seas is setting sail on July 2 from PortMiami to Perfect Day at CocoCay. July 3 will see the debut of their new Odyssey of the Seas, setting sail from Fort Lauderdale for 6- and 8-night cruises to the Caribbean.

The rest of Royal Caribbean’s summer schedule is as follows:

Safety Protocols and Cancelation Policy of Royal Caribbean

All guests over the age of 16 must be fully vaccinated, and beginning August 1, guests over the age of 12 must also be fully vaccinated 14 days prior to departure.

Royal Caribbean’s Cruise with Confidence program allows cancelations for bookings made on or before July 31st, 2021, for sailings on or before April 30th, 2022.

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