Cruise ships have returned to the Port of San Diego. As passengers board once again, they may notice some changes on their voyage.
"They are constantly cleaning everything," said Dorian Strevig, a passenger on a Disney Cruise ship to Mexico. "When they said they were adding more hand sanitizers I didn't know how they could do that, they already have so many on board."
Other passengers also said there are some changes. For instance, requiring facemasks while indoors. It's not always ideal, but many said they're just glad to see things opening up.
"I know that they've taken this very seriously with COVID," Lynne Austin said. "You have to wear a mask indoors, we get that, we're used to that."
As people are looking to book vacations that they had to cancel last year, interest in cruises is up. Doug Shupe of the Auto Club of Southern California said they are receiving lots of calls about cruises for 2022.
"People who take cruises are very loyal passengers," Shupe said. "They've missed this experience of being out there on the high seas."
If you are looking to book a cruise, Shupe said there are some things to expect.
"You're going to have to have proof of vaccination as well as proof of a negative COVID test taken within 48 hours of leaving," Shupe said. "Masks are also required when you're inside the vessel."
There's also an increased focus on social distancing.
"The cruise lines are sailing at 40 to 70% capacity right now," Shupe explained.
Also, be sure to check the cruise line's policies.
"Some cruise lines are requiring all passengers be fully vaccinated," Shupe said. "For those under 12, that might not be an option."
Additionally, expect changes to the food buffets, such as not being able to serve yourself. There may also be more regular cleaning, and some ships have even gone cashless. Shupe said if you're interested, book early as he expects 2022 to be a big year for the industry.
"Interest level for those cruises is huge right now," he said.
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