The CDC Is No Longer Warning against Cruise Ship Travel

Cruise ship sailing into sunset Alonso Reyes/Unsplash
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Families who cruise, start packing. The Centers for Disease Control has lifted its health advisory against cruise travel for the first time since March 2020. Based on dwindling numbers of Covid infections reported onboard ships and the (dare we say it) somewhat diminished state of the pandemic, the health agency seems to be leveling the playing field for the cruise industry. Translation: If it’s your jam, you can put floating excursions back into the mix when determining this year’s travel plans.

Gregory Trofimov/ Unsplash

If you and the kids decide to hop aboard for your next vacation (planned, easy-to-access activities, multigenerational entertainment and exciting destinations—we get it!), keep a few things in mind. First, remember that the CDC has removed its advisory against cruise travel, but the agency hasn’t said it’s totally safe. Travelers will need to make their own risk assessment, as they do with any travel decisions, CDC spokesperson Dave Daigle tells USA Today. For families, that basically means weighing your risks on a cruise ship versus other land-locked vacation destinations. Or going to the grocery store. Or sending your kids to school.

If you’re still totally on board, the CDC recommends that you get vaccinated, get tested as close to departure as possible and again after disembarking from your cruise—regardless of your vaccination status. Travelers should also visit the CDC’s site to consult the Cruise Ship Color Status dashboard. Here, you can find lots of public health information for your particular ship. If it’s coded green, then there have been no reported cases of Covid-19. The number of cases increases as you make your way from green to yellow (which signals the number of cases is below the threshold required to launch an investigation), orange (the number of cases is at the threshold for the CDC to investigate) and red (the number of cases is above the threshold.) If your ship is noted as grey, then it has elected not to report its number of cases. 

If you’ve been itching to embark on your next journey as a family to a new port-of-call, the good news is that now seems to be as good a time as ever. But as with all things during the pandemic, plan ahead, weigh your risks and be responsible for your health, as it impacts everyone around you. Now go find your floaties. You deserve a vacation.

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