Maple Grove Travel Agent Discusses Impact of CDC’s Cruise Ship Warning
When the temperature sometimes struggles to reach zero, it’s a perfect time for Minnesotans to think about escaping to warmer climates. But the CDC just put out a recommendation saying that Americans should not travel on cruise lines due to a rise in COVID-19 cases caused by the contagious Omicron variant. The news has had quite the impact on local travel agents.
“I think we’re just kind of hoping to ride this out,” said Ted Blank, a travel adviser from Travel Leaders in Maple Grove.
Blank says that cruising remains a popular way for Minnesotans to escape to other parts of the globe, but the recent CDC warning has travelers raising concerns.
“We definitely have had people cancel cruises,” Blank said. “We have definitely had people postpone cruises until a later date. Right now, that still represents a smaller percentage of our bookings. I think that the cruise lines are really taking the time to review the protocols that they have and doing everything they can to be safe.”
Blank says cruises require all passengers and crew members to be vaccinated, so travel agents say people aren’t worried so much about whether they’ll get sick while cruising, but whether they’ll be forced to quarantine if they test positive.
Blank says that since cruises resumed in June of 2021, 1 percent of passengers have had to quarantine after testing positive.
“Now the good news is that cruise lines have very advanced medical treatment on board the ships,” he said. “So if you were to be ill, there would be someone there to take care of you. Some of the cruise lines, if you test positive, they’ll actually pop you on a private jet and fly you right home. So a lot of options for you.”
Meanwhile, travel agents encourage people to purchase travel insurance. That gives travelers a safety net to cover expenses in case something happens on their trip or if they have to cancel their plans altogether.