Bookings increase as cruises set to sail again soon

Bookings increasing as cruises get ready to sail again

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Some good news for cruise lines in the United States -- the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says sailing can start up again in July. Cruises in the Caribbean will begin in June. It’s been a rough year for cruise lines over the last year because of the pandemic, but there are brighter days ahead.

Travel agencies are happy to be booking these trips instead of canceling them. Clients are excited to be able to cruise again, and it’s showing in the big numbers. Travel agents say over the last two weeks, they have seen an increase of 200 percent in new clients booking cruises.

“We’re thrilled, our new phrase, ‘someday is now’ is here,” said Gayle Fortin, senior travel advisor for Cruise Planners. “So we’re really excited that, one, people are anxious to get back on the ships, and, two, ships are anxious to get back in the water.”

“I don’t have an edginess with it, I’m very comfortable with it and I want to travel now,” said Cindy Stokes, a Punta Gorda resident who has booked two cruises. “Maybe there’s going to be a risk for some people to travel, for me I’ll take the precautions, so I feel comfortable.”

Protocols are changing every day, but right now the CDC is requiring crew members and passengers to be fully vaccinated, wear masks and get a COVID-19 test before departure.

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