Royal Caribbean’s Europe chief has predicted ships could sail with fewer guests to help aid onboard social distancing measures.
In a conference call with trade partners on Friday (1 May), Ben Bouldin, vice-president EMEA, outlined how cruising could look and feel when operations restart in future, as the sector adapts in “a world pre-vaccine”.
“I think there will be added screening upon embarkation. For sure, I think there will be more automation with check-in and more detail required,” said Bouldin.
"I think we will have to reevaluate the medical teams and scale of medical capability that we have on our ships and we have to be able to get on and off quickly in case of emergency or re-emergence of a Covid-19 case. There is lots to be worked thorough.”
Bouldin said the “big unknown” was how lines would potentially implement social distancing policies should they be required when operations resume.
“We have to play out these different scenarios. For sure, I think there will be a slightly reduced load factor to begin with, so we have a bit more natural space,” he told trade partners.
“I think there will be changes potentially around dining arrangements and for sure - what does social distancing on the pool deck look like? That has got to be given consideration across the industry.
“What we have got [to do] is trade off and get the right balance between accommodating the differences we need to [implement] whilst not undermining people’s enjoyment of a holiday.
“We have to be sympathetic to the world around us and make sure we provide comfort around that but at the same time in no shape or form hinder people’s ability to have a good time. Finding that balance is not easy and there’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes.”
For a full report of the call, visit ttgmedia.com later today