Norwegian Cruise Line releases new policies to keep guests safe from coronavirus

01 Jun 2020
Matt Hochberg

Norwegian Cruise Line released on Monday its new policies, procedures and measures meant to keep guests safe once cruising resumes.

Royal Caribbean has not released their new health policies, but have alluded to it coming soon.  To give Royal Caribbean cruisers an idea of what to expect, here is what NCL has in mind.

The cruise line posted its new "SAIL SAFE Health and Safety Program" that aims to ensure the health, safety and confidence of guests and crew onboard its ships.

There are six key areas of health and safety addressed in the program, and it will be implemented fleetwide.

Enhanced Screening Protocols

All guests will undergo an enhanced pre-embarkation health screening.

Additionally, all crew will undergo extensive screening prior to embarkation and constant monitoring throughout the voyage. \

Once on board, touchless temperature checks and continuous monitoring of guests and crew throughout the voyage will help identify potential health issues, offering an additional
layer of prevention and protection.

Checks will occur:

  • Prior to embarkation and disembarkation
  • Upon returning to the ship while in a port of call
  • Prior to all activities in public venues
  • Prior to all meals in dining venues
  • A healthy crew helps ensure healthy guests. Constant monitoring of crew health includes temperature checks multiple times per day as well as rigid sanitation protocols.
  • We’re enhancing our existing Pre-Employment Medical Examination process, which already screens for a wide variety of infectious diseases, to ensure the health and safety of our crew.
  • We’re exploring on board testing capabilities that will allow crew members to undergo the latest, most advanced form of COVID-19 testing at any time throughout their employment contract.

Responsible Social Distancing

Staggered embarkation and advanced online check-in will be implemented for proper social distancing.

In addition, the cruise line will reduce capacity in all public areas throughout the voyage.

All onboard activities will still be available, although operated at a reduced capacity, and in some cases, slightly modified in order to ensure safe social distancing. NCL will take necessary precautions and follow applicable public health guidelines to ensure guest health and safety, which is our highest priority at all times.

Increased sanitation measures

All ships are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to every voyage in accordance with company protocols, which are developed in partnership with CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program.

Embarkation terminals will be sanitized continuously, and, where possible, fogged before and after each embarkation and debarkation.

All staterooms, suites and public areas will be cleaned, sanitized and disinfected at an increased frequency, using Electrostatic Spray Technology.

Increased sanitation efforts include:

  • The disinfectant we use for fogging in staterooms and public areas is hypochlorous acid (HOCl). Hypochlorous acid is a non-toxic, powerful oxidant that effectively kills bacteria, spores, and viruses. It is natural and safe to use in open areas since it is comprised of natural elements such as water and salt, and electric charge.
  • NCL's 24/7 prevention schedule will feature continuous disinfection of public areas and high-traffic touch points. NCL will ensure that cleaning occurs continuously for all elevators and all public areas during on and off-peak hours.
  • Buffets and beverage stations will be full service with staff available to serve guests.
  • All guests will be strongly encouraged to engage in frequent handwashing, including when entering food and beverage venues, and hand sanitizer will be prominently placed and easily accessible throughout the ship

All-new Air Filtration

Installation of medical-grade air-filters, H13 HEPA, that remove 99.95% of airborne pathogens across our entire fleet to ensure the air you breathe is clean.

Extended Ship To Shore Safety

NCL will visit safe, open ports that may mean itinerary changes.

Enhanced Medical Resources

Onboard medical centers will be fully equipped with the latest testing kits and medical supplies.

NCL will also increase their medical team fleetwide.

Testing kits and medical supplies include:

  • Advanced onsite COVID-19 testing
  • Increased inventory of vaccinations
  • Increased inventory of medications to treat COVID-19

NCL will begin to introduce a newly created onboard position of Public Health Officer, responsible for the oversight of all sanitation and outbreak prevention initiatives. Additionally, they will monitor the day-to-day cleanliness of all public areas and accommodations, maintaining compliance with the CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program.

  • Enhanced health & safety trainings and continued education for crew members.
  • Webinars developed by our various health partners.
  • WHO and CDC materials are available to vessels and crew.
  •  All crew will have public health training when joining the ship.

What do you think of NCL's health program? Does it go far enough to make you feel safe to cruise? Are there rules you do not like? Share your observations in the comments!

Matt started Royal Caribbean Blog in 2010 as a place to share his passion for all things Royal Caribbean with readers. He oversees all the writers at Royal Caribbean Blog, and writes a great deal of content on a daily basis.  He has become one of the foremost experts on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Over the years, he has reached Pinnacle Club status with Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program.

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