Norovirus is not as prevalent on cruise ships as people may think. According to CDC data, only about one or two percent of all reported norovirus cases occur on cruise ships. The majority of cases actually occur in nursing homes, schools, and restaurants. While there is always a small chance of a new cruise ship being delayed, there is currently no reason to believe that it will happen. So, if you’re planning a cruise, rest assured that the risk of contracting norovirus is relatively low.
In addition to debunking the misconception about norovirus, this article also provides some practical information for cruise-goers. For instance, it clarifies that swimsuits can be worn in the Windjammer restaurant, as long as a cover-up is worn. It also discusses the availability of drink packages for children and offers suggestions for excursions in Nassau. Overall, this article aims to inform and reassure readers about the realities of cruising while providing helpful tips and insights.
Norovirus on Cruise Ships
Misconception of Prevalence
There is a misconception that norovirus is highly prevalent on cruise ships. In reality, according to CDC data, only about one or two percent of all reported norovirus cases occur on cruise ships. The majority of norovirus cases actually occur in nursing homes, schools, and restaurants. However, the news tends to focus on norovirus outbreaks on cruise ships because they make for sensational headlines. It is important to understand that while norovirus can occur on a cruise ship, it is not as common as people might think.
Comparison to Other Settings
To put the prevalence of norovirus on cruise ships into perspective, it is worth comparing it to other settings. As mentioned earlier, nursing homes, schools, and restaurants see a higher number of norovirus cases compared to cruise ships. The order of prevalence is typically nursing homes, followed by schools and then restaurants. It is essential to recognize that norovirus outbreaks can happen anywhere, but cruise ships are not the primary settings where these outbreaks occur. This information should help alleviate any concerns about norovirus when considering a cruise vacation.
Delays and Cancellations
While there is a small chance that a new cruise ship could be delayed, it is important to note that this is a rare occurrence. When a new cruise ship is being built, there are many moving parts, and unforeseen circumstances can arise. However, as of now, there is no reason to believe that the upcoming cruise ship will be delayed. It is crucial to understand that delays are a potential risk associated with booking a new ship, especially if you are considering the inaugural sailing. Although the risk exists, it is not something that happens frequently.
At present, there is no indication or information suggesting that the new cruise ship will be delayed. While delays can happen, it is essential to trust the cruise line’s expertise and preparations. They will do their best to ensure that everything runs smoothly and that guests have a fantastic experience. It is always a good idea to keep an eye on any updates or announcements from the cruise line regarding the status of the ship’s construction and launch. However, as of now, there is no cause for concern regarding delays or cancellations.
Dress Code and Etiquette
Swimsuit Policy at Windjammer Restaurant
If you are planning to dine at the Windjammer restaurant on a cruise ship, you can wear your swimsuit. However, it is essential to have a cover-up or something to wear over your swimsuit. Walking into the restaurant in just a swimsuit is not considered appropriate. So, while you can wear a swimsuit, make sure to bring a cover-up or appropriate clothing to put on over your swimwear.
Guidelines for Chicken Open Men
For the Chicken Open Men, the Eastern Time or the time of departure from the port determines when it opens. It usually opens at midnight, aligning with the ship’s departure time. So if you are on a cruise that departs at midnight, the Chicken Open Men will open around that time. It is always a good idea to check with the cruise line or onboard staff to confirm the exact timing and location of the Chicken Open Men.
Options for Bookings without Coastal Kitchen
If you book a cruise without Coastal Kitchen, which is a specialty restaurant available on some ships, there is no direct replacement. However, you will still have options for breakfast. Usually, Chops Grille is reserved for Suite guests, and you will have a plated breakfast or access to a designated seating area. While you may not have the same level of benefits as guests with access to Coastal Kitchen, you can still enjoy a nice breakfast experience on the ship.
Weather and Ship Motion
Turbulence in Gulf of Mexico
The level of turbulence in the Gulf of Mexico can vary, but it is rarely extremely bad. Comparing it to rainfall patterns or turbulence on flights can provide some perspective. Just as rainfall varies at different locations and during different seasons, turbulence during a cruise can range from calm to a little choppy. It is crucial to remember that experienced cruisers rarely list motion sickness or ship motion as one of their top concerns. First-time cruisers may be more apprehensive about ship motion, but in reality, it is not as severe as some might think. So, there is no need to worry excessively about turbulence in the Gulf of Mexico during your cruise.
Motion in Two-bedroom Aqua Theater Suite
If you are staying in a two-bedroom Aqua Theater Suite located at the back of the ship, the motion is not significant. While there might be some movement because of the suite’s position, it usually does not cause any significant discomfort. Many guests who have stayed in these suites have reported an overall positive experience. The balcony offers a fantastic view, and any minor motion should not deter you from enjoying your time in the suite. It is worth noting that the primary concern with Aqua Theater Suites is the long walk from the back of the ship to the elevators, which can be a bit tiring. However, it is a small inconvenience compared to the overall benefits of the suite.
Pricing and Deals
Expectations for Icon of the Seas
When it comes to pricing for the Icon of the Seas, it is unlikely that prices will drop significantly. New cruise ships typically command higher prices, as they generate excitement and demand from passengers. This trend is not unique to Royal Caribbean; it applies to all cruise lines. The premium pricing for new ships reflects the anticipation and exclusivity associated with sailing on a brand-new vessel. Prices for older ships in the fleet are usually lower in comparison. So, while there might be some variation in pricing, it is not expected to be a drastic drop.
Value of Three-night Cruise Deals
Whether a three-night cruise is worth it depends on various factors, including the deals available and the cost of airfare. If you can find a good deal on the cruise fare and airfare, a three-night cruise can be a great option for a quick getaway or a first-time cruise experience. It provides an opportunity to experience the cruise lifestyle without committing to a longer voyage. However, it is important to keep in mind that airfare prices can significantly impact the overall cost. If the airfare is expensive, it might not make the three-night cruise as worthwhile. Consider all the expenses involved and the value you personally place on a shorter cruise before making a decision.
Drink Packages for Children
Drink packages for children are not necessary. Most cruise lines include certain beverages for children in their regular cruise fare. These typically include a selection of non-alcoholic drinks such as soda, fruit juices, and sometimes mocktails or non-alcoholic versions of popular drinks like pina coladas. If your child wants a specialty drink like a soda or a pina colada, they can be purchased separately. However, it is not essential to buy a separate drink package for them. The basic included options should be sufficient for most children.
Tips for Maximizing Deluxe Drink Package
If you opt for the deluxe drink package, there are various ways to maximize its value. In addition to enjoying alcoholic beverages, there are other drinks and items you can take advantage of. Bottled water is a great option to stock up on using the drink package. It is handy to have bottled water for excursions or for staying hydrated throughout the day. Additionally, you can try different specialty coffees at Cafe Promenade, as they are included in the deluxe package. This allows you to explore a variety of coffee options without any additional cost. By making the most of the drink package offerings beyond alcoholic beverages, you can enhance your overall cruise experience.
Excursions and Destinations
Highlight in June: Mendenhall Glacier Park and Skagway
If you are planning a cruise in June, one of the highlights you should consider is visiting Mendenhall Glacier Park in Juneau. The park offers breathtaking views of the glacier and its surroundings. One recommended activity is taking a hike to Nugget Falls, which is a relatively easy half-mile walk from Mendenhall Glacier. The experience of witnessing the falls up close is truly awe-inspiring. In Skagway, a popular excursion is the sled dog experience, where you get to meet and interact with sled dogs. Additionally, exploring downtown Skagway is highly recommended, as it offers a charming and historic atmosphere.
Popular Excursions in Nassau
When visiting Nassau, there are several popular excursions to consider. One option is Blue Lagoon, which is a private island offering pristine beaches, water activities, and a relaxing atmosphere. Another popular excursion is Pearl Island, where you can enjoy a scenic boat ride, visit a beautiful private island, and snorkel in crystal-clear waters. Additionally, you can explore resort day passes, which allow you to spend the day at a luxurious resort, lounging by the pool and enjoying resort amenities. Nassau offers a range of excursion choices to suit different preferences and interests.
Availability of Recap on YouTube
If you missed the live Q&A session, don’t worry! The recap video will be available on YouTube. You can catch up on the answers to the biggest questions and get the information you need. The YouTube channel is a valuable resource for staying updated and informed about Royal Caribbean and cruise-related topics. Make sure to subscribe to the channel to receive notifications about future videos and Q&A sessions.
Next Monday’s Schedule
Mark your calendars for the next Q&A session, which will be held next Monday. This regular schedule ensures that you have the opportunity to engage with the Royal Caribbean team and get answers to your questions. Stay tuned for more information and announcements regarding the upcoming session. The Q&A sessions provide valuable insights and a chance to connect with fellow cruisers and enthusiasts.
Norovirus, although it can occur on cruise ships, is not as prevalent as commonly believed. The majority of norovirus cases occur in nursing homes, schools, and restaurants. Delays and cancellations for new cruise ships are rare, and there is currently no reason to believe that the upcoming ship will be delayed. There are certain dress codes and etiquette guidelines to follow on cruise ships, including the requirement of a cover-up over swimsuits in certain areas. The motion in specific ship locations, such as the two-bedroom Aqua Theater Suite, is not significant and should not be a cause for concern. Pricing for new ships like the Icon of the Seas is typically higher initially, and three-night cruises can be worth it if you find a good deal on the cruise and airfare. Additionally, drink packages for children are not necessary, and there are tips for maximizing the value of deluxe drink packages. Excursions to Mendenhall Glacier Park and Skagway in June and popular excursions in Nassau offer exciting experiences for cruisers. Q&A recaps are available on YouTube, and the next session is scheduled for the upcoming Monday.
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