WTMJ Cares is powered by Watry Industries and Premier Aluminum.
Sponsored by Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, Town Bank, and Griffin Automotive Group (Chevrolet, Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge and Ford)
Many travel-related industries have taken a hit due to COVID-19, but perhaps cruises have been hit hardest. The CDC issued a No Sail Order on cruise ships in U.S. waters after numerous deaths on cruise ships due to coronavirus.
Travel agencies are beginning to see patterns of how cruises will begin coming back, mainly beginning with river cruises.
“We are starting to see it come back. We have people calling us, requesting,” said Kenny Judd of Collette Travel during the recent WTMJ Cares Roundtable.
“They are smaller ships, so you don’t have 5,000 people. Most boats we use max out at 120 people. You limit how much exposure you have to people on those riverboats.”
Ocean cruising was in the spotlight with more than 3,000 people contracting coronavirus in cases connected to cruise ships, and more than 80 deaths.
People are starting to look at booking ocean cruises farther off on the calendar.
“Their bookings are up substantially for the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021. Many displaced cruisers have credits,” said Rose Gray of Fox World Travel on the WTMJ Cares Roundtable.
Gray and Judd both agree that changes are coming to all cruises.
“It’s going back to wellness protocols, cleaning services,” said Judd.
“You will not be serving yourself in the foreseeable future. They have plans for how that will be handled,” Gray explained.
But in the end, some people are hesitant to take cruises, including Dr. Mary Beth Graham, an infectious disease expert at Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin.
“Not anytime soon, although I do love them. I really do,” she admitted.
“I think the picture of Dr. (Anthony) Fauci standing up and saying ‘Don’t get on a cruise ship’ early on was emblazoned in my brain for the foreseeable future.”