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The Post-Coronavirus Cruise? Not Ready to Sail


Genting is taking that step: Its boats will sail with up to 40 percent fewer passengers.

“We will not be able to make the same money anymore,” Mr. Zhu said. “As long as we can keep our operations going when we resume — enough to keep the company going — we will be happy enough for a few months.”

Dr. Schaffner called the Genting guidelines “pretty comprehensive,” though he said that masks might need to be part of the equation. (Genting’s plan does not require passengers to wear masks or stay any distance apart from each other onboard.) “They have decided, and if we were running the cruise industry, we might come to the same decision: If we require passengers to wear masks, that’s not the cruise experience, that goes a step too far,” he said.

But at the very least, he said, companies should offer to provide passengers with masks when they get off the ship for day trips and mingle with people on shore.

“That’s a time period people should be very much encouraged” to wear masks, he said.

Fred Kantrow and his wife were among the passengers who fell ill with coronavirus after sailing aboard the Celebrity Eclipse, a cruise ship owned by Royal Caribbean. Their daughter, who picked them up from the airport on their return home, got sick too.

Mr. Kantrow, 59, a lawyer from Smithtown, N.Y., sued Celebrity after the experience, saying they had not done enough to prevent the onboard outbreak of the disease. The Eclipse was forced to sail for two extra weeks when Chile refused to let passengers disembark; during that time the ship continued to host crowded parties, photographs included in Mr. Kantrow’s lawsuit show.

The C.D.C. records show 92 people from that ship tested positive for Covid-19, and Mr. Kantrow’s suit claims two died.

“I don’t know that they are going to be able to do anything to get me back,” he said. “It’s really hard to trust them. In two or three years will my position change? Maybe. But when we got off ship, my wife said, ‘Yeah, I’m not doing that again.’”


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