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  • Writer's pictureStephan Busch

The Cruise Debacle. Vaccinated or Better Not?

Updated: Jun 8, 2021

Finally cruises again? Not only guests are looking forward to it but most of all the staff - after almost 2 years without income - many without social safety nets and income compensation - abandoned by many cruise lines as especially the behaviour of Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean has shown the dark side of the cruise industry.

Now comes the vaccine debacle

Should all guests and crew be vaccinated? The pharmaceutical industry will be the first to say yes, followed by politicians who have filled their pockets with pharmaceutical money thanks to Corona. This is where the dilemma for the cruise companies begins. How much do we want to restrict our market? 50% percent of Americans alone are not vaccinated or not fully vaccinated. The Russian market very small but financially so strong as the South Americans - but only 5% percent are vaccinated. The billions of Asian guests? Do we want to shut them all out?

Vaccinated guests or all guests?

Many cruise companies had quickly announced that they only wanted to have vaccinated guests on board. After it was surprisingly noticed that this let the market considerably shrink the first companies pulled back. In this article are the up-to-date vaccination ideas of the companies but when it comes to the money, some will certainly change their policies as others already do.

Vaccinated staff or better not?

This will quickly be recognized as a nasty own goal even if some smart cruise line managers now see it as the order of the day. As early as 2020, at the onset of the corona crisis, the best qualified, most flexible and experienced staff from all areas of sea and river cruises looked for other sources of income and found them.

The not or less qualified will be queuing up for a job that is now less paid but just as exhausting. The quality will go down the drain. The costs incurred by employing unskilled and inexperienced personnel will continue to haunt the companies for years to come and cost a lot.

The hospitality industry is already complaining that qualified staff is not coming back. Now add a compulsory vaccination? The pros will laugh and stay away.

In addition, the EU - Council of European Union has officially prohibited discrimination against unvaccinated and thus laid the foundation for future lawsuits against companies that require vaccinated guests and crew.

"Vaccination NOT mandatory": Council of Europe prohibits discrimination against unvaccinated people

Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten 6.02.2021

28.03.2021 23:04

In Hanover, 600 doctors and medical staff were supposed to be vaccinated. But only 200 of them have appeared. It is striking that a tremendous number of doctors reject a corona vaccine.

Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten

Shouldn't that also make you wonder?

So, vaccinate or not?

That should be everyone's personal choice. If the team doctor of the German national team for the European Football Championships which starts this month prohibits vaccination for the whole team, because the risk of side effects is too great – should that make us think? You can hardly find that in the German media – that’s why here are some links.

Corona vaccinations "too dangerous" – German EM squad to be protected from side effects

But the team doctor of the German team does not want any vaccinations of his squad. He sees this as "too dangerous" in view of possible side effects.

Munich (SID) - For the German national football team, there will be "no closed vaccination" against the coronavirus before the European Championships, according to DFB director Oliver Bierhoff. Oliver Bierhoff: DFB: No closed vaccination for Em-Kader ( 11.5.2021

How do companies react today? (Tomorrow it may look quite different)

By Jim Walker Cruise Law News on May 18, 2021, 8:36 PM

Yesterday, Carnival Cruise Line executive Christine Duffy stated that her cruise line doesn't plan to require COVID-19 vaccination for guests. The comments were made during a television interview with NBC's Lester Holt (the first pull back)

On January 21, United Kingdom-based Saga Cruises announced that it would require all of its passengers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks before a trip. But not the Crew.

Royal Caribbean expects to require its crew members to receive the vaccine before sailings return, a spokesperson told Insider. Both crew members and guests over 16 years old will have to be vaccinated against COVID-19

On February 18, Crystal Cruises said it would require guests to receive both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before a cruise. The cruise line is also requiring a negative coronavirus test result from travelers and crew members, among other health protocols.

Norwegian Cruise Line and its Regent Seven Seas Cruises have announced COVID-19 vaccine requirements for crew members prior to boarding. However, the cruise lines are still "exploring all options" in regards to vaccination requirements for its guests

Richard Branson's adults-only cruise line, Virgin Voyages, has announced it will be making the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for both guests and crew

On March 17, P&O Cruises — owned by Carnival Corp — announced a summertime Ultimate Escape cruise collection that will sail along the UK coast. However, the cruises will only be available to UK residents who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at least seven days before the trip.

Cunard will resume sailing with cruises around the UK aboard the Queen Elizabeth ship from July to October. However, don't consider booking a trip unless you're a UK resident that's been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Business Insider Brittany Chang

Apr 13, 2021, 6:38 PM

Interesting Times.

Author: Stephan Busch, Academic Director at the State University for the Humanities Moscow RGGU, Faculty of Tourism & Hospitality and the Swiss International University earned his Master Certificate in Hospitality Management from Cornell University, USA. He has a diverse experience in launching operations, business development and service training- for hotel and cruise companies in Asia, Europe, Canada and Russia.,

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