Crystal Cruises has revealed details of its initial set of health and safety protocols to be implemented on the ocean ships Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony once they resume sailing.
The protocols have been developed with the latest data from health experts to meet the unique challenges of COVID-19, and will be continually evaluated as new information becomes available.
The new measures will include reduced capacity, new embarkation procedures, enhanced cleaning protocols, social distancing and face covering guidelines, health monitoring, onboard medical resources, isolation staterooms in case of illness with a separate air filtration system, and shoreside partner collaborations.
“When travelers choose to sail with us, they are entrusting Crystal to keep their well-being as our top priority and we take this trust and responsibility very seriously,” said Crystal’s president and CEO, Tom Wolber, in a press release statement. “The Crystal Clean+ program is an enhancement of the rigorous systems to which our teams have always adhered and offer our guests peace of mind and the assurance that Crystal is committed to ensure a healthy and safe experience aboard our ships.”
Precautionary changes to the embarkation process will require guests to check-in online and complete a health questionnaire before arriving at an assigned time to minimize congestion. Guests will undergo temperature checks before entering the terminal, and then complete a second health questionnaire at the terminal, followed by a second temperature check at the ship’s gangway conducted via contact-free fever screening systems. All luggage will be disinfected before it is brought aboard, and guests who show any sign of illness will be seen by medical staff and may be denied boarding.
Crystal ships are already designed to provide almost double the space per guest of similar sized ships, but the new protocols will extend this further. Ships will resume service with reduced capacity; social distancing of at least six feet will be required for those outside of one’s travel party; and all restaurants, entertainment venues, fitness centers, pool decks, casino areas, retail spaces, bars and lounges will open at reduced capacity.
Disinfection of all guest rooms and public areas will take place with increased frequency using medical-grade products approved for use against COVID-19. Touch-points such as handrails, elevator buttons, table-tops and door handles will be disinfected with increased frequency during peak hours; electrostatic foggers will be used as an additional tool for disinfection; and additional hand sanitizing stations will be placed strategically throughout the ship.
Crystal will require masks when its ships resume service. Masks will be provided to both guests and crew, and will be required in venues and instances where distancing is not possible. Crystal will also comply with all destination health authorities, which may require masks ashore.
Open seating dining will continue with social distancing considerations; in-room dining will be available 24/7; contact-free dining will be implemented in all venues; self-service options will be eliminated; and stringent procurement guidelines will be enforced.
Crystal is working closely with its shoreside partners to ensure that the Crystal Clean+ protocols are extended to guests’ experience ashore. Excursion group sizes will be reduced, and tour coaches and tenders will be disinfected to meet the Crystal standards. Crystal will only visit safe and open ports of call, which may cause changes to itineraries.
All crew members will be tested for COVID-19 prior to boarding, and will undergo frequent temperature checks and health monitoring. Crew will be required to wear face masks, face shields and other PPE when interacting with guests, and will be trained in health and safety measures.
Each ship will have a medical team that will include a doctor and three nurses available 24/7. Onboard medical centers will be equipped with ventilators, virus testing equipment, X-Ray machines, extensive first aid tools and common prescription and over-the-counter medications. Isolated wards are also available in the medical centers.
A public health officer will ensure that the daily cleaning protocols are observed in accordance with CDC guidelines, oversee outbreak mitigation, and closely coordinate with the medical team.
For full details of the Crystal Clean+ protocols, visit crystalcruises.com/crystal-clean.