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The other night, I watched The Last Cruise documentary on HBO. I’ve been anxiously awaiting the show’s debut. The documentary is about what happened on the Diamond Princess cruise ship last year when 712 of the 3711 people on board came down with Covid-19 (and 14 passengers died).
The 40-minute documentary shows actual footage from the ship and has interviews from several passengers and crew members. I found it fascinating to see the videos and hear the captain’s announcements throughout the ordeal. After watching it, I came to a few conclusions.
I Would Have Been Terrified
I have no doubt that if I would have been on that ship last year, I would have been absolutely terrified. The virus was so new at that point, and there were a lot of rumors and misinformation circulating. One of the rumors on board was that the government was going to sink the ship with everyone on it so as not to bring the virus back to dry land! I can’t even imagine the terror and stress the passengers and crew felt during those weeks.
Working on a Cruise Ship is Not as Glamorous as Most People Think
The Last Cruise definitely made me sympathetic toward the crew. While the passengers were quarantined in their rooms, the crew members had no choice but to continue working to clean the ship and feed all the passengers.
I already knew that working on a cruise ship was no walk in the park after reading the Cruise Confidential: A Hit Below the Waterline book. But this documentary really sealed it.
We Know So Much More About Covid Now
During the early days of Covid, safety discussions were mostly about hand washing and sanitizing surfaces. And, the Diamond Princess was no exception.
But now we know that Covid mostly spreads through the air, so masks, air flow and distancing are much more important. I know some people think that the CDC has flip-flopped on a lot of things, but I believe it’s mostly trial and error from new knowledge of the virus.
I’m Not Afraid to Cruise Again
Even after watching The Last Cruise, I’m not afraid to cruise again. While cruise ships have a reputation as “floating Petri dishes,” I believe they are now much safer. It’s actually astonishing that “only” 20% of the people on board developed Covid-19, given the close proximity of the passengers and lack of knowledge of the virus.
Cruise lines have been working for months to mitigate the risks of cruising. The few cruises that will start sailing this summer will only have vaccinated passengers, which is huge. Cruise ships also have new air filtration systems designed to filter airborne particles. Combined with mask-wearing, lower capacity and pre-sailing Covid screening, there are so many more barriers to entry for the Covid virus.
Have you seen The Last Cruise, or do you plan to watch it?
Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.