It is no surprise that in the months of March and April, the cruise industry suffered from a wave of cancelations much larger than anything ever before seen. The ramifications of the situation continue, as cruise companies continue to process the refunds, many of which are up to two months overdue. But while there is plenty of bad news for the cruise industry, there is good news as well. Particularly, future bookings are up, a fact that is baffling many travel industry analysts.
Before the outbreak of coronavirus, cruising was on track for a record year. BusinessInsider.com reports that 2020 was set to see 32 million passengers take a cruise voyage, up 2 million passengers from 2019. But despite the perceived risks of cruising during a pandemic, the report found that many cruisers are still ready to embark on their next voyage.
One traveler, John Shapiro, told the news outlet that "A lot of people we speak to are really chomping at the bit to return to cruising," saying that he and his wife promised themselves to cruise extra in order to make up for their canceled cruise. Other frequent cruisers told Business Insider that they like to cruise due to the care-free nature of the voyages and the fact that they enjoy mingling with the staff and other passengers.
Surely the travelers are aware of cruise ships' dubious sanitation history, especially as it relates to outbreaks of norovirus. For decades, cruise companies have battled outbreaks of norovirus which have affected up to 700 passengers. But this fact seems not to deter those who are ready to go back to sea.
According to published reports, cruising is set to make a big comeback in the late summer. Carnival has announced that it will be sailing out of Galveston, Texas, Miami, Florida, and Port Canaveral, Florida, beginning August 1. If the reports that future cruise bookings are up 600% are any indication, it appears that cruising may be gearing up for a roaring comeback.