A reader of this blog sent me videos, one of which you can see here, of what it’s like on a MSC cruise ship with its much touted COVID-19 protocols.
The screenshot from the video is from the MSC Grandiosa. It says in part:
“. . . two weeks ago in Europe an MSC cruise has set sail with thousands of passengers onboard. I’ve spent the last few days onboard MSC Grandiosa so now I can show you what it’s really like onboard. The cruise going very well. MSC are taking their procedures extremely seriously and are really leading the way when it comes to returning to cruising.”
This week Rick Sasso, the Chairman of MSC Cruises, stated at the Seatrade Cruise Convention that consumers may see cruising as the safest way to have a vacation.
One video initially shows the ship enforcing what appears to be appropriate social distancing and the wearing of masks around the ship. But there are several videos of musical performers, singers and dancers crowded on stages in enclosed, indoor spaces. You can see them belting out show tunes and huffing and puffing as they dance together on stage, all without masks. This clearly increases the risk of potentially spreading the virus not only to the guests (including one girl, around 5 ot 6 years old, shown not wearing a mask), but other crew members as well.
A second video, which you can see here, shows several hundred guests crowded together on a pool deck drinking and dancing in front of a band. Many guests seem to be wearing masks but others are not.
I’m sure that there are other videos and images which reveal the absence of social distancing and the disregard of masks on MSC ships.
Assuming the centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) permits the cruise industry to resume cruising from U.S. ports in the next few months, people who decide to spend their leisuse time on a cruise ship will substantially increase their risk of contracting the virus under such circumstances.
It will be particularly difficult convincing U.S. passengers to wear a mask on a cruise ship. As one reader of this blog said in a post today:
“The last thing anyone needs right now is a bunch of maskless drunks spreading covid from port to port.”
Another reader said “crewmembers are so afraid of complaints / negative comments that there will be no enforcement of Covid measures anywhere. I’d put money on mask usage and social distancing being below 5% before the ship leaves its home port.”
Another long- term crew member, a musician who worked on Cunard ships, said:
“What we’ve learned from things on land is once people go to restaurants and especially bars and get drunk the masks come off and there is no social distancing anymore. Cruise ships are floating bars and restaurants. And big Broadway style shows in big theaters with people sitting close to one another. I live in a state where we opened up all the bars and restaurants and then we went to record Covid 19 cases and now we are shutting everything back down again.”
Does anyone else have additional videos or photos of the MSC or Costa cruise ships which are cruising in Europe that show whether guests and crew members are observing basic COVID protocols? MSC Cruises executives claim that it’s safe on their ships. It seems that the CDC would like to know what’s actually happening at sea.
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Image credits: Screen Grabs – Cruise Passion.