The Two Things Every Cruise Line Needs to Offer Post-Coronavirus

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has brought the cruise industry to a standstill but executives have expressed optimism that the sailings will eventually resume and the sector will once again thrive with help from promising future bookings.

a boat in the water: Cruise ship moored at Grand Turk island, the Caribbeans (Photo via mikolajn / iStock Editorial / Getty Images Plus)

Nonetheless, the industry faces a daunting road ahead that might force cruise lines to change their existing policies and reevaluate and even expand their onboard offerings to entice customers back to the world’s seas and rivers.

When it comes to the things cruise lines must offer in a post-pandemic world, enhanced cleaning measures and free Wi-Fi jump to the top of the list.

Cruise ships already undergo a thorough cleaning process before, during and after each sailing.

GALLERY: Things to consider when booking future travel (provided by The Points Guy)

a man taking a selfie in a car: If you’ve had to cancel a trip, or several, due to the threat of coronavirus — or even due to the unprecedentedban on travel from Europe to the U.S. — you’re no doubt disappointed.  I know I’ve personally been moping around after nixing a much-anticipated cruise at the end of March. Of course, I wouldn’t have had a choice since many cruise lines includingViking, Disney and Virgin Voyages (the one I was booked on), have voluntarily suspended operations temporarily.  If you’re like me, you don’t feel complete unless you’re always planning your next trip. So, you may be wondering: “With all of this uncertainty, travel bans and event cancellations, should I even think about booking a trip for a future date right now?”  That’s a great question.  We at TPG say “yes” — but with a few caveats. Sure, we’re living through history, but we’ll come out on the other side of this. Your travel plans might be on hold for the immediate future, but your dreams don’t have to be.  Let’s talk about whether now is the right time to book a trip for the future and what safeguards you can put in place to make sure your vacation goes off without a hitch — or can easily be canceled, if need be, with the least financial loss.

“Each of the brands that fall under the Carnival Corporation umbrella has in place specific sanitation protocol on our cruise ships that is effectively used throughout our fleet,” Carnival Corporation’s chief communications officer Roger Frizzell told Business Insider earlier this year. “Our ships’ routine cleaning and sanitizing protocols continuously use a disinfectant known to quickly kill coronavirus in 30 seconds on hard surfaces.”

Stepping up cleaning, making some of those procedures visible to passengers and reminding guests to do their part by practicing good hygiene will be critical to instilling confidence in travelers who may be wary of going on a cruise post-coronavirus.

Beyond guaranteeing guests a safe environment, cruise lines must provide complimentary internet access for all passengers. Like drink packages, Wi-Fi can quickly add up on a cruise lasting several days and eliminating the cost barrier ensures a better customer experience in the age of social media and streaming.


Companies like Norwegian Cruise Line have already begun to offer discounted sailings featuring free perks such as open bar, specialty dining, excursions, kids and, of course, Wi-Fi. For now, many of these deals come with flexible cancellation policies that provide customers with peace of mind.

The cruise industry undoubtedly has some tough decisions to make in the weeks and months ahead, but rolling out enhanced cleaning measures and providing guests added incentive to book by offering free Wi-Fi are among the easiest.

Cruise lines also stand to benefit by continuing to work closely with the travel agents so many of their guests rely on already.

WATCH: Employees sue Celebrity Cruises over coronavirus response (provided by Inside Edition)

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