On September 5, 2021, I returned from a short 7- day cruise from Galveston, Texas, aboard the Independence of the Seas, a RCCL ship. This is a very large ship that had an ice-skating rink, a rock-climbing wall, and water slides along with numerous other accessories for the 6 to 30 years-old crowd. The ship had numerous changes made to meet their COVID needs too.
I took a shuttle to Phoenix and flew to Houston where I caught a shuttle bus to Galveston and boarded the ship.
In preparation for the cruise, I was required to get a COVID Negative test and have the documents to show my results. This test must be taken within 72 hours of boarding the flight. I understand that is changing to 48 hours before boarding. I found getting the antigen test here in Prescott Valley difficult and had to drive to Prescott to get it.
When I boarded the shuttle from Prescott Valley to Phoenix, I was required to wear a mask. Upon arrival at Phoenix, when I entered the airport, I was required to wear a mask. On boarding an airplane that was 100% full I was required to wear a mask. Upon arrival at Houston, I was required to wear a mask in the airport and then again on the shuttle to the ship. When entering the ship terminal, they required a mask and then required it for all inside areas of the ship.
Upon checking in I showed my COVID shot card and was issued a rubber band to wear on my wrist to prove I had both shots. This was checked numerous times as certain areas of the ship were off bounds to people without both shots. They also issued a wrist watch shaped GPS so they could trace me if I got close to anyone that tested positive for COVID. I would be then quarantined aboard. I left the “watch” in my room as I didn’t want to chance being sent to my room for the remainder of the trip.
Every time I entered any eating area there were sinks set up and a woman watched to see that everyone washed up. She sang a little song she called “Washie, Washie, Washie”. At dinner they just sprayed everyone’s hands with an alcohol solution.
As you can see, the COVID situation really takes its toll on cruising right now.