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How to stay Safe and Healthy on a Cruise in 2020

In order to make sure all of you cruise hospitalians start your voyages safe and sound, here are just a few steps to make sure you keep yourself, your guests and your colleagues safe and healthy when working on a cruise after Covid 19

As the COVID-19 crisis begins to develop across country to country, we are being increasingly reminded that this disease is here to stay for the foreseeable future.  As a vaccine will not be widely available for at least 1 year, it will be likely that COVID-19 will be a risk that will need to be respected as such for quite some time.  Scared yet? Don’t be! While the virus will most likely be with us for quite some time, the decreasing infection and death toll in some of the hardest hit countries suggests that the end of the most dramatic effects (such as quarantine) may be just over the horizon for some countries…

The change of lockdown order will mean that our focus will be turned from stopping the virus by any means necessary, to resuming economic activity in the safest manner possible. Which brings us to cruises. As we previously mentioned , the cruise industry has been one of the hardest hit  by the global pandemic. This has been partly due to its perception of being one of the initial vectors of the virus. 

While it is certainly true that certain cruise lines were hit hard by the initial infection, it should be stated that the industry is one of the most prepared  for a pandemic of this calibre. However, as the old saying goes: one can never be too prepared! So in order to make sure all of you cruise hospitalians start your voyages safe and sound, here are just a few steps to make sure you keep yourself, your guests and your colleagues safe and healthy working on a cruise after Covid 19.

Step 1: Be aware of the signs 

Now, before we can hope to prevent COVID 19, we have to be able to spot it! This is important as the virus is highly contagious, so those who are infected or potentially infected need to be separated from the other guests and crew before the situation can get out of control.  While it is likely that  any cruise line you work for will have their own practice for identifying said individuals- every  member  should be working together to remain vigilantly on the lookout for the telltale signs. As quoted by the Center for Disease Control:

If you or your colleagues notice these symptoms in anyone aboard the ship, don’t be afraid to mention it to your supervisor! Odds are they will appreciate your awareness and will enact the necessary precautions outlined by the ships prevention policy. 

You may also have noticed that the latter 4 symptoms are impossible to actually spot- but you should still be aware of them! Now more than ever it is important to take constant inventory of ourselves and if any of the above symptoms present, you should speak to your manager and either organise a test or self isolate.

It is also important to note that while these symptoms should act as a “red flag” for all of you vigilant hospitalians, they are by no means fool-proof. In fact some studies have theorized that up to 78%  of those who have caught COVID-19 may not have presented any noticeable symptoms at all! Which means it is important to…

Step 2. Maintain impeccable hygiene 

This may seem obvious, but right now there is nothing more important than hygiene! Now it is important to mention that while many high profile cases of cruise pandemics have emerged, most cruise lines actually have very high standards of hygiene

This is down to the fact that  previous global pandemics (such as SARS and gastro-intestinal flu)  have made the industry wary of how illness can spread and are under close scrutiny of governmental health bodies.  The measures taken include : informing guests of handwashing and hygiene stations (we’ll get to that later!) mandatory washing stations at the entrance of buffets and extensive, regular disinfecting regiments

While these measures are only going to become more extensive after the most recent pandemic, it is still important for us as individuals to maintain our own hygiene standards both on and off board.  Here are a few guidelines set by the WHO: 

These measures are the bare minimum that any responsible crew member should take  before, during and after embarking and should feature in the minds of all members of cruises after Covid 19. However, the crew only make a very small minority of the actual population of the ship, if you want to maintain a healthy ship, all of this needs to be taken on board (pun intended!) by the guests. Which is why it’s important to…

 

Step 3: Maintain safe, constant and informative contact with the guests

So you are aware of the symptoms and know what you can do to prevent COVID-19, that’s great! But it also doesn’t mean anything if this information has not reached your guests. Even the most perfectly laid prevention plans and preparations can go up in flames very quickly if the guests are not properly advised and directed. Let’s start with prevention: it’s likely that most guests will come aboard with a basic knowledge of disease prevention (this past month has basically been a crash-course in epidemiology for most of us!) But you should be doing everything you can to supplement this knowledge, you can start by:

These are just a few of my own suggestions, there will likely be much of this and more in your employers pandemic prevention protocols but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t supplement it! Desperate times call for keen innovation and that all starts with you as an individual employee.

In addition to learning your employer's hygiene and prevention policy, you should also be prepared to quote it at a moment's notice in the eventuality that a guest asks you. People are scared, and rightly so, this pandemic is like nothing most of us have ever seen before. But as long as you follow the above tips, and any other measures that your employer is putting in place- you are part of the solution! So be sure to remind guests of this, as everyone could use a little reassurance right now! 

 

 Do you think you have learned enough to work in a cruise after Covid 19? Has this left you wanting to learn more? Well then I have your answer! You can apply to our cruise program with this link and learn the general health and safety practices of cruise lines and more, before starting your career at seas

 

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