The cruise industry has suffered a devastating blow from the Coronavirus pandemic and the related outbreaks that publicly played out on several ships have added to the severity of the destitution to the industry. In the post-pandemic world, people will be eager to travel again, including going on cruises, once the necessary protocols are in place for everyone’s safety. Data shows that despite no-sail orders, cruise bookings are up already.
According to a recent survey, 56% of global respondents plan to travel for leisure the same amount or more than they did before the pandemic – once they feel safe doing so. But that’s the key question: when will they feel safe? For some people, it will be when the first cruises set sail again in the Fall. For others, it might not be until a vaccine is approved and widely available. And some people will sail only when they feel all the proper protocols have been put in place to ensure their safety.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Chief Executive Officer Richard Fain said, “Travel and tourism will grow – not by reverting to what it was, but by adjusting to a world where all activities, everything we do in the world, will have changed.” (Washington Post)
To convince wary crew and guests that it is safe to board their ships, cruise lines must go above and beyond minimum recommendations and provide the highest level of protection available.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not yet issued official guidelines, some cruise lines have released their plans for temperature checks, medical screenings, testing for the coronavirus as well as social distancing protocols. Additionally, many cruise lines are planning to implement more advanced cleaning, sanitizing and air filtering procedures, as well as eliminating self-serve buffets and other activities that increase the risk of exposure.
Still, that may not be enough to earn the trust of crew and guests.
According to a Seatrade Cruise News article, veteran cruise executive Bruce Nierenberg “is urging cruise lines to shun a ‘spray and pray’ approach to COVID-19 and invest in public health solutions that have a lasting impact. Now is the time to invest in permanent improvements for the day-in, day-out health of guests and crew.”
One of those permanent improvements may include a new product innovation from DeCurtis, a trusted provider of cruise line experience software and technology, called DeCurtis Shield™.
DeCurtis Shield™ is a standalone kiosk that can make an immediate impact by efficiently collecting information at any secure entry and exit point. Using a combination of facial identification and thermal imaging to assess temperature, Shield captures actionable data, allowing industries to protect their employees, guests, and business better.
By placing Shield kiosks throughout a cruise ship – or any complex indoor environment – data is continually collected, allowing for quick actions to be taken to lessen the spread of illness. Paired with DeCurtis’ location and proximity solution, onboard medical staff can quickly identify those who may be at-risk and create retroactive timelines to identify potentially exposed areas and individuals. This allows the appropriate teams (security officers, medical staff, housekeeping, etc.) to address and mitigate potential outbreaks quickly. The screening technology of DeCurtis Shield™ is easy to implement, reduces guest and crew risk, and, as part of the many actions cruise lines will take, can considerably reassure passengers that it is safe to return to the high seas.
While there is no single solution to the threats posed by the COVID-19 crisis, DeCurtis Shield™ can be a significant and scalable part of a cruise line’s mitigation strategy. Contact us to learn more.