Covid-19 is here to stay. The cruise industry by their nature will continue to see cases pop up even once cruising opens up.
Ships are perfect breeding grounds for this and other communicable illness. This is not an indictment, it's just the nature of the business.
A huge part of cruising clientele are also by their demographic the most susceptible to transmission of an illness.
These are the facts so the cruise industry need, in order to remain sailing, to establish and beef up their procedures and capability for medical response of treatment and containment for spread of future virus attacks sure to come.
Formalized procedures and communication of what to do if passengers get sick will be required. Detailed information as to what and where to get health care on ship needs to be included in Pre-departure drills.
Medical care on ship has always sort of been the illegitimate step child of ships services. Always there if needed but extremely expensive leading to passengers hesitation for receiving medical care.
That will have to change to a system of affordable and available medical care. A system more fitted to 24/7 clinics on land will be needed.
Currently all medical services are pushed into a corner on the bottom deck on most ships.
Cruise lines will not only have to enhance medical support but also advertise it as a primary destination on a ship just like the muster station, entertainment, food and drinking venues.
The cruise lines now have 100 additional days, per the CDC, to make medical services a primary benefit to be advertised and proud of.
Doing so will hasten a return to the robust industry they were before Covid-19 and give passengers a good feeling for returning to cruising.
Every passenger should now expect this going forward, every passenger must require it. This is the future of cruising.