(CMR) Exclusive CMR sources have indicated that Holland America cruise lines will be coming to the Cayman Islands on December 28, 2021 with some 1,600 passengers on board under extremely strict requirements for those tourists. The cruise line would be the first to call on the Cayman Islands since the borders were closed in early 2020.
This trial run will have the same criteria in place that air travelers must now adhere to including all passengers must be fully vaccinated. To mitigate the potential risk Cayman will also be the first port of call for the cruise line after it leaves Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Children will not be allowed on board the cruise and it will be operating at 50% capacity to allow for social distancing and other safety protocols. Passengers will also be conducting and submitting the results of a lateral flow test 24 hours before the boat reaches Cayman waters.
The passenger manifesto has indicated that everyone is fully vaccinated with the exception of one handicapped individual that was unable to take the vaccine. He will not be disembarking from the ship whilst in Cayman. Travels will have to fill out the request online forms for Travel Cayman approval. Physical distancing will be managed in the cruise terminal as guests arrive and check-in.
At this stage, this is the only cruise line that has met Cayman's current Phase 4 criteria but many see it as a step in the right direction for slowly re-opening the country to cruise passengers and reinvigorating the many businesses that rely on cruise tourism.
CMR sources believe they could be using the Pinnacle-class cruise ship The Nieuw Stadendam. The name alludes to the five previous ships in HAL's fleet named Statendam. It can host 2666 guests and is 975 feet long and 114.8 feet wide. It boats a blues club and a “visually stunning two-level World Stage”. The ship won Best New Cruise Ship and Best Mid-Size Cruise Ship award among other accolades.
The United States lifted the ban on fully vaccinated international travelers on November 8 opening the door to international travelers cruising around the world. Holland America only allows vaccinated sails at this time. Guests who have received the full series of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or World Health Organization (WHO) authorized COVID-19 vaccine or a combination of authorized vaccines and have received the last dose at least 14 days prior to the day of embarkation are considered fully vaccinated.
On board ALL guests will be required to wear a face mask – with no exceptions – in elevators and in designated indoor entertainment areas, all retail shops, and in the casino except when eating or drinking. Holland America Line is providing a double-layer cloth mask for each guest on board. Face coverings such as bandanas, neck gaiters, and masks with exhaust valves are not allowed.
Guests will also be required to wear face masks prior to being seated in our main dining rooms and in the buffet area, and occasionally in other designated areas where larger number of guests may congregate. As a reminder, masks are required during embark and debark in the terminal, and masks should also be worn during the debarkation process on board.