It’s no secret; the last couple of years have been terribly rough for several cruise lines. From the tragic running aground of the Costa Concordia in 2012 to the infamous “poop cruise” of 2013 on which Carnival Triumph passengers were trapped for five days in horrible conditions, it’s a wonder the cruise lines have been able to stay afloat (pun only partially intended). But they are indeed afloat and offering stunningly low rates on cruises.
Are They Safe?
If cruise lines have such horrible reputations in the media these days why the heck would you want to go on a cruise? Because things are not always what they seem, and yes, while there have been episodes of sickness and breakdowns, the danger is no greater than taking a vacation to any other exotic locale.
In fact, with highly publicized renovations and stringent health inspections, the odds are technically in your favor. According to the CDC, of the millions of people that took cruises last year, only 1,300 passengers and crew members were sickened by norovirus, the incredibly common but nasty virus that was responsible for last year’s rash of cruise line illnesses.
Furthermore, the CDC also estimates that in recent years cruise lines have accounted for about the same number of norovirus cases as schools and hospitals. Nevertheless, the public is gun shy and as a result, the cruise lines are ready to start dealing.
It’s Wave Season
Whether or not they’ve taken a PR pummeling, cruise lines often offer their biggest discounts and best deals between January and March as a means of enticing consumers to purchase cruises for the coming year.
Of all the travel websites that offer cruise deals, Priceline.com seems to have the best bargains at the moment with 4 night Royal Caribbean and Carnvial cruises starting at only $249 per person, or $77 per night per person. Even, the near incident-free Norwegian line is offering deals that start out at less than $50 per night per person for a 3 night cruise to the Bahamas. While the rates will tend to increase as the spring season wears on, the discounts will remain fairly deep; especially when you factor in the all-inclusive aspects of a cruise vacation.
Which Line Is For You?
So maybe you’ve decided that a cruise may just be the right option for you and your family this spring, but which line should you choose? If the episodes in recent months have you concerned about the safety and sanitation aboard cruise ships, we’ve got a quick reference list that can point you in the direction of some of the most hygienic cruise lines around.
It is worth noting however, that no matter how clean a cruise ship is kept, there is little they can do to prevent the potential spread of an illness brought on board by a passenger. Unfortunately, these are simply the risks we take as travelers. That being said, we compiled a list of cruise lines that haven’t failed a single CDC inspection in the last 10 years.
|Cruise Line||Total Number of Inspections||Inspections with Perfect Score|
Take advantage of the sale season and the bad press this year and look to a cruise as a possible spring vacation. Once on board, stay informed and safe by following these cruise safety tips from the CDC.
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