"" Writer's Wanderings: Cruising The Caribbean--COVID Precautions

Monday, January 10, 2022

Cruising The Caribbean--COVID Precautions

 Each island we visit seems to have different degrees of caution and as has been the case since the COVID outbreak began, the rules change depending upon the degree of spread of the virus. Add to that the new variants and nothing remains the same for long. We planned and started this long cruise of ours knowing that on any given day what was planned could change.

Our second port of call, St. John's, Antigua, there were less restrictions for going ashore. The information we received stated masks were required while onshore and if you planned to dine in a restaurant, you might be asked to provide proof of vaccination either by certification card or digital photo. 

As we exited the ship, there was a nurses' station set up on the dock where passengers were stopped and temperatures were taken. It was done quickly and we were on our way to...well, nowhere in particular. We had no excursions planned and just wanted to get some walking in.

It was a Sunday and we thought perhaps that was a good part of the reason there were very few people around and only half of the stores and establishments in the port area open. We walked around the pedestrian shopping area a bit and found a boardwalk that took us past where all the catamarans for snorkeling adventures and sailing trips were moored. 

We avoided going into stores. Neither of us are much interested in shopping opportunities and there was no reason to chance exposure from close contact. There was plenty more to do on the ship, including Bob's Paddle Tennis and my art class. 

The crew on board is not allowed to go ashore. I'm not sure if that is because of the outbreak they had on the previous voyage or if that has just been policy all along. We understand that there were 80 to 100 crew members who tested positive and needed to quarantine. 

There are quite a few crew quarantining in Miami including all of the salon and spa attendants which has shut down that area of the ship. Bob missed getting a haircut before we boarded. His regular barber was closed for several days before we left. He planned on getting a haircut onboard the ship. I'm thinking I may have to play barber again or find someone onshore who will braid his hair and maybe put a few beads in it. If so, pictures will definitely follow.

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