The Post-Coronavirus Cruise? Not Read To Sail
by Frances Robles/New York Times
W. Bradford Gary spent 10 days trapped inside a cruise ship cabin off the coast of Brazil in March while health authorities in several countries scrambled to figure out what to do with a vessel full of older people who had potentially been exposed to the coronavirus.
But when faced with the question of whether he’d ever cruise again, he doesn’t hesitate.
“We are very anxious to get back on board,” he said, and he believes he’s not alone: “There are people like us who want to do this.”
Mr. Gary, 70, a retired corporate executive who lives in Palm Beach, Fla., imagines the cruise ship of the near future equipped with special disinfecting ultraviolet lights and air flow contraptions commonly used in sterile laboratories. He envisions larger cabins, fewer passengers and a lot more outdoor spaces. “We want to know everything is safe,” he said.
That is a big order.
With more than 20 million passengers a year, the $45 billion global cruise industry has a particularly vexing challenge: Its most loyal customers, older people, also happen to be the key demographic at risk for the new illness that has swept the planet, killing more than 450,000 people.