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One question that has been on the lips of many cruise fans has been, “How are Costa going to keep the guests safe from Covid-19?”  So as they begin to take the first steps back to sailing I thought it would be a good opportunity to look at the steps being taken by Costa and their owners Carnival Corporation to maintain the safety of guests, with a set of protocols that they have formulated with the help of government and health authorities which will complement the protocols in the communities ashore.  In order to protect guests, crew and the communities they will visit.


Initially Costa will be operating cruises visiting Italian Ports and these will be exclusively available to Italian residents.  This will be the case for at least the first three sailings but these will be monitored and evaluated and only then will a decision be taken as to whether a slow widening of availability to other markets.  


The first thing guests will notice is that they will be allocated a check in time.  This will be allocated during the online check in process.  On arrival at the cruise terminal each guest will have their temperature taken and be asked to complete a health questionnaire.  Guests will then be screened with an antigen rapid swab test.  Only guests who have a negative result will be allowed to board. Anyone suspected of having Covid-19 will have a molecular swab test. 


Crew members will also be molecular swab tested and quarantined for 14 days prior to boarding the ship. They will have a daily temperature check. They will also be monitored monthly with follow up swab tests.  Their state of health will constantly be monitored.


The destinations and ports visited by the ship will only be able to be explored on cruise line organized excursions initially.  These will be in small groups and use sanitized transport.  People will be expected to remain within the social bubble of the group and independent exploration will not be allowed.  Guests will be subject to temperature checks on leaving the ship for excursions and on their return from excursions.  The social distancing rules in place at the destinations will be respected and apply to guests on their excursions.


The cruise line has redesigned the amenities and entertainment facilities to maintain guests safety but retain the features that Costa Cruise guests have come to expect and love.  In part this is thanks due to the social distancing enabled by a reduced guest capacity on the ship.  

There will be more repeat performances of shows in the theatre, this will enable there to be socially distancing within the theatre and smaller audiences.  So everyone will still be able to enjoy the shows.


They will be closing the self service buffets and all dining will be seated and served by waiters and waitresses. There will be extended mealtimes and the menu will be available through their Costa App.  Menus and bar lists will be easily accessed by scanning the QR code on your table.


The seating capacity in the theatre, show lounges, bars and restaurants will all be reduced. There will also be a staggered entrance system for some facilities such as the spa, pools and kids’ miniclub, so only a limited number of people will be allowed in at any one time. This is so that social distancing can be  maintained and respected.


The crew too will have all the necessary protective equipment to be able to do their job to the highest health standards.


All areas on board, both public spaces and cabins will be subject enhanced cleaning and sanitization procedures.  Public areas will be sanitized several times a day and cabins will be disinfected and cleaned by qualified sanitization crew on a daily basis.  


Costa has installed a new hospital grade air filtration system which utilizes fresh air from outside to reduce the circulation of internal air to a minimum.


Guests are expected to wear a mask in public areas while on board unless eating or drinking and there will be numerous hand sanitizer stations in all the main areas of the ship and guests will be expected to reduce risk by regularly sanitizing and washing their hands.


All members of the crew have been trained to comply and implement the health and safety protocols.  They are trained to respond immediately if a guest shows any signs of illness with a clear set of interventions.  The ships have a fully equipped medical Centre with doctors and nurses who are continuously updated as to health protocols and standards to combat the spread of COVID-19.  There will also be self-service clinical thermometer kiosks. 


Costa Cruises and Carnival have made it very clear with these health and safety measures that their priorities are the health and safety of guests, crew and communities they visit.  It is clear they recognize the importance of the success of these initial cruises.


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