In a separate August survey, 49% of respondents deemed likely to take a cruise told US News they planned to set sail in the next 12 months, compared with 37% the year before. Likewise, Carnival Corp. reported in November that bookings for the second half of 2022 surpassed bookings for 2019.

How dangerous are cruises right now?

Many public health experts maintain that there is inherent risk to taking a cruise right now, and it’s up to passengers to decide how much risk they’re willing to assume if they want to set sail while covid cases are on the rise.

But cruise ship executives argue they’re in a better place than ever to deal with an outbreak on board. “The ship environment is no longer a disadvantage,” Richard Fain, the CEO of Royal Caribbean told the New York Times in July. “It’s an advantage because unlike anywhere else, we are able to control our environment, which eliminates the risks of a big outbreak.”

Even with the omicron variant now circulating widely, some Americans still agree with this line of thinking. “It’s probably just as safe as going to the local grocery store,” Kim Parker, who recently sailed on the Royal Caribbean cruise with 55 infected passengers, told the Sun Sentinel. Another passenger on the ship told the newspaper she had booked another cruise for February, and had no plans to cancel it.

There are plenty of Americans who will avoid cruises given these recent outbreaks, but it’s clear that some are still willing to assume the risk. If you’re going to spend time in a petri dish, it might as well be one with a waterslide?

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