Carnival Gives You Free Drinks If You Don’t Cancel Your Cruise

On Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) added a page to the Travel Advice and Resources section of its website called “COVID-19 and Cruise Ship Travel.” The agency wrote that the U.S. government recommended that travelers, especially those with any underlying health conditions, should probably unpack their suitcases and “defer” any upcoming cruise ship travel, regardless of the departure port or the destination.

“Person-to-person spread of COVID-19 is occurring and countries are reporting both travel-related cases and community spread of the disease,” the CDC wrote. “As the outbreak of COVID-19 continues, there remains a risk of infected travelers and crew boarding cruise ships.”

It also recommended that “vulnerable individuals” should also avoid crowded places and long plane trips (although the CDC did not specify what qualifies as a “long” flight). The State Department repeated those same travel advisories, including the part about not taking a cruise right now—and it warned that anyone who decides that they still need to see, like, the Panama Canal right now shouldn’t rely on being repatriated by the U.S. government in the event that they’re quarantined in another country.

Meanwhile, Carnival has announced that any passenger who hasn’t frightened off by the possibility of their own impending death will get free drinks!!! According to Bloomberg, the cruise line says that passengers on any cruise that is scheduled to depart between March 13 and May 31 will receive between $100 and $200 in credits, depending on the length of the trip. Those credits can be cashed in for drinks, spa treatments, and onshore excursions—assuming that the ship is still allowed to dock somewhere, or that the passengers aren’t being held in their staterooms and prohibited to have contact with anyone else onboard.

A hundred-plus bucks in free booze or not, that might be a tough sell. On Saturday, the CDC issued a no sail order for the Royal Princess, which was scheduled to leave San Pedro, California for a seven-day cruise to Mexico. A day later, the Regal Princess was held off the coast of Florida at the CDC’s request. (It was later cleared to dock at Port Everglades after two crew members received negative results on their COVID-19 tests.)


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