Cruise Lines Are Recommending Masks Again – Would You Mask Up or Cancel a Cruise if Mandated?

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The above featured photo is of Lisa and me for our very first cruise back after ships started sailing again. We were vaccinated, boosted and took every precaution we could to make sure we could enjoy the two weeks onboard the Norwegian Epic in the Haven and it worked as planned. Back then they required everyone to be vaccinated and even tested with a negative COVID result before boarding the ship.

The Mediterranean cruise was simply amazing and we had to wear masks all the time inside other than when we were dining or in a bar while drinking. Yes, a pain but it was the “law of the sea” at the time and we wanted to sail. As a plus we never got sick on the entire vacation.

Fast forward to our amazing 21 day Atlantic crossing we took to end the year last year in a forward Suite on the Norwegian Star. We did not mask up onboard but thought about it as we walked around on the ship and especially so in elevators. Well, when we got home we arrived with more than just memories but also some kind of bug – that was not COVID – but was none the less not much fun for about a week or so.

It seems that we are not the only ones. A Houston area writer, after avoiding COVID for 3  full years, thinks he got it on a cruise.

I am not surprised.

But he did say catching COVID would not dissuade him from sailing again nor did our illness dissuade us from booking a number of cruises over the coming months. But it has got me thinking.

Princess cruise lines recently shared, “due to recent positive cases, [they are] recommending mask wearing aboard one of its smallest cruise shipsper Cruisehive.

I really expected something like this with the new very contagious Arcturus variant found in India. I think we will see many more cruise lines recommending we mask up onboard when not eating, drinking or outside but not demanding it for sailing.

You know I am ok with this if more implement the recommendations and for my next cruise I think I will also mask up as I move about the ship and even at shows for safety. Having received 5 shots, and having had COVID last September, I have little fear of dying anymore from the bug. But at the same time having had it once I would really rather not suffer through it again and a mask now and then on a ship may be wise for a little while.

I don’t see a time when masks will once again become mandatory but you never know. A new such rule would clearly not keep me from sailing but I would love some feedback from readers. Would a new mask rule or mandate on ships stop you from booking a cruise or even have you consider canceling one you have already booked? – René



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René de Lambert
René de Lambert
René de Lambert has been a travel blogger for over 10 years covering the travel industry - including cruising.


  1. I’m never wearing a mask again. Not here, there, or anywhere. We now have proof that they do nothing except provide a false sense of safety. If you’re scared, just stay home (where you will be no more safe – Covid is endemic and we’ll all get it several times over the course of our lives no matter what we do) but you’ll be able to fool yourself into thinking you are).

      • [foul language and personal attack removed]

        You mention when the mask mandate was in effect on cruise ships you didn’t have to wear them while eating or drinking.
        Have you spent any time compounding IV’s? Where you learn to properly scrub up to your elbows, put gloves on, put a mask on etc..?
        If you are touching your mask, taking it on and off through out the day. You are NOT wearing it properly and that is a FACT.

        • @Corey – With everyone both vaccinated and tested on that cruise, including crew, there was little risk and as I understand it no one got covid onboard.

          As to wearing correctly, I am not a doctor but smart enough to know how to wear one.

      • [Removed false info]
        If you want to wear one, then wear one. Just don’t put that monkey on my back.

  2. I would hope passengers ignore the suggestions if voluntary and bankrupt the cruise lines (unfortunately their shareholders are held hostage by management and rubber stamp boards) by cancelling all cruises if not. Masks really are out of place on vacation by passengers. [removed false statement]

    You would assume I don’t wear a mask but that’s not true. I wear a KN95 every time I step out of my home except when with family or close friends. I sometimes wear a mask 5 hours straight. That’s not vacation, however. Life just be lived and enjoyed when on vacation.

  3. carnival corp. is committing financial suicide if they go forward with this mask nonsense again – they are trying to dig out of a deep hole currently – this will end their financial viability. we sailed on seabourn last december and the crew was “required” to cover their faces but not the passengers – it was creepy – won’t do it again until they are 100% done with this phony ritual

    • @tim edwards – I agree it would cost the lines financial if they were to bring a mandated back and why I doubt it will even happen unless local ports require it. That said, I do fully expect more to suggest we wear them and I would not be shocked at all to see crew have to wear them again. Time will tell.

  4. Wow, so many nasty comments. I don’t understand why someone is bothered if another person wears a mask. Seriously, if someone doesn’t want to wear one I don’t care and why should anyone care if I choose to wear one.

  5. We are doing a PCL cruisetour and one add-on cruise in a month. We will be wearing N95 masks on the aircraft, on the motorcoach and the train (Rocky Mountaineer) through to Vancouver. Onboard the Majestic Princess, probably not unless we’re in an enclosed area or on a shorex. We are comfortable wearing masks and are quintuply vaccinated.

  6. I did not cruise for several years during the “pandemic” season. [Removed false info] I will not sail on any cruise that mandates them. If you like you mask, you can keep you mask, but they are not for me.

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