Few commercial sectors have been battered by COVID-19 as badly as the cruise industry, which came to a screeching halt at roughly this time one year ago. The CDC first signed its No-Sail Order on March 14, 2020, and cruise ships around the globe, already in mid-voyage, scrambled for somewhere they could safely put into port.
Throughout the news cycle, stories swirled about passengers and crew being stranded at sea, and (if there was reason to suspect infection onboard), confined to their cabins for days, even weeks, on end. Soon, ships were being turned away for fear that they might carry the COVID-19 virus, even in the absence of any evidence.
There was simply no precedent or playbook for dealing with such scenarios, the thought of being stuck aboard a cruise ship as this uncontrolled contagion was spreading around the world soon became everyone’s worst vacation nightmare.