Welcome to episode 17. We are happy to be back, after a long 2.5 years of limited travel due to COVID-19.
September 18 – 25, 2022
Have you ever thought if you would ever sail on a cruise ship again after COVID-19? Well, we thought cruise ship sailing would be out of the question for a very much longer time. Our travel agent friend, Merryl Chin from Distinguished Travel convinced us to sail away with her on an Alaska trip. Tired of lockdowns since April 2020, fully vaccinated, and still willing to practice safety precautions of masking, washing hands, and social distancing, we decided to take the plunge on this 7 days Alaska cruise on the new Discovery Princess. We wanted to experience the new safety protocols the cruise lines and industry put into place.
A 7 Days Alaska – Inside Passage on Discovery Princess
Our journey consisted of 7 days, 3 ports, and 1 glacier. Our cruise captain made a safety decision to replace Skagway with Sitka due to strong winds and weather conditions. It was a very enjoyable cruise and since this was our first cruise since COVID-19, we are happy to report the safety changes that the cruise line has made to add safety value to our sailing are satisfactory.
About Discovery Princess
Discovery PrincessⓇ is the sixth and final vessel designed by the group up with Princess MedallionClass Ⓡ. Discovery Princess is a Royal-class cruise ship operated by Princess Cruises, a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation & plc. We enjoyed their touchless personalized service of the MedallionClassⓇ experience. This is their next-level technology, TrulyTouchlessTM experiences. This 145,000 GT vessel was ordered in January 2017. It was built in 2021 with a 3,660 passengers capacity. There are 15 decks with 1,346 crew members. There are 342 inside cabins and 1,438 outside cabins. One key safety protocol put into place was their signature Medallion®, a quarter-sized, wearable device that enables everything from touch-free boarding to locating your loved ones anywhere on the ship, as well as enhanced service like having whatever you need, delivered. We thought this little chip-sized disc that serves as an access point to information about you (i.e. your “digital identity”) so that you can personalize your onboard experience is the future of touchless safety sailing. The leading-edge technology behind the smart ships helps reduce physical contact. The MedallionClass Experiences included contactless boarding, keyless stateroom entry, simplified safety training bypassing the gathering of guests at the Musters stations, the improved Wifi at Sea (although, we thought that their wifi has more room for improvement), whatever you need to be delivered (service at hand without constant contact), dining reservations (done via your tv screen), truly touchless payments, find your way and your friends (ability to track your friends’ whereabout onboard), events onboard (touchscreens to know events and happenings daily), stateroom TVs, family-friendly games, and casino play.
We were also told that one entire deck has been “unbooked” in the event that there were any reported COVID-19 cases during the 7 days. This meant that instead of 3,660 passengers, we only had 2,400 passengers. This meant that the ship was less crowded and onboard activities would be comfortably experienced.
We saw the buffet design and layout very much improved with glass covers over the food. We also experienced that each guest entering the buffet area was strongly encouraged to wash their hands before entering the food area. There were wash basins strategically located at the entrance to the buffet areas. Also, all public restrooms had labels next to the exit door handles to use a paper towel to open the door. There was signage to remind guests to continue to use masks in interior locations and to practice social distancing. We experienced that all guests and staff are very respectful of the safety and cleanliness protocols. Everyone helped to keep each other safe so that we could enjoy cruising again.
Sail with friends
During our sailing, we met up with old and new friends from Vancouver, Toronto, and Florida. It was great to party with friends again and to have fun with them.