PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. — Port Canaveral is on the cusp of returning to cruising with several test cruises on the horizon.
That makes travel agents excited that they can soon stop rebooking canceled cruises and steer their clients towards new adventures.
What You Need To Know
- Travel agencies have remained busy with booking and rebooking for the past year
- Agents say the enthusiasm for cruising hasn’t dampened despite the hiatus
- Agencies are closely watching the outcome of near-future test cruises
“I think people are ready to get back on board with whatever the cruise lines come up with," said Vici Sheffield, a travel agent with Travel Leaders. "And I do hope the cruise lines come up with a plan where vaccinated and unvaccinated can still enjoy a cruise experience."
She said her company saw its highest number of bookings ever on Wednesday.
“The excitement is there," she said. "People are ready to cruise. People are ready to travel."
Sheffield noted that while many businesses affected by the cruise industry have slowed down over the past year, travel agencies have remained busy.
“With all of the cancellations it just kept business going because once a cruise was canceled, people would be excited about changing to the next cruise. And everyone wants to be on the first cruise out,” she said.
Another travel agent on the Space Coast, Danny Fisher, said even though things have remained busy, there have been some stretches where no new revenue was coming in. But they’ve been supported in part by the cruise lines.
The owner of Nationwide Cruises and Vacation said that most of their clients are avid cruisers and already got vaccinated.
“The few that are not vaccinated and are hesitant, we’re telling them to wait until next year, wait till fall, wait till winter, wait till things change, when the protocols change,” Fisher said.
All those involved in the industry will be closely watching the test cruises to see if they go well enough to allow more normal passenger voyages soon.