Cruise ships in the time of plague

Even if coronavirus isn’t a serious statistical risk from being on a cruise ship, I wonder if the public health response will trim the sails (so to speak) of the hitherto unstoppable industry.

Consider the passengers on the Diamond Princess in Japan. Best case for the healthy ones is to be stuck at the dock for 14 days, mostly in their tiny cabins. From NPR:

On the ship, passengers — including some who had already spent two weeks aboard the vessel before the quarantine doubled their stay — are told not to leave their rooms. They visit the deck in shifts, for a rare breath of fresh air.

But there could be days of quarantine after a scare, right? So if you book a cruise from Date X to Date Y you won’t have any guarantee of getting back to work, family, and other commitments.

Does this prove the old adage that being on a boat is like being in prison, except that you can’t drown in prison?


4 thoughts on “Cruise ships in the time of plague

  1. > old adage

    247 years old according to wikiquote.

    “No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned” (Samuel Johnson, 1773)

  2. The cruise ship passengers are referred to as “talking cargo” in the industry. Who cares if the cargo sits on the ship a little longer? They are gonna be fine, with a story of their life.

    Now I wonder what visitors to all inclusive resorts are called. 🙂

  3. Wonder what the cargo ships do in China. The crew can’t go ashore. Someone with coronavirus could still stow away. It must be surreal to pick up cargo from a smoggy land full of zombies infected with viruses, never seeing the people.

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