WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – As travel picks up for airlines, the cruise industry continues to lose money as ships continue to remain stuck at port.
There is a chance passengers may get to sail this summer though. The CDC said cruises may start up again as early as mid-July.
Continued uncertainty, however, has cruise travelers like Jamie Young feeling like they are on a sinking ship. “It’s frustrating for so many reasons,” said Young.
Jamie Young is from Great Bend. She moved to Florida several years ago and has since been on seven cruise vacations. Last year, she wanted to celebrate her 50th birthday in open waters.
“As time got closer and cruises were canceling and just all the different limitations, I kept on losing hope,” said Young.
Young can’t remember how many times she rescheduled her cruise. Originally, she had several rooms booked to accommodate friends and family joining her, but now she’s down to just two rooms.
“I’m rebooked for September, but I don’t know if it’s gonna happen,” Young said.
Angie Webb is a travel agent for Sunflower Travel in Wichita. She said many clients have stopped booking cruises altogether.
“They don’t want all that uncertainty, they just want something firm that they know, okay, I can go and these are the requirements they have to meet,” said Webb.
These requirements are what the CDC is still working on clarifying, but Young said she hasn’t given up on her delayed birthday bash just yet.
“Even if it is requiring the vaccination, just to get them going, there’s more hope now than there was a month ago,” mentioned Young.
Webb said cruises will only give a full refund if they cancel the trip. Otherwise, travelers get cruising credit and no clue as to when they can use it.
“It’s a risk. It really boils down to what the passengers are comfortable with if they’re ready to put that payment down,” said Webb.
According to the Cruise Lines International Association, the U.S. economy is missing out on more than one billion dollars in spending with each month cruises remain canceled.