Travel agents expect the age-old land vs. cruise debate to play out differently when cruises return to service.
One conversation some expect to emerge in the sales process going forward is a stark one: 'Where are you willing to risk being sick?'
"I think you're going to find a lot of people say, 'Well, you know, maybe I don't want to be sick outside of the United States, if I hadn't already had it,'" said one top retailer.
The next question is what the facility is like onboard.
If a cruise line details enhanced health and safety protocols that meet a traveller's expectations, they may be more willing to opt for the cruise over, for example, "a flight to Jamaica where they would have to wind up spending their COVID experience," said the retailer.
There's little doubt that the cruise lines' new health and cleanliness protocols need to be strong. However, they're also going be obstacles for many customers as they question whether the added preventive health and safety procedures are worth it.
"The cruise lines have to figure that out. They have a great value proposition that is going to be diminished by these obstacles. And it's not clear yet how that's going to impact consumers," said another leading retailer.