Covid and Alaska cruise
July 15, 2022 8:42 PM   Subscribe

How to time Alaska cruise for least risk of covid-19?

My spouse and I have generally been covid-cautious for more than two years. We don't eat inside restaurants, we pick up our groceries curbside, and we socialize with only one or two people at a time, etc. We have been working from home except for very brief forays into the office, but my spouse might soon be required to go back to the office a couple of days a week.

We would like to take a cruise to Alaska, and hopefully visit the interior also. We are thinking of going in 2023.

I realize cruising and much traveling is fraught with risk of covid. But Alaska is also melting. Covid might never go away, but the glaciers might.

Only recently have we been in a position that we are able to take a major trip. In case it matters, we are in the Southwest USA and are about 60 years old. My spouse has COPD and asthma.

Let's say we don't want to be semi-shut ins for the rest of our lives. When would be the best time to go?
posted by NotLost to Health & Fitness (7 answers total)
Best answer: Passengers and crew will potentially be coming from anywhere in the world, and depending on what's happening anywhere it has stopped or will stop in the previous/coming two weeks you've got risk. If there's a specific ship you're looking at taking and you think you can kind of narrow down those possibilities, then.. maybe you'd be able to build a risk profile/budget somehow?

But you're also looking at 2023, and there's really no way to guess what's going to happen with future variants. Supposedly we've got new vaccines coming towards the end of this year. If that happens, then.. maybe early-mid 2023, if the new vaccines are very effective and everyone gets one. Take a look at what the vaccine news is and go from there.
posted by curious nu at 8:57 PM on July 15, 2022

One thing I've noticed about cruises is that even if vaccinations and negative tests are required, there are off-boat shore outings, where everyone is just free to roam and pick up whatever and bring them back on the boat. Specifically I watched an influencer-type go on one in California that required vax/negative test but had multiple shore leave stops at tourist locations. Which makes the whole negative test/vax thing seem pretty pointless.

(Full disclosure, you could never pay me enough to get onto a boat/cruise anyway. And I've very Covid cautious due to being high-risk.)
posted by Crystalinne at 9:11 PM on July 15, 2022 [3 favorites]

I don't think there's any way to time this the way you're hoping, to minimize chances of getting sick. If you're set on this it might make more sense to assume there's a good likelihood you'll come back with covid and instead think about whether there's a time that would make that more or less terrible depending on work or family obligations, whether your spouse's medical conditions are worse at certain times of year, etc.
posted by Stacey at 9:26 PM on July 15, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you can’t control what Covid is doing, you may be able to control other things that could reduce your risk. What I would look for is:

Can you get a room that opens to the outdoors? I know those are more money on a cruise.

Are there certain ships that offer more things outside, like dining options?

Can you bring an air filter with you for inside your room?

Can you always wear a KN95 or similar when you are outside your room and near other people?

I have a friend who went on a cruise and did not get Covid, which seems like pure luck, but she also did these things which I think definitely reduces the risk. Good luck! Alaska is beautiful.
posted by fleecy socks at 9:40 PM on July 15, 2022

Best answer: Going by the past two years, the March timeframe seems to be the closest thing to a drop in cases, because everyone (not just in the US) met with family and got sick over the holidays and may have isolated or has temporary infection-derived immunity.

I'd also see if the cruise ship has medical staff or preferably, doses of Paxlovid or similar on board. I don't know what the process is for medical evacuations on a cruise ship, but I'm guessing they aren't going to do it easily.
posted by meowzilla at 11:34 PM on July 15, 2022

Best answer: Maybe go to Alaska via some other route, and maybe take a day cruise?

Also: just find a cruise with fewer than 50 passengers and plenty of space and air.
posted by amtho at 5:28 AM on July 16, 2022

Response by poster: Thanks for the answers. March does sound like it would be a good time. And you've given me some other good aspects to consider.
posted by NotLost at 6:05 AM on July 17, 2022

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