Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection has announced enhanced health and safety protocols in preparation for reopening.
The cruise line has looked at all touchpoints and interactions between the crew and guests to ensure the safety and security of all onboard.
"At Uniworld, the health and wellbeing of our guests and our crew are paramount. As we prepare to join the world community in reopening our homes, businesses, ships and lives to one another, we have carefully reviewed protocols and procedures to ensure that the touchpoints between the people we care about the very most are managed with intention, respect and utmost care," said Ellen Bettridge, president and CEO of Uniworld.
Aspects such as communal candy jars and coffee table books are being reconsidered in order to protect guests and staff.
"We have been scrupulous in our process to consider every moment that may present an unnecessary concern and why all coffee table books, magazines and brochures for example, have been removed from public use. Instead, guests will be able to access these reading materials via our complimentary PressReader app on their personal devices," said Bettridge.
Uniworld outlined the steps it's taking:
-All guests must complete a health screening prior to embarkation.
-Fruits, cookies, chips, nuts, candies and other treats will be served to individual guests by the crew only. These treats are no longer available for self-service.
-Disinfect wipes will be available throughout the ship, including at coffee stations and in the public restrooms.
-Any onboard payments will be processed using a contactless payment method, and credit card machines will be wiped after each pin entry.
-All restaurant dining will have reserved seating, with guests at the same table, with the same people, each day.
-Items that are usually shared, like bread and butter, will now be served to each person individually.
-Gloves, face masks and bottles of hand sanitizer will be readily available for all guests.
-For excursions, the maximum occupancy per bus will be adjusted to reduce the total number of people together at one time.
Uniworld will continue to monitor procedures and protocols to ensure best practices, Bettridge added.
Uniworld is also closely monitoring and following the recommendations from world health authorities, including the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the independent agency of the European Union (EU) whose mission is to strengthen Europe's defenses against infectious diseases and the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as from CLIA and the World Travel and Tourism Council.
"Consistently reviewing our policies to improve and enhance the safety and wellbeing of our guests is part of our DNA; what's important right now, is the speed at which we're able to act on new information, particularly from local authorities where we cruise," said Bettridge. "We have worked on internal processes to help our team embrace and thrive during crucial moments when the need to pivot quickly is imperative."
Additionally, the cruise line has enhanced its already stringent crew protocol. They will be required to have professional health screenings and to observe social distancing.
"The world is changed and as we start to welcome guests just beginning to step back into travel, we want them to know that we understand and are anticipating their concern and taking careful and deliberate steps to protect their safety, health and wellbeing-which will come in the form of a broad smile instead of a handshake," said Bettridge.
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