In preparation for the line’s expected return, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection has announced enhanced health and safety protocols. After a review of current procedures, and consideration of every touchpoint and interaction between crew and guest, new measures will be added to every facet of the experience, from onboard dining and the maintenance and service of guest suites to excursions and crew etiquette.
Ellen Bettridge, president & CEO of Uniworld said that common practices, such as candy jars in the lounge and displayed coffee table books which had been considered welcoming, are now part of the everyday experiences that are being reimagined across the company.
“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.
As an extension to the sanitation procedures Uniworld already has in place, other new guest measures include:
- All guests must complete 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
- Disinfectant 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
In addition to regularly reviewing procedures and protocols to ensure best practices, Bettridge shared that Uniworld is also closely monitoring and following 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 traditional ocean cruise industry association Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). As a member of World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), Uniworld will also leverage its expertise.
According to Bettridge, Uniworld’s crew protocol has also been reviewed and enhanced. In addition to the extensive and required professional health and hygiene HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) training that all crew receives, crew will receive regular health screenings and are expected to adhere to social distancing requirements, all public and private crew quarters are sanitized regularly; plus now, crew meals are served – no self-service allowed.
“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.