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CDC urges all travelers, regardless of vaccination status, to avoid cruising

Dec. 30, 2021
3 min read
CDC urges all travelers, regardless of vaccination status, to avoid cruising
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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends that travelers avoid cruising, as the agency raises its travel health notice to the highest level on Thursday.

The CDC urges that all travelers avoid cruise travel, reflecting the increase in COVID-19 cases onboard cruise ships due to the omicron variant. In recent days, there's been a meteoric rise in positive cases identified both on cruise ships and on land across the U.S.

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According to the agency, even those who've been fully vaccinated and boosted should reconsider cruising. The tight quarters on cruise ships increase the risk of spreading COVID-19, it said.

Before Thursday, the CDC had ranked cruising as a level three on its scale from one to four.

The cruise and travel industry reacted forcefully to the news, particularly as the industry has tried to rebound from a difficult few years.

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"The decision by the CDC to raise the travel level for cruise is particularly perplexing considering that cases identified on cruise ships consistently make up a very slim minority of the total population onboard—far fewer than on land—and the majority of those cases are asymptomatic or mild in nature, posing little to no burden on medical resources onboard or onshore," Cruise Lines International Association said in a statement to TPG.

The U.S. Travel Association, an organization representing the travel industry, said it hoped the advisory would be "brief and temporary."

"Advising travelers to ‘avoid cruise travel, regardless of vaccination status’ is akin to a travel ban that seems counter-intuitive to the Administration’s lifting of the travel ban on South Africa and surrounding countries," executive vice president Tori Emerson Barnes said in a statement.

In addition to cruising, many nations worldwide also hold level four travel warnings from the CDC.

The move comes as the number of COVID-19 cases on cruise ships has risen during the holiday season. Some ships have been forced to adjust their ports of call during travel, with some scrapping plans for multiple days at sea.

If you do decide to cruise, the CDC recommends getting tested both before and after your trip, regardless of vaccination status or symptoms.

Those who aren't vaccinated are recommended to self-quarantine for five days after cruise travel.

Featured image by Getty Images/EyeEm
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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Go to review

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10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

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  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
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Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more