This article originally appeared on VICE US.
On Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) added a page to the Travel Advice and Resources section of its website called “COVID-19 and Cruise Ship Travel.” The agency wrote that the U.S. government recommended that travelers, especially those with any underlying health conditions, should probably unpack their suitcases and “defer” any upcoming cruise ship travel, regardless of the departure port or the destination.
“Person-to-person spread of COVID-19 is occurring and countries are reporting both travel-related cases and community spread of the disease,” the CDC wrote. “As the outbreak of COVID-19 continues, there remains a risk of infected travelers and crew boarding cruise ships.”
It also recommended that “vulnerable individuals” should also avoid crowded places and long plane trips (although the CDC did not specify what qualifies as a “long” flight). The State Department repeated those same travel advisories, including the part about not taking a cruise right now—and it warned that anyone who decides that they still need to see, like, the Panama Canal right now shouldn’t rely on being repatriated by the U.S. government in the event that they’re quarantined in another country.
Meanwhile, Carnival has announced that any passenger who hasn’t frightened off by the possibility of their own impending death will get free drinks!!! According to Bloomberg, the cruise line says that passengers on any cruise that is scheduled to depart between March 13 and May 31 will receive between $100 and $200 in credits, depending on the length of the trip. Those credits can be cashed in for drinks, spa treatments, and onshore excursions—assuming that the ship is still allowed to dock somewhere, or that the passengers aren’t being held in their staterooms and prohibited to have contact with anyone else onboard.
A hundred-plus bucks in free booze or not, that might be a tough sell. On Saturday, the CDC issued a no sail order for the Royal Princess, which was scheduled to leave San Pedro, California for a seven-day cruise to Mexico. A day later, the Regal Princess was held off the coast of Florida at the CDC’s request. (It was later cleared to dock at Port Everglades after two crew members received negative results on their COVID-19 tests.)
And on Monday, the Grand Princess will dock in Oakland after spending five nervy days at sea. The process of getting the 2,500 passengers off the ship is expected to take up to three days, and those who need immediate medical care will be disembarked first. The Los Angeles Times reports that at least 21 people on board have tested positive for coronavirus. Most of the 962 California passengers will be transferred to Travis Air Force Base for 14 days of quarantine, while the remaining American passengers will be flown to other military bases in Georgia and Texas.
Princess Cruises is owned by Carnival so yes, despite the quarantines and cancellations and no sail orders (and the disaster that was the Diamond Princess), it is offering up to $200 in onboard credits, too. Orrr… there’s no shame in just stocking up on hand soap and bourbon and staying at home for now.