In a Cruise Critic reader survey, a whopping 80 percent of respondents would prefer to sail on a cruise ship with a vaccine requirement.
The survey, which received over 5,000 responses and was sent on May 28, is the first to measure the site's readership on their actual preferences for returning to the seas. Previous surveys gauged readers' willingness to sail on a ship with a vaccine requirement, not their actual preference.
The top reason that people gave for preferring a vaccinated ship makes sense: 89 percent said they felt more safe sailing on a ship with fellow vaccinated travelers. Those preferring the vaccinated ships also want the more traditional cruise experience, without masks, social distancing and/or testing requirements, with 69 percent citing that as a reason.
Of the 4,036 people who preferred sailing on a ship with a vaccine requirement, a full 19 percent said that they received the COVID-19 vaccine specifically so they could cruise.
Slightly over 13 percent of the respondents said they would rather sail on a ship without a vaccine requirement. While most of those cruisers said that they were not planning on getting vaccinated, 21 percent said that they were traveling with others who were unable to get the shots, such as children under 12.
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For those who preferred the vaccine requirements, most – 70 percent -- were comfortable not wearing a mask on a ship that had a mandate.
The CDC has said in its guidelines for cruise resumption that even ships without a vaccine requirement could set aside places, such as restaurants, bars, casinos, spas and other areas, just for vaccinated passengers.
The Cruise Critic survey found that 72 percent of all respondents said they were vaccinated and would value having those areas onboard. Only 9.7 percent said they were unvaccinated and would be upset by having areas for vaccinated passengers.
The survey also found that 67 percent of all respondents would be ready to sail from the U.S. within the next six months. The Caribbean, as well as Bermuda and The Bahamas, were the top picks for first sailings, from 71 percent.
Wondering which ships and cruise lines have a vaccine requirement? Cruise Critic has a list. Also check out our breakdown of the CDC guidance for vaccinated vs. unvaccinated ships.