Folo episode: A check-in on the cruise experience

Clockwise from top left: VIcki Freed of Royal Caribbean, Rebecca Tobin of Travel Weekly, Penny Rushing of Four Points Travel, Johanna Jainchill of Travel Weekly and Gene Sloan of The Points Guy talking about the current cruise experience during this episode of the Folo by Travel Weekly podcast.
Clockwise from top left: VIcki Freed of Royal Caribbean, Rebecca Tobin of Travel Weekly, Penny Rushing of Four Points Travel, Johanna Jainchill of Travel Weekly and Gene Sloan of The Points Guy talking about the current cruise experience during this episode of the Folo by Travel Weekly podcast.

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On this episode we're talking about the cruise experience. Now with two months' of sailings under their belts, cruise lines are refining procedures and policies. With vaccine mandates, testing and, sometimes, mask requirements, what is today's cruise experience really like?

To discuss, we've invited Vicki Freed, the senior vice president of sales, marketing and trade support and services for Royal Caribbean International; Penny Rushing, the owner of Four Points Travel, an Avoya agency; and Gene Sloan, the cruise editor at The Points Guy. These experts talked with news editor Johanna Jainchill and host Rebecca Tobin about today's cruising and what cruise lines and travel advisors have learned over the past couple of months.

This episode was recorded on Thursday, Sept. 2, and has been edited for length and clarity.

Want more on cruise? Stay tuned for the second part of this discussion, where Freed, Rushing and Sloan dive deep into the onboard cruise experience - and what's in it for solo travelers - and what a "bubble tour" is and why the experience in port is so different in the Covid era.

This episode's sponsor:

This episode of the Folo is sponsored by Hurtigruten Expeditions. Learn more about its once-in-a-lifetime Galapagos cruises at its website or agent portal.

Related links:

Travel Weekly's complete cruise coverage

Cruise lines navigate new vaccine mandates

From the Points Guy: "I almost canceled a cruise because of Covid worries. I'm glad I didn't."

Focus on cruise: The road to restart

Cruising on the Celebrity Edge in June: On the first big U.S. cruise since 2020, life feels normal

Four Points Travel

Royal Caribbean International

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