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Republicans are more likely to go on a cruise right now than Democrats

cruise ship pool

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  • After three years, cruise demand appears to have returned to pre-pandemic levels.
  • But COVID-19 may have created a partisan gap among cruise-goers, The Washington Post reported.
  • A recent survey suggests Republicans are more likely to take a cruise right now than Democrats.

Cruise demand appears to have returned to pre-pandemic levels — but not everybody is comfortable booking a vacation at sea quite yet. 

If you thought you could avoid politics on vacation, think again. The COVID-19 pandemic may have created a partisan divide between cruise-goers and landlubbers, The Washington Post reported, citing data from the market research firm YouGov. 

In a December 2022 survey of 1000 US adults, 35% of Republican respondents said they were “very comfortable” going on a cruise today, a level of enthusiasm shared by only 12% of Democrats.

On the flip side, 40% of Democrat respondents said they were “very uncomfortable” going on a cruise ship, nearly double that of Republican respondents. 

Taking a cruise vacation wasn’t always politically polarized — 16% of Democrat respondents said they had gone on a cruise prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, just a few percentage points less than Republican respondents. That gap narrows even more when considering the survey’s margin of error. 

So what changed? 

Cruise ships were ground zero for the initial spread of COVID-19, infecting hundreds of passengers and crew members. And it’s not just the coronavirus that spreads easily between the close quarters of ships. This February, more than 300 people onboard a week-long Princess Cruise suffered from a gastrointestinal illness that the company says was likely a norovirus outbreak.  

The survey’s democratic respondents also signaled they were less comfortable with in-person activities – like going to a concert, taking public transportation, or flying on an airplane — than their Republican counterparts, leading The Washington Post’s data experts to conclude that “covid caution” is likely the main driver behind the divide. 

Any growing Democrat hesitancy toward cruises and their propensity for spreading illness doesn’t appear significant enough to dent the industry’s recovery. With this month marking three years since the onset of the pandemic, industry executives claim cruise demand has officially returned to 2019 levels.

On an earnings call Monday, Carnival Corporation announced that this quarter’s booking volumes were the highest in company history. Royal Caribbean saw its most successful booking day ever this October after opening reservations for the Icon of the Seas, which will be the world’s largest cruise ship. 

Read the original article on Business Insider
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