DreamChaser numbers cut by half for post-COVID cruises
MV DreamChaser docked in the Careenage by the Old Coast Guard base on June 17.
A total of three cruises per weekend is all the current COVID-19 Directive curfew will allow for one of Barbados' largest party cruise vessels.
The MV DreamChaser is set to resume operations at the end of June if all goes well, but with reduced numbers and less frequently.
Captain and co-owner John Moore stressed that it will not be a return to doing business like before. Patrons and event promoters will have to adjust to new post-COVID rules.
Speaking to Loop News, he said that they will be operating with half their regular capacity. The boat used to be at full capacity with 450 persons but the new maximum is 250 persons. Asked how this affects their bottom line especially after three months of no cruises, Moore said their price structure starts at 200 persons so they will now be operating just over their base structure. "We're restricted to 250 persons. We're down half the amount, pretty much half the number that can be accommodated but it's better than nothing truly.
"Having a vessel down for that length of time, you know it's an investment and it has been very tough if I'm honest with you."
At 250 max, Moore said: "We are operating on the basic cost of the vessel, but again, it's better than nothing."
No delays dockside!
In addition to smaller numbers to allow persons to practice social distancing onboard, he said that with the 10 pm to 5 am curfew in effect Friday through to Monday morning, at present they can only do three cruises on the weekends now.
"We are working on a curfew and there is no time for wastage. Unless the directive changes, we're actually down to we can only handle three cruises a weekend because of the curfew," explained Moore. Before COVID, the MV DreamChaser was actually able to do six cruises on a weekend - one of Friday night, two on Saturday and three on Sunday.
In relation to the length of time for the cruises as some literature and research is saying that one masks should not be worn for more than four hours and replaced if it becomes damp or wet, Moore said that they are going to sticklers for punctuality and enforcing sailing times.
"The cruises are still four hours.
"So we definitely want to be on time and the whole delayed time on the dock that's going to have to be out through the door at this point."