Norwegian Cruise Line Implementing New Sanitation Process

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Norwegian Cruise Line has reached out to guests sailing onboard the new Norwegian Viva with details about a new sanitation process for all in-stateroom whirlpool spas.

Due to increased sanitation requirements, the spas will not be as readily available to guests, but onboard credit is being offered for the inconvenience.

Norwegian Viva Stateroom Hot Tubs No Longer Always Available

Guests aboard Norwegian Viva have learned that the balcony whirlpools, a luxurious amenity available in certain suites in The Haven, will no longer be continually available.

Due to new sanitation protocols, the whirlpools must be individually prepared for use, and will only be usable for approximately one hour. After each use, they must be promptly drained and re-sanitized.

“In collaboration with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and in accordance with company protocols to maintain a healthy and safe environment, we have implemented a new sanitation process for all in-stateroom Whirlpool spas on board,” the notification email explained.

“To use the Whirlpool spa in your stateroom, kindly make a request for it to be prepared for your use with housekeeping. As a result of the enhanced sanitation process, the Whirlpool spa will maintain an optimal temperature for approximately 1 hour. Our onboard team must promptly drain the Whirlpool spa and will complete a comprehensive sanitation process following each use.”

Norwegian Cruise Line is offering impacted guests a $500 (USD) non-refundable onboard credit to each stateroom, with $250 for guests one and two for the appropriate onboard account.

The “in-stateroom Whirlpool spas” are highly coveted balcony hot tubs available in a limited number of staterooms in The Haven, the exclusive ship-in-a-ship section of the ship. The “Premier Owner’s Suite” “Deluxe Owner’s Suite” and “Aft-Facing Penthouse” staterooms are some of those featuring outdoor hot tubs.

Hot Tubs Much Less Useful Under New Protocols

Many guests book these staterooms because of the luxurious amenities, including the hot tubs, which permits them to enjoy that private relaxation without sharing a hot tub with strangers or a whole crowd at the public spas onboard.

Now, the limited use of the hot tubs – requiring staff to “prepare” the spa, the limited time at “optimal temperature” and the need for it to be “promptly” drained makes these a much less attractive and much less useful feature.

Norwegian Cruise Line Hot Tub
Norwegian Cruise Line Hot Tub (Photo Credit: Joni Hanebutt)

Few details of the sanitation procedure are explained, such as how quickly the spa can be “prepared” for use – if a guest wants to use their hot tub, for example, how long of a wait will there be before a staff member can prepare it?

Will the hours of use be limited to certain times of day when staff members are available? For example, what if a guest wants to use their hot tub very late in the evening, perhaps even after midnight while stargazing? There is no indication if this might be possible.

Because the spas must be “promptly” drained, this may mean another intrusion into one’s stateroom after relaxing in the hot tub so staff can complete the sanitation protocol. This could make use of the hot tub much less relaxing if one must wait for staff each time.

Finally, how long will the entire sanitation process take? There is no such information available at this time.

Public Hot Tubs Not Affected

No notice has been given about whether or not the public hot tubs onboard, including those in the Thermal Suite, are impacted by the new sanitation protocol.

Because the public hot tubs are regularly closed for deep cleaning, it is possible their hours will not be significantly affected. It is also possible, however, that they may be closed more frequently for cleaning, which could dramatically impact how much they can be used.

The Haven Sun Deck
The Haven Sun Deck

It is also unknown whether other water features onboard – swimming pools, splash pads, and waterslides – are impacted by the new sanitation protocol. Because cleaning processes differ for hot tubs because of the increased temperature that can foster more rapid bacterial growth, it is possible other water features have no changes at this time.

Sailing Aboard Norwegian Viva

Norwegian Viva, the second in the Prima class of ships, is the newest vessel in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet, having just debuted in August 2023 in Europe.

The 142,500-gross-ton ship has just completed her first transatlantic cruise as she has repositioned from Europe to Florida. The ship will offer a limited number of sailings from Miami before moving to San Juan, where she will be homeported until April 2024.

While in the Caribbean, Norwegian Viva will offer a range of itineraries to the Bahamas, Mexico, Barbados, Antigua, the Virgin Islands, and other top ports. The new ship will return to Europe for the summer 2024 sailing season.

Norwegian Viva can welcome 3,099 guests onboard for each sailing, and is also home to 1,500 international crew members who will all strive to help guests “live it up” on every cruise.

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