Couple gives glimpse inside post-pandemic cruising

Cruise ships in the US are still testing the waters, but in the Bahamas, paying customers are setting sail. Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas became one of the first ships to restart operations, with paying customers, in North America when it took off from Nassau back on June 12.

Laura Notarnicola and her boyfriend, John Fain were among the few hundred passengers aboard.

"Hands down best cruise we've ever been on, mostly because of everyone's happiness," Notarnicola said.

They say it wasn't like a typical cruise, but still enjoyable. There were social distancing guidelines and capacity limits, but a lot fewer people and hardly any lines.

Courtesy Laura Notarnicola and John Fain 

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"The crews are always great, but they were just overly enthusiastic and just so happy to see passengers on the ship. Service was exceptional. It was just amazing," Notarnicola said.

Notarnicola and Fain – who've been on about a dozen cruises – simply couldn't wait any longer, so in order to cruise they flew to the Bahamas. Currently, cruises leaving from all U.S. Ports are still testing the waters with employee volunteers. 

To get on board, they had to show their vaccine cards as well as proof of a negative test taken two days before. 

Courtesy Laura Notarnicola and John Fain 

"It made us feel more comfortable that there were more vaccinated people on the ship, but I think we still would have gone just because of how much we wanted to get back into cruising," Notarnicola said.

Notarnicola and Fain made it back home to Atlanta Saturday and say throughout their time on the ship no cases of COVID-19 were reported.

They said for anyone who plans to set sail, while some aspects are different, the experience is still well worth it.

"It was still an amazing trip. You're still going to be happy. Just don't expect it to be exactly like it was, just yet," Notarnicola said.