Multiple COVID Cases Have Wrecked the Restart of a Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship
After eight staff members tested positive for COVID-19, Royal Caribbean has postponed a cruise aboard the Odyssey of the Seas.
According to a Facebook post by the company’s president and CEO, Michael Bayley, a trial cruise slated for late June will also be rescheduled.
After being forced to cease operations for more than a year due to the pandemic, Royal Caribbean’s return to U.S. waters has been eagerly awaited.
Odyssey of the Seas, the line’s newest ship, was set to set sail on her maiden voyage on July 3 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It has been postponed till July 31, according to Bayley. The trial cruise will not be rescheduled at this time.
After crew members tested positive for COVID-19 “during normal testing,” the two voyages were postponed “out of an excess of caution.”
“On June 4th, all 1,400 staff members onboard the Odyssey of the Seas were vaccinated, and on June 18th, they will be declared fully immunized,” Bayley added. The positive instances were discovered after the immunization had been administered but before it had fully taken effect.”
Six of the eight people were said to be asymptomatic, while the other two had moderate symptoms. According to Bayley, all eight were quarantined and are being “closely watched” by the company’s medical team.
“To protect the remaining crew and prevent any more cases, we will place all crew members on a 14-day quarantine and continue our usual testing. Guests and travel companions will be alerted, and many options will be presented to them,” he added.
“While regrettable, this is the best decision for our employees and customers’ health and well-being.”
A spokesperson for Royal Caribbean told the Associated Press that the trial cruise planned for late June had not yet been approved by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC has been issuing updated guidance in recent months as part of its phased Framework for Conditional Sailing Order to allow the resumption of cruise operations in the U.S.
The cruise industry came to a halt last year after the CDC issued a “no sail order” for ships on March 14, 2020, “due to the risk cruise ship travel introducing, transmitting, or spreading COVID-19.”
The CDC’s latest guidance includes a requirement for companies to conduct trial cruises.
The AP has reported that Celebrity. This is a brief summary.