Royal Caribbean International is scheduled to delay one of America's most awaited debut sailings for nearly a month, as eight crew members have just tested COVID-19 positive.
The brand new Odyssey of the Seas was scheduled to depart from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on July 3, but its departure has been rescheduled until July 31. Michael Bayley, CEO of Royal Caribbean International, said on Tuesday that this choice was made on account of "abundant caution."
Additionally, he stated that the corporation has rescheduled its simulation cruise, which was initially planned for the end of June. He found the choice regrettable but felt it was the best course of action for the team and guests' safety.
On June 4, according to Bayley, all 1,400 members of the crew onboard the Odyssey of the Seas received their vaccinations. However, their systems had not spent even two weeks establishing resistance against the lethal virus.
Six crew members who tested positive before were asymptomatic and the other two were slightly ill. The corporation has ascertained that all crew members undergo a 14-day quarantine and are subjected to routine testing.
The company's spokeswoman, Lyan Sierra-Caro, stated that the simulation trip with volunteer passengers originally scheduled for later this month will assist the cruise line in meeting the CDC requirements to resume scheduled trips with paying travelers. Sierra-Caro stated that the CDC had not yet granted approval for the trial run.
The Odyssey of the Seas' arrival was highly awaited as cruise lines tried a reappearance after more than 15 months of not sailing from the United States due to the current pandemic. Royal Caribbean International has advised all passengers to take the Covid-19 vaccine "strongly." Additionally, it stated that unvaccinated passengers must undergo mandatory virus testing and continue to adhere to other safety precautions.
Celebrity Edge, which is also part of the Royal Caribbean Group, is scheduled to begin cruising from the United States on June 26 with all paid passengers.
According to a Celebrity Cruises representative, Celebrity Edge is permitted to sail without a test run because it has carefully adhered to CDC criteria that allow ships with around 98 % vaccinated personnel and nearly 95 % vaccinated passengers to avoid that step.
A new Florida legislation prohibits companies from requiring passengers to show proof of vaccination against Covid-19. However, Ron DeSantis stated that the order was intended to protect medical privacy and individual liberty.
State law prohibits businesses from asking consumers to disclose documentation but allows them to ask guests if they would be comfortable revealing their vaccination records.