Royal Caribbean delays cruise launch after 8 positive COVID cases
Royal Caribbean International will postpone its first scheduled trip from the United States in more than a year after eight new positive COVID-19 cases among crew members, CEO Michael Bayley said.
Why It Matters: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a No Sail Order in March 2020 amid the spread of the coronavirus. "The Odyssey of the Seas debut was eagerly awaited as cruise lines attempt a comeback after not sailing out of the US for more than 15 months due to the pandemic," AP writes.
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The big picture: Royal Caribbean should return to sea with its new mega-ship Odyssey of the Seas.
The mega-ship was scheduled to sail from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on July 3rd, but has now been postponed to at least July 31st.
The company is also planning a simulated cruise to practice CDC safety procedures with a group of volunteer cruisers, scheduled for late June.
Between the lines: The 1,400 crew on board the mega-ship were vaccinated on June 4th, Bayley said, but the two-week period has not yet passed since the second shot. Royal Caribbean has quarantined all crew members for 14 days and will continue to require COVID-19 testing.
What They Say: The call was made "out of great caution," Bayley said.
"This is disappointing, but the right decision for the health and well-being of our crew and our guests," added the CEO.
Zoom out: Celebrity Edge, part of the Royal Caribbean Group, is slated to be the first post-pandemic ship to ship on Jan.
Celebrity Edge can sail without a simulated voyage because it followed CDC guidelines that allow ships with 98% vaccinated crew and 95% vaccinated guests to avoid this move, a Celebrity Cruises spokesman told the AP.
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