Royal Caribbean International is postponing the inaugural departures of its new cruise ship after eight crew members received positive COVID-19 test results in routine testing.
the Odyssey of the seasthe original cruises, which the cruise line had planned for six- and eight-night cruises in the southern and western Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., July 3-31, are being canceled out of caution, a said Lyan Sierra, spokesperson for Royal Caribbean Caro told USA TODAY. The launch of the ship will be postponed until July 31, when the first departure with paying passengers is now scheduled. Four crossings were abandoned in total.
A test cruise originally slated by the company to depart in late June, although it has yet to receive CDC approval to sail, is on track to be rescheduled for a date to be announced later, according to Sierra-Caro.
Those who had planned to sail with the ship will be notified and will have several options to consider, said Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean. Facebook post.
Odyssey’s 1,400 crew were vaccinated on June 4, but positive cases were found before the vaccines were considered fully effective on June 18.
Of the eight crew members who tested positive, six were asymptomatic and two had mild symptoms. They have all been quarantined and are being monitored by the Royal Caribbeans medical team, according to Bayley’s post. All crew members are quarantined for 14 days, and the cruise line plans to continue weekly routine testing.
While disappointing, it is the right decision for the health and well-being of our crew and guests, Bayley said in the post.
The ship was originally scheduled for an inaugural departure from Haifa, Israel on June 2, which was canceled because of the troublesIn the region.
Seven other Royal Caribbean ships are should set sail ports in Texas, Florida and Seattle this summer.
Passengers on most Royal Caribbean cruises are strongly recommended to be fully vaccinated, and those who are not vaccinated or are unable to check their vaccinations will need to undergo testing and follow other protocols.
People aboard ships bound for Alaska in July who are 16 years of age and older should be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The required age drops to 12 years from August 1.
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