Royal Caribbean delays return to sailing due to COVID-19 cases
MIAMI – Royal Caribbean International has postponed the inaugural sailing of its Odyssey of the Seas cruise ship “out of an abundance of caution” after eight crew members tested positive for COVID-19, the company’s CEO said.
Odyssey of the Seas, one of the world’s biggest cruise ships, was scheduled to cruise from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on July 3 and make stops in the Caribbean after conducting a test cruise with volunteers in late June. Its first cruise is now postponed until July 31.
Its test cruise, required for ships that don’t have 95% of passengers vaccinated — a threshold set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — before revenue cruises can begin, will also be rescheduled.
Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley announced the changes late Tuesday in a statement posted on Facebook.
“During routine testing, eight crew members received a positive test result for COVID-19. All 1,400 crew onboard Odyssey of the Seas were vaccinated on June 4th and will be considered fully vaccinated on June 18. The positive cases were identified after the vaccination was given and before they were fully effective,” Bayley said.
Of the eight crew members who tested positive, six are asymptomatic, he said. Two have mild symptoms. They are all quarantined and are being monitored by the cruise line’s medical team.
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