Royal Caribbean CEO: 'All Is Good,' Awaiting CDC Feedback After Test Cruise
CEO Michael Bayley wrote on social media that the ship returned Tuesday to PortMiami after testing CDC safety and health protocols put in place due to the COVID pandemic.
Royal Caribbean is waiting for feedback from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after a simulated voyage of its Freedom of the Seas cruise ship, the company said.
CEO Michael Bayley wrote on social media that the ship returned Tuesday morning to PortMiami after three days and two nights at sea testing CDC safety and health protocols put in place due to the COVID pandemic.
"The CDC sailed with us,” he wrote. “(Wrapped) up meeting this morning and looks like all is good."
The ship left Miami on Sunday evening with a fully vaccinated crew and 650 employee volunteers as passengers. The voyage included a stop in CocoCay, a Bahamian island owned by the Miami-based cruise line.
“Now waiting for official process and feedback from the CDC over the next few days,” Bayley wrote.
The trip is a milestone for the cruising industry after it came to a halt last year due to the pandemic and has not sailed with passengers for 15 months.
The CDC issued conditional requirements for cruise lines to resume revenue sailings. Options were for ships to execute a test voyage or mandate that 95 percent of the passengers were vaccinated against COVID-19.
Royal Caribbean opted for the test cruise in Florida in light of a state law banning businesses from requiring proof of vaccinations from customers.
Freedom of the Seas, which typically carries about 4,000 passengers, is scheduled to sail from PortMiami on July 2 as the first Royal Caribbean ship to resume revenue operations from Florida.
A federal judge has granted an injunction for the state in a legal challenge to the CDC’s authority, beginning July 18. The CDC orders will become recommendations at that time.
Royal Caribbean had previously announced that passengers on revenue cruised were only “strongly” recommended to be fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated guests, however, must undergo COVID testing at their own expense.
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