Royal Caribbean postpones inaugural ship sailing after multiple crew members test positive for COVID
Royal Caribbean is officially delaying the inaugural sailing of its cruise ship Odyssey of the Seas due to eight vaccinated crew members testing positive for COVID-19, according to CNN.
The positive test results were discovered during routine testing, Royal Caribbean President and CEO Michael Bayley said in a statement posted on Facebook.
"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.
The company rescheduled the Odyssey's inaugural sailing from July 3 to July 31.
It ship would have sailed from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and made several stops in the Caribbean. Royal Caribbean has confirmed that a simulation cruise originally scheduled for late June will also be rescheduled.
"While disappointing, this is the right decision for the health and well-being of our crew and guests," Bayley said.
Six of the eight crew members who tested positive did not display any symptoms, while two had mild symptoms. All eight were quarantined and are being closely monitored by the company's medical team, Bayley said.
"To protect the remaining crew and prevent any further cases, we will have all crew quarantined for 14 days and continue our routine testing," Bayley added.
CNN reports that Royal Caribbean's vaccination policy requires all guests 16 years of age or older leaving from US ports to be fully vaccinated, excluding ships leaving from Florida.
Beginning August 1, all guests 12 years of age or older are required to be fully vaccinated. Younger travelers who are not yet eligible for the vaccine are allowed to sail with a negative test result and must follow certain protocols, the company said.
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