Royal Caribbean International is actively looking for volunteers as it seeks to conduct simulation cruises in line with the CDC’s protocol for resuming cruise operations from North American waters.
The cruise line has set up a landing page where would-be volunteers can register for the cruises, which would be non-paid.
Titled ‘Volunteers of the Seas’ the landing page asks for a few basic details from persons ages 18 and above who want to join the test cruises.
Royal Caribbean has also set up a Facebook page under the same title, with a message that reads: “Can’t wait to cruise? You’re in the right place. This is your one-stop-shop for updates and next steps about joining us on a simulated cruise as we make our return to adventure. Stay tuned to be the first to know more about how to be one of the first back at sea.”
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Thousands expected to sign up to be ‘Volunteers of the Seas’
The company said it had received thousands of requests following media speculation that it would be looking for volunteers for the simulation cruises, which are expected to travel to Royal Caribbean’s private island at CocoCay
“This week alone, we have received more than 3,000 emails, not including the tweets, comments, and messages across our social channels,” Royal Caribbean said. “While we review the requirements proposed by the CDC and consider when we can host our simulated trial sailings, we are gathering information from those who have shown interest.”
When could Royal Caribbean start trial cruises?
The company did not say when its trial could start, but Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has suggested that its simulated cruises are likely to sail starting in January.
It’s time to get back to adventure. ☀️You read that right. We’re looking for guests who want to be the first back at sea. Want to learn more? Check out: https://t.co/mytdQJEyvn pic.twitter.com/pebsi1jLRP
— Royal Caribbean (@RoyalCaribbean) November 12, 2020
According to the terms of the CDC’s Framework for Conditional Sailing Order, which replaced its No-Sail Order in late October, cruise operators must conduct simulated voyages to test their ability to mitigate COVID-19 risk, before commencing a phased return to passenger voyages.
Strict conditions for trial cruises
During the simulated voyages, cruise operators must meet strict conditions that include:
- Pre-embarkation testing for COVID-19
- Social distancing and wearing face masks
- Isolation of passengers who test positive for COVID-19
- Quarantine of all remaining passengers and non-essential crew in the event of an outbreak
- Volunteer passengers must show they have no pre-existing medical conditions that places them at high risk for COVID-19
- No consideration or future reward for volunteer passengers
- Modification of dining services and entertainment venues to facilitate social distancing
Once a cruise operator has successfully conducted a simulated voyage, they may then apply to the CDC for a conditional sailing certificate.