Royal Caribbean has launched a new website where volunteers can apply to be passengers on upcoming test sailings in preparation for the relaunch of cruising in the U.S.
The best part is, it's reportedly free.
Would you take a cruise right now if you didn't have to pay for it?
Last week the company said it may need volunteers to take part in test sailings that are required by the CDC for the cruise line to be granted their ‘conditional sailing certificate‘.
Royal Caribbean said it was overwhelmed with volunteers submitting their interest leading them to set up an official website and Facebook page for the trial sailings.
“This week alone, we have received more than 3,000 emails, not including the tweets, comments, and messages across our social channels,” the company 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 interested.”
The trial cruises are expected to sail to Royal Caribbean's private island of Cococay which allows the cruise line to strictly control the voyage creating a covid free bubble.
“Royal Caribbean has some of the most loyal guests in the cruise industry, and we have been overjoyed with their interest to take part in our simulated trial sailings,” the cruise company's spokesperson Jonathon Fishman told CNN Travel.
No official date has been set for the trial cruises but according to the Royal Caribbean website, the cruise line has scheduled their first real cruises starting in early January.
This means that the test sailings could come as early as December giving the cruise line enough time to prepare for its voyages and be given the green light by the CDC.
Onboard the simulation cruises will be CDC officers and cruise line officials which will also be evaluated by an unbiased third party company.
Fishman said Royal Caribbean still has “a lot of details to work out to make sure everyone's experience onboard is as safe and as enjoyable as we can make it,” adding that there were “no dates to announce yet.”
The CDC officially lifted its ‘no sail order‘ on October 31st, 2020 and instead implemented a strict ‘conditional sail order' which gives cruise lines permission to sail again in U.S. waters if they meet all safety requirements.
Part of those requirements will be the use of face coverings in public areas of the ship, mandatory social distancing and proper hand washing.
Other COVID-19 prevention protocols passengers can expect are mandatory testing before boarding, reduced ship capacity, socially distanced dining and shorter voyages.
Under the new framework by the CDC all cruises must be no longer than 7 days but the expected trial sailings are expected to be much shorter between 2-3 nights.
Royal Caribbean's first ship back at sea to officially resume operations will be in Singapore.
The Quantum of the Seas is departing from Singapore on December 1st, 2020 but will feature no stops.
While Canada has further extended its ban on cruise ships until the end of February, it looks as though the U.S. industry has grown impatient and is ready to get sailing.
It's only a matter of time before cruises start departing from the United States. The only question now is, are you ready to take one?
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