After performing test sailings from July 27, Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas has become the next in line to start operations. The Oasis-class ship received its conditional sailing certificate last week and is now well underway with her first guests since she paused operations 17 months ago.
Allure of the Seas is now the single biggest cruise ship in operation worldwide. It marked one of the first and busiest weekends in a long time for Port Canaveral with Allure of the Seas on her first cruise back, Mardi Gras on her first turnaround, and Disney Dream on her first cruise back in operation.
With Allure of the Seas operational again, it’s another success story for the cruise industry. Not only have cruise ships been able to operate without any significant issues whatsoever in the last month, but they have also done so without significant outbreaks of COVID-19, negativity in the press, or news stories that undermine the hard work the industry has done. It also gives more and more confidence that bringing large ships like Allure of the Seas into operation is no problem at all.
The 225,282-gross-ton Allure of the Seas is sailing with a fully vaccinated crew, and most passengers, except for minors under 12 years of age, have been vaccinated as well. Those who have not been vaccinated have undergone additional testing before the cruise and will do so again during and towards the end of the voyage.
The cruise line also requires unvaccinated guests to have additional insurance to cover any possible quarantine or repatriation, although this insurance has been waived for the younger ones.
All this is part of the pathway that Royal Caribbean has taken to ensure all guests remain safe onboard, and at the same time being able to welcome children under 12 years of age on board who cannot be vaccinated.
St. Thomas Puts Itinerary on Shaky Ground
Allure of the Seas’ first cruise back in operation is sailing from Orlando (Port Canaveral), Florida, to St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and followed by a Perfect Day at CocoCay. The call to St Thomas has been on shaky ground as the local government announced last week it would require all guests of 12 years and older onboard cruise ships calling to the USVI to be fully vaccinated.
“This latest requirement will impact all cruise ships scheduled to call on St. Thomas in the near future. To comply with this requirement, guests ages 12 and older must provide documentation of full vaccination at the terminal as a condition to boarding. Guests under the age of 12 are not required to be vaccinated, but will be subject to our COVID-19 testing policy.“
As a result of this requirement from the U.S. Virgin Islands, guests booked onboard Allure of the Seas‘ cruises to St. Thomas have been offered a different cruise instead or a full refund.
The vessel will be sailing the Caribbean for the foreseeable future. Her next cruise will see Allure of the Seas sailing to Costa Maya in Mexico, Roatan, Honduras, and Cozumel, Mexico, before concluding her Western Caribbean cruise at Perfect Day at CocoCay. This cruise will depart Port Canaveral on August 15, and unvaccinated guests above 12 years of age will be welcome on this cruise.