It’s been 15 months in the making, caused heated debates, and was eagerly anticipated by thousands of cruise fans, but the day has finally come. The first ship to sail from the Bahamas since March of last year sailed from Nassau this week with a fully vaccinated group of guests and crew.
Adventure of the Seas set sail as the first Royal Caribbean ship in the Western Hemisphere since last year. The vessel had 1,000 guests onboard who will be sailing a 7-night cruise in the Bahamas and the Caribbean.
Fully Vaccinated Crew and Guests
Much, if not too much, has been said about the vaccination mandate Royal Caribbean has implemented onboard its cruises from the Bahamas. It is one of the few ways the cruise industry will make a significant step forward and be financially viable for the future.
For its first voyage out of Nassau, Adventure of the Seas set sail with 1,000 guests, of whom 94% were fully vaccinated adults and teenagers over 16 years of age. The remaining 6% were children under 16 years of age who were mandated to take several PCR-RT tests before setting sail.
The ship will be sailing from Nassau on an itinerary to Perfect Day at CocoCay, being the first ship to visit Royal Caribbean’s private island in The Bahamas, and the first visit to one of the private islands owned by the various cruise lines.
This event will be closely followed by cruise line executives and the CDC to see how the visit plays out, and if the health protocols work as planned. Other ports of call on the voyage will be Grand Bahama Island in The Bahamas, and Cozumel, Mexico.
President and CEO of Royal Caribbean, Michael Bayley, was suitably joyful with the return to North America:
“The return of Adventure of the Seas marks a start in the tremendous step forward our guests have been waiting for and we’ve been working toward for more than 15 months. This is all possible thanks to the government of The Bahamas, the support of our partners and the hard work of our teams across Royal Caribbean.”
Guests onboard Adventure of the Seas will need to comply with a long list of health regulations before being able to set sail onboard. These include vaccinations, health declarations, PCR-tests for under 16’s, and even a health visa from the Bahamian government. The complete list of health requirements can be seen here.
The Wait Is On For US Cruises
Summer is pretty much here after a long and dark winter, and this means that thousands are waiting for their chance to sail onboard a cruise ship and be able to relax on board once again.
The relaxed health requirements onboard the ships with vaccinated guests will enable guests to experience the ships again as they have before. It also means the communities in the Caribbean that have been missing valuable income for many months can start recuperating.
Michael Bayley said:
“We are excited to welcome back our guests and crew, and to help our Caribbean family regain the benefits of tourism their communities depend on. This is just the beginning, as we get ready to set sail from the US for the first time on July 2.”
The first ship to sail from the United States will be Royal Caribbean sister company’s Celebrity Edge on June 26, the first Royal Caribbean ship to sail from the US will be Freedom of the Seas on July 2.
These ships will mark the start of a busy period in which dozens of ships will start sailing again from the US and other international ports in the upcoming months. For Royal Caribbean, the following ships will start sailing in July and August:
- Adventure of the Seas sailed June 12 from Nassau, the Bahamas, on a 7-Night Bahamas & Cozumel Cruise with 2 Days at Perfect Day.
- Freedom of the Seas sails July 2 from Miami, Florida on 3 & 4 Night Bahamas & Perfect Day Cruises.
- Odyssey of the Seas sails July 3 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on 6 & 8 Night Southern and Western Caribbean Cruises.
- Anthem of the Seas sails July 7 from Southampton, England, on the British Isles & Ocean Getaways Cruises.
- Jewel of the Seas sails July 10 from Limassol, Cyprus, on 7 Night Greek Isles Cruises.
- Serenade of the Seas sails July 19 from Seattle, Washington on 7 Night Alaska Glacier Cruises.
- Allure of the Seas sails August 8 from Port Canaveral, Orlando on 7 Night Eastern & Western Caribbean Cruises.
- Ovation of the Seas sails August 13 from Seattle, Washington on 7 Night Alaska Glacier Cruises.
- Symphony of the Seas sails August 14 from Miami, Florida, on 7 Night Eastern and Western Caribbean Cruises.
- Independence of the Seas sails August 15 from Galveston, Texas, on 7 Night Western Caribbean Cruises.
- Harmony of the Seas sails August 15 from Barcelona, Spain & Rome, Italy, on 7 Night Western Mediterranean Cruises.
- Mariner of the Seas sails August 23 from Port Canaveral, Orlando, on 3 & 4 Night Bahamas & Perfect Day Cruises.
The start-up plans from Royal Caribbean are in stark contrast to both Carnival Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line. While Royal Caribbean is taking the all-out route with as many ships as possible, Carnival Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line take a far more conservative approach.
Which approach is the right one is something we will see in the upcoming weeks. If all the health protocols work as they should, Royal Caribbean will undoubtedly be on a winning course.