While underway to her homeport of Fort Lauderdale in the United States, Royal Caribbean’s newest vessel, Odyssey of the Seas, had to make an unexpected stopover in Mallorca, Spain. The vessel had to disembark a couple of crew members who did not pass the line’s stringent safety procedures and tested positive for COVID-19.
Odyssey of the Seas is a brand new cruise ship and is the newest ship in the Royal Caribbean fleet. She was delivered to Royal Caribbean earlier this year. The ship can accommodate up to 4,180 passengers and comes in at 169,000 tonnes.
Another Setback For Odyssey of the Seas
It’s another setback for Odyssey of the Seas, originally scheduled to start sailing from Haifa in Israel next month. Due to the unrest in the Middle East, Royal Caribbean canceled the vessel’s newest maiden season entirely after her original Mediterranean maiden season was previously canceled.
Carrying 1,400 crew members, Odyssey of the Seas had come from Haifa and Civitavecchia en route to Fort Lauderdale. During the weekly onboard testing, four crew members tested positive.
“Earlier this week, four crew members were identified after a positive test; they were immediately quarantined. Another crew member had inconclusive test results. All five were asymptomatic. We are working with local health authorities to safely disembark these crew members and oversee any medical care they need.”
Odyssey of the Seas did not dock in Palma De Mallorca to get the crew members off the ship. The vessel was anchored in the bay for a few hours while a Guardia Civil boat was alongside. Ambulances then arrived to take the crew members and transfer them, overseen by the Spanish external health service.
No Further Cases
Royal Caribbean International confirmed after testing that there were no other cases onboard the vessel. Although Royal Caribbean has said it will require all crew members to be vaccinated while working onboard, the vaccinations are set to take place in the United States for most crew members.
While unfortunate for the crew members who were disembarked, it seems that Royal Caribbean’s testing practices onboard the ships have again caught any cases on time. The line has had to make significant investments to ensure the safety of all on board, which includes several strict, and it seems effective, testing procedures for all onboard.
Before embarking on the vessel, crew members have to undergo PCR-testing and quarantine periods. After embarking on the vessel, the crew again must be in quarantine for a period and will be tested every week. How the crew members became infected remains unclear.
Odyssey Sailing To Fort Lauderdale Next
Odyssey of the Seas will likely undergo some strict measures when arriving in the United States. The CDC has a color-coding system for all ships that are set to arrive in the United States.
If Odyssey of the Seas sails to the US now, it will likely receive a code red, which mainly limits the movement of crew onboard the ship until the vessel is cleared and passed 14-days without covid cases onboard.
Royal Caribbean has announced it will deploy Odyssey of the Seas in the Caribbean from Florida. The first sailings are scheduled for November of this year; however, this might change and become earlier, as the vessel is nearly fully crewed already due to her canceled season in Israel.