Royal Caribbean Cruise Update on Ships and Protocols

Royal Caribbean cruise update on ships approved for tests cruises, restart dates and protocols as operations resume.

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Royal Caribbean International is resuming cruise operations from the U.S. just days from now. This will increase as more vessels restart from different homeports. The cruise line has provided an update on which ships have already been approved for a simulated sailing and the path it’s taking on resuming operations.

A major part of resuming cruises safely is the protocols out of different states in the U.S. and countries worldwide. So let’s take a look at what’s going on and remember things are changing all the time. Details could be different in weeks or months from now.

Royal Caribbean Ship Update

Royal Caribbean has received approval to operate test sailings on six ships, including three oasis-class vessels. The ships follow Freedom of the Seas, the first in the fleet to complete a test sailing which departed Miami on June 20 on a two-night sailing. The ship has also already received its Conditional Sailing Certificate and will be the first in the fleet to restart operations on July 2 with guests on board.

Approved for Simulated Sailing

  • Allure of the Seas – July 27 from Port Canaveral
  • Symphony of the Seas – Aug 1 from PortMiami
  • Independence of the Seas –  Aug 1 from Port of Galveston
  • Mariner of the Seas Aug 11 from port Canaveral
  • Serenade of the Seas – July 7 from Port of Seattle
  • Oasis of the Seas – Aug 22 from Cape Liberty

Scheduled to Begin Cruises

  • Freedom of the Seas – 3- and 4-night Bahamas and Perfect Day at CocoCay sailings from Miami, starting July 2
  • Odyssey of the Seas– 6- and 8-night Southern and Western Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale, starting July 31
  • Serenade of the Seas – 7-night Alaska sailings from Seattle, starting July 19
  • Allure of the Seas– 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries from Port Canaveral, starting Aug. 8
  • Ovation of the Seas –7-night Alaska itineraries from Seattle, starting Aug. 13 
  • Symphony of the Seas – 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings from Miami, starting Aug. 14
  • Independence of the Seas– 7-night Western Caribbean sailings from Galveston, Texas, starting Aug. 15
  • Mariner of the Seas – 3- and 4-night Bahamas and Perfect Day at CocoCay sailings from Port Canaveral, starting Aug. 23

The new Odyssey of the Seas, which only recently arrived in the U.S. for the very first time, was previously scheduled to begin cruises on July 3 out of Fort Lauderdale. However, crew members tested positive on the ship, and Royal Caribbean decided to delay the inaugural cruise for July 31.

Adventure of the Seas was the first ship in the fleet to resume sailings in North America out of Nassau, Bahamas, in July. The ship is currently week-long cruises in the Bahamas and the Caribbean.

Freedom of the Seas During Test Cruise
Photo Courtesy: Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean Protocols

To make sure guests remain safe during their cruise vacation, Royal Caribbean has protocols in place but they do differ depending on where ships are departing from. Departures out of Florida is a focus due the state’s vaccine passport ban and the situation with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on loosing its battle with Florida on requirements. For now here’s how the vaccine policy stands for all Royal Caribbean departures:

  • Cruises from Seattle: Guests who are 16 years of age and older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and those 12 and older as of Aug. 1.
  • Cruises from Florida: It is strongly recommended that guests set sail fully vaccinated, if they are eligible. Those who are unvaccinated or unable to verify vaccination will be required to undergo testing and follow other protocols at their own expense. Based on our guest surveys, we expect 90% of all our guests to be fully vaccinated.
  • Cruises from Texas: Guests who are 12 years of age and older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Cruises from The Bahamas: Guests who are 16 years of age and older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and those 12 and older as of Aug. 1.
  • Cruises from the UK: Sailing UK residents age 18 and older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and those under the age of 18 are required to receive negative test results.
  • Cruises from Cyprus: Guests age 18 and older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and those under the age of 18 are required to receive negative test results.
  • Cruises from Spain: Guests age 18 and older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and those under the age of 18 are required to receive negative test results.
  • Cruises from Singapore: Sailing Singapore guests are not required to be vaccinated but must follow the protocols outlined by the Singapore government.

Full Coverage on Protocols:

The cruise line also has a range of changes on board that differ for vaccinated and unvaccinated guests. On each cruise ship from the U.S., the cruise line is following the guidelines from the CDC, with 95% of guests fully vaccinated. The other 5% can be unvaccinated such as those under 12 and others ineligible for the vaccine. All crew members will be fully vaccinated by the time each cruise ship begins sailing again.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships

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