Royal Caribbean Postpones First Cruise After 8 Crew Test Positive For COVID
By Bill Galluccio
June 16, 2021
Royal Caribbean pushed back the inaugural voyage of the Odyssey of the Seas after eight crew members tested positive for COVID-19. Six of the crew members were asymptotic, and the other two had mild symptoms. The cruise line said that the crew members are in isolation and being monitored by a medical team.
"All 1,400 crew onboard Odyssey of the Seas were vaccinated on June 4th and will be considered fully vaccinated on June 18. The positive cases were identified after the vaccination was given and before they were fully effective," CEO Michael Bayley said in a statement.
Odyssey of the Seas was scheduled to set sail from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on July 3 but will now leave on July 31. A simulation cruise in June was also rescheduled.
"While disappointing, this is the right decision for the health and well-being of our crew and guests," Bayley said.
The other crew members were told to quarantine for 14 days and will continue to undergo routine testing.
Royal Caribbean said it will begin contacting customers to offer refunds and help them rebook their trip.
Another cruise ship, run by Celebrity Cruises, is still scheduled to depart from Fort Lauderdale on June 26 on a seven-day voyage to the Caribbean.