Out of an abundance of caution, Royal Caribbean has postponed the inaugural sailing of Odyssey of the Seas after eight crew members tested positive for Covid-19. All 1,400 crew members onboard were tested upon arrival at Port Canaveral as part of the CDC’s Conditional Sailing Order and were vaccinated on June 4th. The positive cases were identified following another routine test on June 10th— after the vaccine had already been administered, but before it was completely effective. The crew will be considered fully vaccinated on June 18th.
Royal Caribbean’s medical team has been monitoring those who tested positive and reported they are “in good health”.Of the eight crew members who tested positive, six are asymptomatic and two have mild symptoms. To ensure the health and safety of everyone onboard, Royal Caribbean has asked all crew members to quarantine for 14 days.
Odyssey of the Seas is one of several Royal Caribbean ships that plan to operate in the coming months without a Covid-19 vaccine requirement for passengers. The cruise line states that all Royal Caribbean crew members will be vaccinated against Covid-19 and strongly recommends for cruisers to get fully vaccinated as well. Guests who are not vaccinated or are unable to provide verification will need to be tested and follow other protocols that will be announced at a later date.
Odyssey of the Seas will be sailing from Ft. Lauderdale with itineraries that include 6 and 8-night Southern and Western Caribbean cruises. As a result of the positive Covid-19 tests, her debut has been pushed back four weeks to July 31st. The simulated sailing scheduled for late June will also be rescheduled. “This was an unexpected but necessary decision to make, and we are committed to doing the right thing for everyone’s well-being”, the cruise line said in a statement.
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