May 26, 2021 - Royal Caribbean is preparing for the restart. The company received preliminary approval from the CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to conduct a test run with volunteers. The Freedom of the Seas test trip will take place June 20-22. The CDC is an agency of the United States Department of Health
On June 20, the Freedom of the Seas is likely to set off from Port Miami for a short test cruise. The trip with volunteers ends on June 22, 2021. The number of travelers is not yet determined. In order to simulate a meaningful test run, a minimum of ten percent of the permitted passenger capacity must go on board. Two restricted trips are to be made. The simulated voyage is one of the prerequisites for traveling under the so-called “Conditional Sailing Order”.
Freedom of the Seas in Willemstad / Curacao
The test run is the first step in resuming cruising. Further defined measures will follow. All crew members of the individual ships are to be tested. In addition, additional protective measures must be introduced. The CDC expect, for example, that extensive protective measures for the crew members will be implemented. Test capacities for passengers must be created on board the ships. Typical ship processes are to be simulated: These include entry and exit procedures including check-in in the terminal area. Activities on board the ships (including on-board restaurants and on-board entertainment), port visits, transferring infected passengers and crew members to isolation wards as well as quarantine measures for the other guests on board. Furthermore, hygiene measures, social distancing of passengers and the crew must be observed.
After around 15 months of downtime, resuming cruise operations is hard work!