Royal Caribbean has announced a series of exciting seven-night cruises to the Bahamas and Mexico. The cruises will set sail from Royal Caribbean’s new homeport in the Bahamas from June to August 2021. All adult guests and crew members must be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. Guests under 18-years-old must test negative for the virus.
The first ‘fully vaccinated’ cruise, Adventure of the Seas, will depart on June 12, 2021 from its homeport in Nassau, Bahamas. Island destinations will include Grand Bahama, Cozumel, Mexico and Royal Caribbean’s private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay.
The cruise line industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with U.S. operations suspended since March 2020. This is due to the history cruise lines have when it comes to onboard transmission of illnesses, including the norovirus, respiratory illnesses like COVID-19, and other infectious diseases.
The proximity of passengers and crew members in a semi-enclosed environment, with interactions in dining halls, buffet areas, game rooms, spas, pools, and hot tubs, creates a unique environment for person-to-person transmission.
Royal Caribbean is the first cruise line to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory. But other cruise lines are following suit, making vaccinations mandatory for passengers and crew. P&O Cruises, owned by Carnival Corp., recently announced a summertime cruise series that will sail along the UK coast, available only to UK residents who have been vaccinated.
As always, we recommend that before you book your cruise, that you visit the CDC’s website where you can research different cruise ships to see how they performed in their last inspection. These random inspections verify that ships are maintaining a healthy and safe environment on board. In a post-Covid world, this type of preparedness and vigilance is key when booking your next cruise.