To test its coronavirus safety measures, Royal Caribbean announced that 100,000 people have already volunteered to take part in multiple free, government-mandated test voyages. Perhaps you could be one of their “researchers”.
Michael Bayley, president of the cruise line, announced the program to attract those who are willing to board a cruise ship, free of charge, during the ongoing pandemic.
These simulated voyages, which are required as a part of industry protocols introduced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, must return positive results regarding safety and protection before cruise lines are able to fully resume operations from US ports.
In exchange for a free ride, volunteers are expected to act like a normal passenger on a cruise while also helping to ensure that the measures are effective.
Vicki Freed, senior vice president of sales and trade support at Royal Caribbean, said, “We are going to be doing a series of sailings using our employees and other volunteers to test out the protocols and make modifications.”
Despite the current situation of the cruise industry during COVID-19, thousands of volunteers are eager to join.
Royal Caribbean plans to begin these voyages in 2021 with a trip to CocoCay, a private island in the Bahamas owned by the company. This allows the cruise line to operate within its own bubble to gather more information on necessary changes to procedure.
These simulated trips come on the heels of a Caribbean cruise that set sail on November 7, marking the first cruise since the start of the pandemic in March. However, that voyage by SeaDream Yacht Club’s ship was forced back to port after an outbreak on board, despite strict safety precautions.
As a result, many major cruise lines have ended operations until the end of 2020. Royal Caribbean hopes these test voyages will bring optimism to a struggling cruise industry.
If you are thinking about heading to sea and have no trepidations, you can learn more here.