Royal Caribbean and the rest of the cruise industry have slowly been preparing to get back into business. The newly distributed vaccines are promising to make cruising much safer this summer, and every cruise line is ready. Royal Caribbean in particular is prepping for a busy year, including putting some finishing touches on a new ship called Odyssey of the Seas. Unfortunately, a few COVID cases have been detected on the ship.
On March 6th, it was announced that two workers from Odyssey of the Seas had tested positive for coronavirus. The ship was being worked on at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany. It was getting some of the finishing touches that it needed before it could be tested out on the open ocean. Despite the fact that it was only two cases, Royal Caribbean still made the smart choice to quarantine the rest of the crew (about 500 people) aboard the ship until further testing could be carried out. The two workers who tested positive were quarantined inside the ship alongside anyone who they came into close contact with. Three more workers tested positive after this, making five total. These five were then allowed to leave the ship on March 8th so that they could quarantine off of the vessel.
Will this delay the ship’s delivery?
This is a problematic event simply because of how close Odyssey of the Seas was to being finished. Odyssey was nearly ready for sea trials, and it was scheduled to begin a unique set of sailings from Israel this summer. Luckily for anyone excited about taking a trip in this vessel, it looks like these cases aren’t going to cause any delays. Royal Caribbean released a statement that simply said, “We anticipate that there will be no delay to Odyssey’s arrival into Israel.” Phew! They also said that the “shipyard workers and crew onboard Odyssey of the Seas are currently preparing the ship for sea trials. They are being tested daily and at this time there are no positive cases onboard the ship.”
The fact that these cases have not yet caused a full-on outbreak is definitely a good sign. While it’s always scary to hear about the coronavirus impacting anyone, it’s great that Royal doesn’t anticipate a delay to the start of their program in Israel. By the way, the tickets for those cruises went on sale on March 9th, so check out Royal Caribbean’s website if you’re interested.