Royal Caribbean International President and CEO, Michael Bayley (pictured), has posted an update on the Group’s restart plans.
While the process has had, “ups and downs and twists and turns”, he said that by the end of August, 13 cruise ships will be back in service, representing 50% of the fleet.
“All of our ships starting operating with reduced capacity either by government mandate,” he shared on Facebook.
Bayley explained that all Royal Caribbean ships have limited capacity ranging between 30 to 50%, and the company will increase capacity ship-by-ship over the course of each month.
“As all guests are required to be tested before boarding regardless of vaccination status, we typically have two to 10 guests a week (out of thousands of guests boarding 12 ships) who do not board because they test positive,” he revealed.
“Do we have Covid positive guests on board,” Bayley added. “Yes! How many guests are positive? Typically one or two of a thousand plus guests a week per ship.”
He attributed the cases that do get identified on board as a result of an incubation period for the virus, “Testing captures status at a point of time and if the guest is incubating infection then the test will miss it.”
“Yes, vaccinated guests test positive for Covid and typically are asymptomatic,” he stressed.
If a case is found on board, Bayley said the guests are quarantined and the crew members test the immediate travel party, contact tracing and testing of all contacts and quarantining if proved positive.
Those testing positive are repatriated home by private jet in the majority of cases.
Bayley also claimed that the crew are fully vaccinated, and all crew members are tested every week, instead of every two weeks, due to the Delta variant.
He said that sometimes there are positive Covid cases among the crew, primarily during quarantine, as they join the ship and are vaccinated and tested or during regular testing.
Bayley also claimed that guest satisfaction was “super high” and the total on board vaccinated community ranged from 90 to 97%.
As for mixed vaccines, he said that RCI was continuing to work with multiple authorities to find safe solutions.