Royal Caribbean to Run ‘Trial Sailings’

Royal Caribbean will look for volunteers to test out its safety protocols on simulated sailings before it resumes passenger cruises, a company spokesman confirmed to Travel + Leisure.

“While we are eager to welcome our guests back on board, we have a lot to do between now and then, and we’re committed to taking the time to do things right,” the cruise line spokesman told T+L on Monday. “This includes training our crew in new health and safety protocols and conducting a number of trial sailings to stress-test those protocols in real-world conditions.”

The test cruises come after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lifted its “No-Sail” Order, allowing cruise lines in the U.S. to begin a "phased resumption of cruise ship operations.” As part of the process, cruise lines will have to complete simulated voyages to "test cruise ships' ability to mitigate COVID-19 risk.”

Colleen McDaniel, the editor-in-chief of Cruise Critic, told Travel + Leisure many people have expressed “an eagerness” to join test cruises. “It’s unlikely these test cruises will feel like a standard cruise vacation, as they are designed for lines to assure that protocols in place are effective,” she said, though many people still want to sign up “as they miss cruising their favorite lines.”

She also noted that according to the guidelines, volunteers will not be paid.

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