Michael Bayley, Royal Caribbean International’s CEO and president, recently revealed some details on the COVID-19 infection rates aboard his company’s ships, saying that they are “literally one of the safest places on the planet.”
This is the result of, according to him, about one or two passengers testing positive in a week’s time aboard ships that consist of more than 1,000 people.
The presumed primary reason for the infection rate being so low is because the world’s largest cruise line is requiring that all passengers who are 12 years of age or older and all crew members to be fully vaccinated. Bayley said that between 90-97% of its passengers are fully vaccinated with the exceptions predominantly being children who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated.
Meanwhile, those who are fully vaccinated and contract the virus will be asymptomatic in most cases.
Passengers who do test positive while on the ship will be immediately quarantined, and everyone in their travel party and their contacts will be tested as well if they have not already. In most cases, Royal Caribbean will provide a private jet ride home at no cost to the passengers.
Crew members are being tested on a weekly basis, moved up from once every two weeks as a result of the impact that the delta variant has had around the world.
Bayley also said that some would-be passengers are testing positive in the tests that they are required to take prior to boarding and, as a result, are denied the opportunity to board. He added that about 2-10 positive cases out of the “thousands of guests boarding 12 ships” fit that category.
Following a period of time that extended beyond a year with no Royal Caribbean ships operating, the company is continuing to push forward. With another one recently added, 13 of its 26 ships are now in operation.
However, the news is not all positive in the industry as 27 Carnival Cruise Line passengers tested positive on a recent cruise that was docked in Belize. However, all of them had already been fully vaccinated and are showing no to mild symptoms.