Royal Caribbean has announced on social media that it will be picking volunteer tourists for their free test cruise trips this week.
What is in there for the company? Nothing less than the possibility to resume operations at almost 95 percent capacity.
Maritime transports have been required to carry out pilot tests before being allowed to restart sailing.
Once a cruise company completes a successful trip, it obtains a “Conditional Sailing Certificate” that allows it to transport regular tourists again.
During the registration process, Royal Caribbean received more than 350,000 applications of people eager to get back onboard.
“After receiving an incredible 350,000+ responses last year from people interested in becoming Royal Caribbean’s Volunteers of the Seas, this week we’ll be randomly selecting and extending invites to registered volunteers to participate in upcoming simulation cruises,” said Royal Caribbean on Facebook .”If you applied, stay tuned to your email for news in the coming days. Good luck and we hope to welcome you aboard very soon!”
What is the catch? Due to the current pandemic, it is known that going on a cruise trip involves a certain risk of contagion especially when surrounded by a large number of people in the same contained area.
For this reason, taking a cruise ship has been classified as a “risky” activity by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In order to ensure they can provide their customers with a safe COVID-free experience, Royal Caribbean has organized several free trips to test their biosafety protocols and collect data that allows them to restart sailing in a safe way.
Unfortunately, the company is no longer accepting sign-ups.
Therefore, those interested in getting back to the sea will need to wait a few weeks while the company fine tunes the final details.
Once the cruise company restarts regular operations, fully vaccinated travelers will have some sort of “special privileges.”
Some areas will be designated to these travelers only and they won’t “probably” need to purchase insurance that covers COVID-19 to be allowed boarding.