Cruise ships haven’t been allowed to sail out of U.S. water since March due to COVID-19. When the CDC ended their No Sail Orders for cruise ships out of U.S. ports at the end of October, they then issued a long list of things cruise lines must do before they can set sail again. Here’s the list.
Most of the items, such as creating protocols, having certain processes in place, etc., will be done in-house. However one thing the CDC wants is for the cruise lines to conduct “simulation” cruises, using volunteer passengers to prove their respective ability to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission onboard.
Meanwhile, over the summer, the CDC had put out a survey wherein they asked the public if and how they wanted to see cruises came back. The response from cruise enthusiasts was overwhelming.
Now take all of those people who responded, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg of people who are interested in being a volunteer for these mock cruises. In fact, Royal Caribbean said it’s received over “3,000 emails, not including tweets, comments and messages across our social channels” in the two weeks or so since the CDC laid out what must be done before cruising can begin in earnest, all from people willing to be their guinea pigs.
At this point, most cruise lines haven’t said if these “volunteers” will be crew members acting as passengers, or using other groups of people. However Royal Caribbean International has just put the call out for volunteers cruisers, age 18 and over. They have a Volunteer of the Seas sign up form on their website and have started a Volunteers of the Seas group on Facebook.
From their Facebook group:
Royal Caribbean has some of the most loyal guests in the cruise industry, and we have been overjoyed with their interest to take part in our simulated trial sailings. This week alone, we have received more than 3,000 emails, not including the tweets, comments, and messages across our social channels. While we review the requirements proposed by the CDC and consider when we can host our simulated trial sailings, we are gathering information from those who have shown interest. Our priority is to ensure that we can exercise our comprehensive set of measures in a safe and healthy manner while making sure we provide a memorable vacation experience. This group will serve the community of adventurers who are excited and ready to be the first back at sea. Get ready to dust off your suitcase and get back to adventure!
Can’t wait to cruise? You’re in the right place. 😎 This is your one-stop-shop for updates and next steps about joining us on a simulated cruise as we make our return to adventure. Stay tuned to be the first to know more about how to be one of the first back at sea. In the meantime, make sure to sign up to be considered by visiting: https://bit.ly/VolunteersoftheSeas
And how popular is the idea? Welp, the FB group got over 15,000 members, who have written over 1,000 posts, in less than 24 hours. WOW! (by the way, check the group out if you get a chance. It’s public, so you don’t have to join the group to read the comments. They’re pretty entertaining. 😉 )
The funny thing is that Royal Caribbean hasn’t even said if whatever ship(s) these “mock cruises” would be on would even leave port. But whatever the case, these cruisers are chomping at the bit and are READY!
Feature Photo: Royal Caribbean
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary