The long arm of Covid-19 continues to reach the cruise line industry globally. Royal Caribbean Group said on Wednesday June 16th that it would be delaying the launch of its new cruise liner by nearly a month after eight crew members tested positive for the virus. The vessel has suffered several setbacks in its progress towards being the latest addition to the RCL fleet.
Odyssey of the Seas (IMO 9795737) had been scheduled to sail through the Southern and Western Caribbean after departing Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It will now set sail on July 31st rather than on July 3rd. A simulation cruise, which had originally been scheduled for late June, will also be rescheduled.
Royal Caribbean said six of Odyssey’s eight crew members who tested positive were asymptomatic, but that two had mild symptoms. The positive cases were traced following the crew being vaccinated, but before the effectiveness of the vaccine could kick in, the company said. All 1,400 crew members were vaccinated on June 4th. RCL is operating on the principle that maximum immunity is reached two weeks after vaccination.
Royal Caribbean International had previously moved the planned May launch date and Rome departure point to Haifa, Israel on June 2nd, only for the Israel/Hamas conflict to break out shortly before the trip was planned.
2021-built, Bahamas-flagged, 167,704 gt Odyssey Of The Seas is owned by Odyssey Of The Seas Inc, care of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd of Miami, Florida, USA. ISM manager is RCL Cruises ltd, of Weybridge, Surrey, UK. It is entered with Gard P&I Club on behalf of Odyssey Of The Seas Inc.