PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. (WESH) — Royal Caribbean is seeking volunteers for trial cruises as it prepares to make a comeback after the entire industry was shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The test cruises will be a way for the cruise line to test and show off safety measures.
“I do believe that there will be plenty of volunteers. I doubt whether there will be a lot of seniors, or people with underlying medical problems, volunteers, but you never know,” cruise industry expert Abraham Pizam said.
After being shut down for most of the year, the cruise industry got some new life after the CDC’s no sail order expired, but a return to sailing needs another green light from the agency.
Royal Caribbean said in a statement: “Once we have met the requirements proposed by the CDC, and with the help of the Healthy Sail Panel, we will determine who is eligible for our simulated cruises. We are very eager to welcome our guests back on board, but we have a lot to do between now and then, and we’re committed to taking the time to do things right. We’re still working on the details for people who want to volunteer for our simulated cruises and are currently working on our timeline.”
WESH 2 News asked Pizam how helpful the test cruises would be.
“It depends on what is the real objective. Is the real objective training? If it’s training they can do that without volunteers. However, I suspect that it’s much more than training. It is an exercise not only in setting up the right procedure like also making sure that everybody, meaning customers know about it, customers are influenced by it and customers will come back,” Pizam said.
In an effort to restart sailings, the cruise lines have submitted dozens of safety recommendations from testing for all, to mask wearing.
The plan for the test cruises is still in the early stages.
The cruise line had recently said it will not be cruising in 2020, but it is unclear if the volunteer program falls in that category.