That would make it a particularly memorable Independence Day, Fain said in one of his frequent video updates to tourism advisers.
While the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is under pressure to provide guidance to the industry on next steps for restarting, as outlined in the conditional swim order issued on 30… Fain says science and practical experience with swimming safety during a pandemic has drastically changed the equation.
The speed of science has simply caught up with this process, Fain said. When the order for the conditional route was written, there were no vaccines. The disease was on the rise and heading for a terrible climax. Tests were less available and more expensive, and resources for treatment were limited. Overall, the situation looked very bleak at this point.
READ MORE: Other summer cruises in the UK with or without vaccinations
Fine says that when the CDC decision was announced, it was a very positive step at the time, but that time has passed. He said the company looks forward to a constructive dialogue with health authorities in the United States and elsewhere to move forward in this new environment.
One of the requirements of the CDC’s plan to reinstate cruises was that each shipping company must conduct test cruises to demonstrate the effectiveness of the shipboard sanitation measures. However, Fain says test drives have already taken place.
Royal Caribbean has now carried more than 100,000 guests on more than 150 cruises during the pandemic. Out of 100,000 guests, we only had 10 positive tests for COVID, Fain said. And all these problems have been resolved smoothly, without undue inconvenience to other cruise passengers and without imposing an undue burden on the communities and governments involved.
He considers this experience – along with those of the other 250,000 guests who traveled on other cruise lines during the pandemic – a very strong testament to the concept.
READ MORE: US may lift travel restrictions by mid-May Are the cruises coming back?
We’ve just received 100,000 test cruisers and we’ve proven that the process works – we’re now on track to meet our goal of being safer than your home town.
The cruise director also pointed out that the vast majority of the 350,000 passengers who sailed to Europe and Asia during the pandemic did so before global vaccination efforts began.
Everyone knows that vaccines are a game changer. They work great, and I’ve called them my best weapon. The evidence suggests that they work even better than most experts had hoped.
But they are not our only defense, as our experience proves. The improved tests have become so good that they too are changing the debate. And the ability to track contacts aboard ships is now far superior to anything available ashore.
In recent weeks, Royal Caribbean has announced cruise itineraries from Israel to Greece and Cyprus, and from St. Maarten and the Bahamas to other Caribbean destinations.
The response to these announcements has been exceptional, Fain said, and reinforced the idea that there is a huge pent-up demand waiting to sail again. I think we’ll be announcing more routes soon.
According to Fain, it is still unclear whether the vaccines will be needed when travel from the United States resumes. But he claims that vaccines are the basis of everything we do.
READ MORE: Federal shipping commissioner calls for mandatory vaccination for cruises
Today, vaccines and other interventions have changed the course (of a pandemic) from a steep rise to a dramatic decline. The pandemic is not under control, but it will come.
Fain acknowledges that things could still go wrong, especially if Americans become complacent. The masks work, the vaccines work. If we let our guard down and stop taking simple precautions, we could create a new epidemic. Of course things can change, and if there is a surprise of an option or something else that is unforeseen, we, like the health authorities, are aware that we need to adapt to unforeseen circumstances.
In any case, Fain said, departures from U.S. ports will not begin immediately, allowing more time to move the vaccination program forward.
Reactivation takes months, so we’re not talking about a reset of the US right now. But advances in science and medical knowledge are extraordinary, and we believe we can use them to plan our summer sailing wisely and safely.
But since it’s taking so long to activate the ship, we need to start planning now. And we should base our planning decisions on what science thinks we are likely to become, not on what we have been in the past or what we are at any given moment.
frequently asked questions
Royal Caribbean already up and running ?
Update 7: According to parent company Royal Caribbean Group, it has now been announced that cruises will be suspended until November 2020. Here are the details. Update 8: Parent company Royal Caribbean Group has announced it will suspend cruises until 2021, with the exception of trial cruises from Singapore on Quantum of the Seas.
Is July the right time for a Caribbean cruise?
In June, July and August, enjoy less crowded beaches and restaurants on a Caribbean cruise. The Caribbean is one of the best places to travel with your family in the summer, as this is when the children are not in school.
Does Royal Caribbean cancel cruises?
In order to gain time to prepare for the maintenance work, we have decided to extend the shipping closure for our world fleet until December 31. May 2021 – except for travel aboard Quantum, Spectrum, Voyager and Odyssey of the Seas.
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