So you wanna sign up for a test cruise?
This morning on their Facebook page, Royal Caribbean made an announcement that sent a buzz through through the cruise world. Yep, the cruise line is inviting you to sign up for test cruises. Over the past two weeks, cruise enthusiasts have been enthusiastically asking “how can I get on a test cruise”! Until today, the cruise lines have been somewhat vague, indicating that employees, and friends and family of employees may be tapped first, with no mention of the general public being invited.
But that changed, and Royal Caribbean was the first cruise line to invite the public to join a list of could-be cruise testers when the line resumes sailings. Those sailings will likely be short, and will head to the line’s private Island destination, Perfect Day at Coco Cay.
Time to get back to cruising!
The cruise line created a sign up form to get on the list for test cruises, and a few hours later, created a Facebook Group called “Volunteers of the Seas” where you can learn more, sign up for test cruises, and watch for coming information.
Why do they need volunteers?
Let’s back up…at the end of October, the CDC Lifted the No Sail Order, replacing it with a complex Conditional Framework Certificate Process, which requires the lines to run test or “simulated” voyages prior to welcoming paying passengers back on board.
The CDC states: “Simulated voyages will mimic a normal cruise experience and also include drills for potential outbreaks and positive COVID-19 cases aboard. A cruise ship operator must have successfully conducted a simulated voyage or series of simulated voyages demonstrating the cruise ship operator’s ability to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 onboard its cruise ship,” the order reads. This is a phase that has simulated mock voyages of increasing, duration, complexity and numbers in order to test and implement scaling up and feasibility of the plan.”
Intrigued? You can sign up HERE for test cruises with Royal Caribbean.
Note: Royal Caribbean states: “Please submit one response for the party and ensure all information is accurate. Only adults (18 years or older) will be allowed to sail. Thank you!”
Know what you’re getting into!
- The CDC has stated you’ll need a doctor’s note to sail, and that note will need to reflect that you have no pre-existing conditions. The order states you will need: “written certification from a healthcare provider that the volunteer passenger has no pre-existing medical conditions that would place that individual at high risk for COVID-19 as determined through CDC guidance.”
- You’ll be tested for COVID-19 before and after the cruise, maybe more.
- You’ll be required to acknowledge that “sailing during a pandemic is an inherently risky activity”.
- No passengers under the age of 18 will be allowed.
- Sound good? You can sign up HERE.
Now we wait!
But waiting never felt so good!
What can you do to to prepare for the return to cruise travel? Check out our article on Cruise Safety– What YOU can do to be a proactive cruise traveler.
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