Royal Caribbean’s CEO Michael Bayley has said that 100,000 people have already volunteered for the cruise line’s ‘mock cruises’.
These mock sailings, which will be free for those onboard, will simulate the cruise experience, in a bid to test out the company’s Covid-19 health and safety measures.
The move comes as part of requirements from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which currently has issued a ‘no sail’ order.
The company hasn’t yet confirmed the date of the trial sailings nor which ship would be used, but it has already seen a surge of interest.
The programme, named ‘Volunteer of the Seas’ in a nod to the cruise line’s ship names, was announced just last week – and within five days, it was estimated that 100,000 people had already signed up to volunteer.
CEO Michael Bayley wrote in a public Facebook post : “And just like that…100,000 people have volunteered. We can’t wait to start this next phase with you all!”
The cruise line has also launched a Volunteer of the Seas Facebook page for those interested in the scheme – and it already has 44,000 members at the time of writing.
In the group’s description, the company explained: “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.”
It’s worth noting that the CDC’s ‘No Sail’ order is US-specific.
However, at the time of writing, the Foreign Office continues to advise Brits against cruise travel on a sea-going ship – you can check the latest FCDO cruise advice for more information and updates.
Due to the ongoing travel restrictions during the pandemic, cruise lines around the world have been forced to cancel sailings and temporarily suspend operations. (We’ve got a round-up of when cruises plan to restart if you want some more information).
This includes Royal Caribbean, which has a global suspension of its sailings currently set to last until the 31st December 2020.