In recent days, several cruise lines have announced the resumption of their operations. But as they circumvent shipping regulations imposed by the Centers for Disease Control by transporting cargo to Caribbean ports, some important questions remain unanswered as of yet.

Required vaccines… And the masks?

Royal Caribbean International announced last week that it will sail around the world from Nassau starting in June, while Celebrity Cruises is following a similar schedule with plans to sail from St. John’s. St. Maarten. While competitors such as Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival Cruise Line have yet to announce plans to base ships in Caribbean ports, Industrial Wagons suggests that announcements will be forthcoming.

(Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruises)

It is clear that these new applications serve multiple purposes. Not only do they allow Royal Caribbean and Celebrity to resume their revenue-generating shipping operations, but they specifically create a scenario in which they can do so without interference from the Centers for Disease Control.

READ MORE: Details of the acquisition of the activities of Royal Caribbean

In an interview with the Washington Post, Michael Bailey, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, admitted that cruise-goers are becoming increasingly anxious and a bit impatient with management. He added that they were concerned about the slow pace of the process. And we’re concerned that [the CDC’s advice] is based on the past rather than the future and what we’re seeing with vaccines.

In fact, the accelerated use of vaccines was seen as a game changer by the cruise lines. Royal and Celebrity have stated that on the newly announced itineraries, all guests and crew must be fully vaccinated (those under 18 must provide proof of a negative PCR test). And while none of the cruise lines have announced plans to make vaccination mandatory when travel resumes from U.S. ports, it seems increasingly likely that it will, at least initially.

It is not yet known whether Royal and Celebrity guests, when they leave their new (presumably temporary) home ports, will be required to wear masks and maintain a social distance in public places.

We really want to wait, Bailey told the paper. Where science will take us in a month or two is exactly where we will end up.

frequently asked questions

Will protective masks be mandatory on cruise ships?

According to a post from the Royal Caribbean Blog, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new regulations requiring the wearing of masks on public transportation, including cruise ships.

Will cruises return in 2020?

Eight cruise ships will return to sea in August, and the majority of the fleet will sail until September 2020. Update 2: After CLIA’s voluntary suspension, Carnival followed suit a few days later and extended its suspension of cruises in the U.S. More information can be found here.

Do I need to wear a mask on a Royal Caribbean cruise?

Royal Caribbean says guests must wear masks in virtually all public areas, regardless of physical measures, but not in their own cabins. … Team members will wear masks and gloves at all times.

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