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“Two steps forward and one step back!”
That was the message from Royal Caribbean International CEO Michael Bayley after the company postponed the inaugural sailing of the its new ship Odyssey of the Seas after 8 crew members tested positive for COVID-19.
According to Bayley, the 8 crew members had all been vaccinated on June 4, but aren’t considered fully vaccinated until two weeks have passed. The positive cases were identified after the the vaccination was given. Six of the eight crew members are reported to be asymptomatic. Two are reported to have mild symptoms.
“To protect the remaining crew and prevent any further cases, we will have all crew quarantined for 14 days and continue with our routine testing,” Beyley said.
As a result, the inaugural sailing of Odyssey of the Seas from Haifa, Isreal will be postponed from July 31, 2021, from the previous July 3 sailing date. A simulation cruise, originally scheduled for late June, will also be rescheduled.
German cruise shipbuilder Meyer Werft delivered Odyssey of the Seas to Royal Caribbean back in March. It is the final ship in Royal Caribbeans five-ship Quantum class (the final two ships are technically the Quantum Ultra class), which first launched in 2013 with Quantum of the Seas (followed by Anthem of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas and Spectrum of the Seas).
Odyssey of the Seas comes in at 169,000 GT and is 347.1 meters long by 41.4 meters wide. It can accommodates 4,210 passengers.
For its inaugural sailing season, Odyssey of the Seas will be embarking from first-time homeport in Haifa, Israel on 3 and 7 night voyages in the Mediterranean, before heading to Fort Lauderdale, Florida in November.
Royal Caribbean’s first guests on board Odyssey of the Seas are required to be fully vaccinated, except for those under the age of 18. Are crew members are also required to be fully vaccinated.
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