Royal Caribbean postpones debut of new cruise ship after COVID-19 outbreak
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Royal Caribbean has canceled the first four sailings of its newest cruise ship due to a COVID-19 outbreak among the vessel’s crew.
The world’s largest cruise line late Tuesday, June 15, said the ship — the 4,198-passenger Odyssey of the Seas — would now debut on July 31, four weeks later than planned.
In a statement sent to TPG, Royal Caribbean said eight crew members on Odyssey of the Seas had tested positive for COVID-19, all on June 10. That was six days after the ship arrived in the U.S. from Europe in advance of its first sailing, which was scheduled for July 3.
At the time the ship arrived in the U.S., none of its 1,400 crew members had been vaccinated for COVID-19. But they were vaccinated soon after the ship’s arrival.
For more cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG’s new cruise newsletter
“All crew that tested positive are in good health and being monitored by our onboard medical team,” Royal Caribbean said in the statement.
There have been no further cases of COVID-19 discovered among the ship’s crew since June 10, Royal Caribbean said. But the line said that all the crew on Odyssey of the Seas would remain in quarantine on the ship for 14 days in what the line called “an abundance of caution.”
Odyssey of the Seas is one of several ships that Royal Caribbean plans to operate in the coming months without a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for passengers.
“We are reaching out to affected guests and travel partners to assist with their options,” the line said in its statement. “This was an unexpected but necessary decision to make, and we are committed to doing the right thing for everyone’s well-being.”
Recently completed at a shipyard in Germany, Odyssey of the Seas is one of the world’s largest cruise ships.
While not quite as big as Royal Caribbean’s record-breaking Symphony of the Seas (the world’s largest cruise ship), the ship is designed to offer all the trappings of a major megaresort. It boasts multiple pool areas, a kiddie aqua park and such amusements as a sky-diving simulator, a surfing simulator and a bumper car pavilion. A something-for-everyone array of cabin classes on the ship range from tiny, 166-square-foot “interior” cabins without a window to massive, two-deck-high Royal Loft Suites that are nearly 10 times that size.
This isn’t the first delay to the debut of Odyssey of the Seas. The ship originally was scheduled to debut in 2020, but it’s construction was slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s completion date was rescheduled for 2021.
Earlier this year, Royal Caribbean announced that the ship’s first sailings would take place in Israel. But those plans were scrapped after violence erupted in the country earlier this year.
Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:
- The 5 most desirable cabin locations on any cruise ship
- The 8 worst cabin locations on any cruise ship
- A quick guide to the most popular cruise lines
- 21 tips and tricks that will make your cruise go smoothly
- 15 ways cruisers waste money
- 12 best cruises for people who never want to grow up
- What to pack for your first cruise
Featured image of courtesy of Royal Caribbean.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees