CruiseWhile vaccination regulations have caused delays in sailings, strict measures reassure passengers of safety standards.

It's a double-edged sword for vaccination mandates and Covid tests

Booking data for cruises suggests a surprisingly positive post-Covid recovery.
Booking data for cruises suggests a surprisingly positive post-Covid recovery. Photo Credit: Shutterstock/Olga Gavrilova

Spectrum of the Seas delayed for third time

Royal Caribbean International's Spectrum of the Seas has postponed its cruise-to-nowhere trips in Hong Kong for the third time. Spectrum of the Seas was initially scheduled to begin sailing from Hong Kong in late July for a cruise-to-nowhere voyage. It was then delayed to late August, followed by 5 October, and most recently that date was postponed to 14 October.

This means that the 5th, 8th and 10th departures will be cancelled and affected passengers will receive notifications and compensation details with effect.

According to various Royal Caribbean spokespersons, the delays have been due to crew vaccinations, quarantine challenges, and elevated restrictions and rules imposed by the Hong Kong government for passengers from Europe, North America and Asia.

“This will make it difficult to join the voyage service as originally planned for the crew who are fully vaccinated from the Ocean Spectrum. As a result, some of the routes will be cancelled,” Royal Caribbean stated.

Crystal River Cruises prolongs vaccination mandate through 2022

Crystal River Cruises announced that it will be extending its mandatory vaccination requirement for guests and crew all the way to the end of 2022, which will give guests more confidence and reassurance about safety protocols when they book its cruises.

"The health and safety of our guests and crew is paramount to everything we do at Crystal River Cruises, and as such, we will require full vaccination through 2022 so that our guests can continue to explore the world in great comfort and safety," said Walter Littlejohn, Crystal River Cruises’ SVP and managing director.

Guests and crew are expected to complete a full course of COVID-19 vaccination (with two doses, if recommended by manufacturer) at least 14 days before their embarkation date. Passengers will be required to produce documents to prove their vaccination status before boarding the ship.

"After months of planning and preparation, we welcomed guests back on board in late August and the feedback has been wonderful,” Littlejohn further stated. “Extending the vaccination requirement provides our guests with the health and safety information and assurances they need to plan future travels."

Additional safe measures include Covid-19 tests at embarkation for both guests and crew, temperature checks when returning from ashore, a mask policy, social distancing guidelines and enhanced sanitation.

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