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Royal Caribbean Takes '2 Steps Forward and One Step Back'

Line postpones sailings of new Odyssey of the Seas after 8 vaxxed crew members test positive
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2021 9:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – Royal Caribbean has been giving a hard push to promotions for its new Odyssey of the Seas ship, which the company vows will "turn wanderlust into reality." That reality will have to wait, however, as now it's "two steps forward and one step back," per Michael Bayley, Royal Caribbean International's president and CEO. Bayley announced Tuesday on Facebook that the ship's inaugural sailing, set for July 3, is to be postponed until July 31 after eight vaccinated crew members tested positive for COVID, reports CNN. He said the discovery on the crew members—six of whom had no symptoms, while two had just mild ones—was made via routine testing. Bayley noted that all 1,400 of the ship's crew members had been vaccinated on June 4, and will be considered fully vaccinated as of Friday, but that "the positive cases were identified after the vaccination was given and before they were fully effective."

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The ship's entire crew will now be quarantined for two weeks. Guests who had tickets, meanwhile, will be offered "several options" to make up for the change. "While disappointing, this is the right decision for the health and well-being of our crew and guests," Bayley noted in his Facebook post of the move made "out of an abundance of caution." He added that a simulation cruise on the schedule for late June has also been delayed. NBC News notes that the development comes just a week after two passengers aboard the Celebrity Millennium, which is owned by Royal Caribbean, tested positive for COVID. (Read more Royal Caribbean stories.)

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