The Jerusalem Post

Cruise ship’s maiden voyage delayed after 8 crew test positive


Royal Caribbean Group said on Wednesday it would delay the inaugural sailing of its Odyssey of the Seas cruise liner by nearly a month after eight crew members tested positive for COVID-19.

The news comes a week after two people tested positive for the virus on one of its Celebrity cruises, where the infected travelers were quarantine­d.

Odyssey of the Seas, which was scheduled to sail through the southern and western Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale, will now sail on July 31 instead of July 3.

Six of the eight people who tested positive were asymptomat­ic, and two had mild symptoms, Michael Bayley, chief executive of Royal Caribbean Internatio­nal, said in a Facebook post.

The positive cases were identified after the crew was inoculated but before the vaccine became fully effective, the company said. All 1,400 crew members on board Odyssey were vaccinated on June 4 and will be considered fully vaccinated on June 18, it added.

Cruise companies were one of the worst hit during the pandemic, as travel restrictio­ns led to canceled trips and huge losses.

As part of orders from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to restart trips, cruise companies require a majority of the passengers and crew to be vaccinated. (Reuters)

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