(4:00 a.m. EDT) -- Royal Caribbean has delayed the launch of its newest ship Odyssey of the Seas until the end of July due to a COVID-19 outbreak among crew onboard.
Despite the fact all crew were fully vaccinated on June 4, eight crew members tested positive for COVID-19 during routine testing. Six are asymptomatic and two have mild symptoms, and all were immediately quarantined and are being monitored.
All crew have been quarantined for 14 days and the line continues with its routine testing.
The 4,180-passenger ship was due to resume cruising from July 3 from Fort Lauderdale, but this will now be put back to July 31. The simulation cruise, originally scheduled for late June, will also be rescheduled. Passengers have been notified.
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A spokesperson for the line said:
"Out of an abundance of caution, we are postponing Odyssey of the Seas' first sailings from July 3 until July 31, 2021.
"During routine testing, eight crew members received a positive test result for COVID-19. All 1,400 crew on board Odyssey were vaccinated on June 4 and will be considered fully vaccinated on June 18.
"These positive cases were identified after the vaccination was given but before they were fully effective.
"The eight crew members, six of whom are asymptomatic and two with mild symptoms, were immediately quarantined and are being closely monitored by our medical team. 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."
The line confirmed that guests and travel partners would be notified and given alternative options, adding: "While disappointing, this is the right decision for the health and well-being of our crew and guests."
Cruise Critic Members React
The news broke yesterday on the Boards when member Ourusualbeach started a thread with the letter from the line announcing the cancellation and refund options.
Some mebers were upset, such as JLvacation: "We just got the email our cruise was canceled AGAIN ! So this makes 3 times RCCL yanked our cruise out from under us ! Saying 125% back is ? When you can’t even get a cruise ! And We don’t really want a refund ! We wanted to cruise ! So TBC — Again."
While others questioned the efficacy of the vaccine and how -- when crew have been onboard since Israel -- did the virus even get onboard, such as harkinr who wrote: "Well, the problem is where did the infection come from? These crew have been on board for some time now. They were “supposed” to have been quarantined when they first came on board and tested numerous time before being released from quarantine. They were all vaccinated at the same time. They were “supposed” to remain quarantined during the period of time between both doses of the vaccine and full effectiveness. If not, why not? Who else besides each other were they in contact with?"
While ticketsunlimited summed it up for many when they wrote: "What a horror show!! Cant get a break."