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CDC temporarily extends Conditional Sailing Order until mid-January 2022

In:
25 Oct 2021

With less than week left in the life of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) policy that regulates how cruise ships can operate from the United States during the Covid-19 pandemic, the federal agency has temporarily extended it for an additional two and a half months.

Royal Caribbean gets CDC approval for Independence of the Seas to sail | Royal Caribbean Blog

The CDC has temporarily extended the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order (CSO) until January 15, 2022, with minor modifications. 

The CSO is the CDC's phased approach to allowing cruise ships to resume operations from the United States. There are phases each vessel must go through before it can be approved to sail again with passengers from U.S. waters.

Many cruise ships have been able to resume operations from the United States since summer 2021, including many from Royal Caribbean.

It is being called a "temporary extension", and will commence once the current CSO expires on November 1, 2021.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky signed the Temporary Extension & Modification of the CSO on October 25, 2021.

The Temporary Extension & Modification of the CSO shall remain in effect until the earliest of

  • The expiration of the Secretary of Health and Human Services’ declaration that COVID-19 constitutes a public health emergency;
  • The CDC Director rescinds or modifies the order based on specific public health or other considerations; or
  • January 15, 2022 at 12:01 am EDT.

Once the Temporary Extension & Modification of the CSO expires in January, the CDC said it intends for the the program to shift to a voluntary basis, where cruise lines and other stakeholders will work together without a federal mandate to do so to ensure proper protocols are followed.

The original CSO was issued on October 30, 2020 as a response to Covid-19 and the perceived threat of it spreading on cruise ships.

According to the CDC, the rationale for extending it has to do with the threat the virus still poses today, "considering the continued spread of the Delta variant, emergence of other COVID-19 variants of concern, breakthrough cases among the fully vaccinated, and possible additional surges of cases and deaths, CDC has determined a temporary extension of the CSO is necessary for foreign-flagged cruise ships operating on international itineraries."

The CDC did concede in its document it intends to let the CSO expire once January 15 passes, "After the expiration of this temporary extension, CDC intends to transition to a voluntary program, in coordination with interested cruise ship operators and other stakeholders, to assist the cruise ship industry to detect, mitigate, and control the spread of COVID-19 onboard cruise ships."

The extension has few changes to what the CSO had in it originally, although the CDC did take away a few restrictions and requirements including:

  • Removed language referring to cruise ship operator protocols as “unproven and untested”
  • Removed requirement to include any CDC travel advisory, warning, or recommendation relating to cruise travel in marketing material
  • Removed requirement to limit voyage to 7 days
  • Removed requirement for monitored observation period of passengers prior to embarking
  • Modified to state that voyage may be ended and further action taken if a ship meets “red ship criteria” under Technical Instructions for Crew
  • Removed previous requirement that cruise ship operator must immediately end voyage, cancel future voyages, and return to port if COVID-19 identified onboard.

Friday Photos | Royal Caribbean Blog

In addition, the CSO adds that its instructions only apply on a voluntary basis for ships  arriving in, located within, or departing from a port in Florida, due to the Preliminary Injunction Order, entered by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida on June 18, 2021.

Last week, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley hinted at the CSO becoming more guidance than regulation, "One of those next steps could be that the Conditional Sailing Order would just expire, and we would continue as we are voluntarily working with the CDC and operating with various protocols and guidelines that have been recommended."

Mr. Bayley believes the success cruise lines have had in getting back to service has been a result of the work with the CDC, "We've got 15 ships operating and the protocols are really working."

"Everything is operating extremely well, and that really was only possible through a lot of collaboration with the CDC and working with them and other health authorities around the world."

Celebrity Cruises will accept mixed vaccines following CDC update

In:
19 Oct 2021

Celebrity Cruises will accept mixed series of Covid-19 vaccines of many kinds for cruise ship passengers.

Following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) update to its policy last week, the Celebrity Cruises website has been updated to reflect it will accept mixed series of any two of the following vaccines, with a minimum of 28 days between doses, as fully vaccinated: 

  • Pfizer
  • Moderna
  • Johnson & Johnson,
  • AstraZeneca
  • Sinovac
  • Sinopharm

Prior to this update, Celebrity Cruises did not accept mixed dosages of non-mRNA vaccines, such as AstraZeneca.

Earlier this summer, most cruise lines changed their policy to prohibit mixed vaccines due to the CDC update.

Celebrity stated in its policy the change was a result of the CDC's change in stance, "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has clarified their position regarding mixed vaccinations and provided Celebrity Cruises with updated guidance."

You can view the updated policy on Celebrity's website.

The issue of mixed vaccines affects residents of certain countries where the practice was encouraged by their governments, such as Canada.

Read moreWhat you need to know about going on a cruise if you're Canadian

Thus far, Royal Caribbean International has not updated their policy to match yet, but Celebrity has been usually quicker to update their policies than Royal Caribbean International, including the many updates to mixed vaccines.

When the mixed vaccine policy was changed earlier this summer, Celebrity was always a day or two ahead of Royal Caribbean in posting the new policy.

Booster shots

In addition to mixed vaccines, the Celebrity Cruises website lists a policy about booster shots.

Guests who have received 3 or more doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, due to booster regimens, will be considered fully vaccinated if at least one of these conditions is satisfied:

  • At least 2 of the doses are mRNA vaccines administered at least 28 days apart. The final dose must be completed at least 14 days before sailing.
  • At least 2 of the doses are AstraZeneca administered at least 28 days apart. The final dose must be completed at least 14 days before sailing.
  • At least 1 dose is Johnson & Johnson, completed at least 14 days before sailing.

Royal Caribbean CEO talks about upcoming end of CDC's Conditional Sail Order

In:
13 Oct 2021

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mandate over Covid-19 protocols is set to expire at the end of this month, leaving many to wonder what will happen next.

The Conditional Sailing Order (CSO) is a phased approach for cruise lines to follow in order to get ships approved to sail from the United States again. It is set to expire on November 1, 2021 unless extended.

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley was asked about the upcoming end to the CSO and what it means for his cruise line going forward.

He was asked to provide the latest information related to the CSO, and he shared his thoughts on what is still very much an unknown situation.

Why haven't cruise lines been more aggressive with the CDC? | Royal Caribbean Blog

"There has been discussion with the CDC and with other government entities that are part of this process," Mr. Bayley explained. "We're waiting to get guidance on what could be the next steps."

Mr. Bayley then offered some ideas of what options might be possible, "One of those next steps could be that the Conditional Sailing Order would just expire, and we would continue as we are voluntarily working with the CDC and operating with various protocols and guidelines that have been recommended."

Mr. Bayley believes the success cruise lines have had in getting back to service has been a result of the work with the CDC, "We've got 15 ships operating and the protocols are really working."

Friday Photos | Royal Caribbean Blog

"Everything is operating extremely well, and that really was only possible through a lot of collaboration with the CDC and working with them and other health authorities around the world."

"We don't know what the next step will be. I think what's important is that, there's different ways of doing it, but everybody has the same goal and that is to keep people safe."

He added the CDC has been largely been supportive of what the cruise lines have been doing under the CSO, I think in many of the calls I've been on with the CDC, I think they have a sense of accomplishment that that the cruise industry really now is used somewhat as a gold standard example for other forms of travel and transportation on how things can really operate well."

Protocols

Face masks not listed on Royal Caribbean's August health protocols | Royal Caribbean Blog

Dovetailing into that conversation is the question of protocols on Royal Caribbean's cruise ships, and when a change may occur there as well.

Related to the CSO, Mr. Bayley added, "I think what's what we're all hoping for is a continuation of an improvement of the environment and a decrease in all of the protocols that are currently in place."

When asked about protocols being changed, he pointed to the fact the stringent protocols are mostly tied to what is happening with Covid-19 case counts around the country.

First look around Royal Caribbean's Odyssey of the Seas | Royal Caribbean Blog

"The relationship between these protocols...masks, testing vaccines, et cetera, is directly related to what's really going on with COVID and how the in the case of the United States, the CDC views that."

Mr. Bayley provided a possible outlook at protocols changing, "I think what we'll see is as infections decline and continue to to to decline, these things will will change."

He admitted while he is not "a big fan of masks," he said wearing it on the ships "was really no big deal."

Adventure of the Seas | Royal Caribbean Blog

"I would pop it on when I was walking through corridors or if I was going to get into an elevator. And most of the time I didn't have it on. I was outside most of the time. You don't have to wear a mask outside plenty of places in spaces where it's not required, so I didn't find it to be too too bothersome."

"I think we just have to try and work within these, these these guidelines that have been offered to us. But I do think it's all going to start stripping away as the environment gets better."

Update on Perfect Day at Lelepa

Perfect Day at Lelepa | Royal Caribbean Blog

Mr. Bayley also briefly talked about previously announced plans for a new private island in the South Pacific.

Royal Caribbean announced Perfect Day at Lelepa, which is an island in Vanuatu that would be used to bolster the Australian cruise market.

"That project, we paused, you know, for obvious reasons. But we will plan is to re-engage and restart that project in the coming months."

Royal Caribbean signs deal for new contact tracing band

In:
29 Sep 2021

Royal Caribbean announced a new a wearable technology partnership.

The cruise line signed a two year technology partnership with TraceSafe.

TraceSafe and Royal Caribbean developed the Tracelet contact tracing wearable bands, which can be used on cruise ships to easily identify close contacts in the case a passenger or crew member tests positive for Covid-19.

Both companies worked closely together to design and manufacture the wearable that can meet both Royal Caribbean's high standards for comfort and the cruise line's commitment to sustainability.

TraceSafe's bands rely on a location-aware Internet of Things (IoT) platform, which have been scaled for large-scale enterprise operations such as across a fleet of cruise ships.

Royal Caribbean Group Chief Product Innovation Officer, Jay Schneider, talked about the new agreement, "It was the willingness of the TraceSafe team to develop a custom Tracelet device that met our requirements for style and design that propelled the partnership forward

"We look forward to continuing this engagement with TraceSafe as we explore the many new opportunities for IoT Technology onboard our ships."

What is a Tracelet?

Allure of the Seas Test Cruise Live Blog - Day 1 | Royal Caribbean Blog

Royal Caribbean started working on the technology behind Tracelets even before the pandemic, but pivoted the technology for contact tracing in 2020 when the cruise industry shutdown.

Royal Caribbean trademarked the name in October 2020, and the first Tracelets began appearing on Quantum of the Seas sailings that restarted from Singapore in December 2020.

The Tracelet is a comfortable, water-resistant, hypoallergenic wearable worn by all guests and crew on some Royal Caribbean sailings.  

CDC asks Royal Caribbean to share covid safety technology from its cruise ships | Royal Caribbean Blog

When offered onboard, all guests regardless of age, needs to wear it.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) actually went as far as to ask Royal Caribbean to share with them details on the Tracelet because of how intriguing an option it was.

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley told investors in February 2021 that the CDC asked the line to share the technology behind the Tracelet on early sailings from Singapore.

Royal Caribbean now accepts cruise ship passengers with mixed series of mRNA vaccines

In:
21 Sep 2021

As expected, Royal Caribbean has updated its policy to consider cruise ship passengers fully vaccinated if they have a mixed series of mRNA vaccines.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance last week on mixed vaccines, which greatly affects residents of certain countries where the practice was encouraged, such as Canada or Germany.

As a result, Royal Caribbean has updated its rules for mixed vaccines from different manufacturers:

For sailings departing from the U.S., the CDC will now recognize a mixed series of mRNA vaccines (e.g., 1 shot of Pfizer with 1 shot of Moderna, in any order) as fully vaccinated. The doses must be administered a minimum of 28 days apart. The guest will be considered fully vaccinated 14 days after the final dose. 

Guests who received 1 shot of Johnson & Johnson, with any other vaccine, are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after the Johnson & Johnson shot.

Guests whose two-shot regimen consists of 1 mRNA dose (Pfizer or Moderna) with 1 AstraZeneca dose will not be considered vaccinated. We continue to encourage the CDC and other U.S. government officials to re-evaluate this policy.

The change in policy mirrors sister company Celebrity Cruises, which updated its policy a few days ago.

The full policy has been posted on Royal Caribbean's website.

Earlier this summer, Royal Caribbean and other cruise lines announced they would not consider someone with mixed vaccines fully vaccinated, following a CDC policy change.

Not allowing mixed vaccines has been a problem for Canadian cruisers because the practice is widespread in that country.

Certificate of Recovery from Covid-19

Royal Caribbean adding mandatory temperature screenings to screen for Coronavirus in guests | Royal Caribbean Blog

Royal Caribbean also added information for guests who have recovered from Covid-19, as well as digital certificates.

For U.S. departures, Royal Caribbean does not grant vaccine accommodation for reasons related to recent recovery from Covid-19.

However, Royal Caribbean will allow a certificate of recovery for departures outside the United States.

Royal Caribbean announces health protocols for Harmony of the Seas from Spain | Royal Caribbean Blog

Guests will show the certificate at time of boarding that verifies that either the guest was diagnosed with Covid-19 within the 90 days prior to their sail date or that they are sailing before the end date noted on the Certificate of Recovery.

For sailings departing from Cyprus, the Certificate of Recovery must be issued 30 days after the day of the first positive Covid-19 test and is valid for either 90 days or until the expiry date displayed.

The Certificate of Recovery must include the following details: 

  • Name of sailing guest
  • Date of issuance of the Certificate of Recovery
  • Medical services provider name

EU Digital COVID Certificate 

For sailings operating within the E.U only, guests may present an EU Digital COVID Certificate showing they have received a single dose of a 2-dose series of an approved COVID-19 vaccine after having previously been infected with COVID-19, where the Member State issuing the EU Digital COVID Certificate considers the vaccination course as completed. 

In this scenario the certificate must clearly show 1 of 1 vaccine completed.  The vaccine must have been administered at least 14 days before their sail date 

Celebrity Cruises will now accept a mixed combination of mRNA Covid-19 vaccines

In:
20 Sep 2021

Celebrity Cruises has updated its policy to now allow some mixed vaccines and recognize those passengers as fully vaccinated.

In an updated policy posted to Celebrity's website, it says the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its guidelines regarding mixed vaccinations, which prompted Celebrity to change their policy.

Earlier this summer, many cruise lines were forced to not recognize any passenger who had a combination of vaccines from different manufacturers, including Royal Caribbean. The reason being the CDC did not recognize any mixed combination of Covid-19 vaccines as fully vaccinated.

According to Celebrity, the CDC has "clarified their position regarding mixed vaccinations."

Celebrity has seemingly followed that guidance from the CDC in their updated policy and will now recognize a mixed combination of mRNA Covid-19 vaccines (Pfizer/Moderna) as fully vaccinated.

  • If a guest has already received two mRNA vaccines in mixed series at a minimum interval of 28 days, the CDC will consider that individual to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Guests who received the Janssen (aka Johnson & Johnson) vaccine before or after another COVID-19 vaccine should be considered to have received a valid, single-dose Janssen vaccination—not a mixed vaccination series—and are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • To be recognized as fully vaccinated, guests 12 years of age and older, must complete a vaccine series with the last dose administered at least 14 days prior to sailing.

"For sailings departing the United States, to be recognized as fully vaccinated, guests 12 years of age and older, must complete a vaccine series with the last dose administered at least 14 days prior to sailing. The CDC will also consider a guest fully vaccinated with proof of vaccination that can include mixed doses of the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines. Celebrity Cruise will not accept any form of Certificate of Recovery."

The issue of mixed vaccines affects residents of certain countries where the practice was encouraged by their governments, such as Canada.

A change to Royal Caribbean's policy has not yet been posted.

Celebrity also added a new option for passengers that lost their original vaccination card, but want to show an electronic copy instead.

Celebrity will now accept proof of vaccination from a passengers if that person can furnish proof from the government site or app.

Photos or photocopies of the original vaccination card are still not accepted.

CDC wants cruise lines to reconsider mask policies on cruise ships

In:
28 Aug 2021

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted a new update to its cruise ship operations manual asking cruise lines to take another look at some of the onboard rules related to mask use.

Currently, cruise lines like Royal Caribbean have certain areas of the ship where fully vaccinated guests can go and take off their masks while indoors. These areas are only open to fully vaccinated guests.

The CDC has issued an update recommending this practice stop because of the increased transmissibility of some Covid-19 variants, and published the new recommendation in its  Framework for Conditional Sailing Order (CSO).

On August 27, the CDC posted an update that it is recommending, but not requiring, cruise lines reconsider face mask rules such as these:

  • Allowing fully vaccinated crew to remove masks indoors in areas inaccessible to passengers
  • Designating areas as only accessible to fully vaccinated passengers and crew where masks and physical distancing are not required
  • Advising passengers and crew on ships with 95% of crew and 95% of passengers who are fully vaccinated that they do not have to wear a mask or maintain physical distance in any areas. 

Royal Caribbean currently has certain areas of its cruise ships designated for only fully vaccinated passengers, where passengers there are allowed to take off their mask while in this area.

Admission to these vaccinated areas is enforced by crew members who check if a passenger is vaccinated or not.

The exact list of venues available only to fully vaccinated passengers depends on the ship, but here are some examples:

  • The Chef’s Table
  • Izumi Hibachi & Sushi
  • Schooner Bar
  • The Pub
  • Viking Crown Lounge
  • Solarium
  • Casino Royale
  • Vitality Spa

The CDC still allows cruise ships to offer select areas as only accessible to fully vaccinated passengers and crew where masks and physical distancing are not required, but this update is aimed at requesting the cruise lines to reconsider this policy.

The CDC also revised its testing requirements for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated cruise ship passengers for pre-embarkation, embarkation, and back-to-back sailing, for cruise ships operating under the CSO, including those choosing to follow CSO measures on a voluntary basis. 

The new recommendation matches what Royal Caribbean was already doing, which is require unvaccinated and fully vaccinated passengers bring a negative Covid test that was take no more than 3 days before boarding to the cruise terminal.

Royal Caribbean first added the requirement to get a negative Covid-19 test before cruises 5 nights or longer as of July 31, and then expanded that rule to include sailings of any length as of August 12.

Read moreWhen you should take a Covid test before your Royal Caribbean cruise?

According to the CDC, the change was made because of the CDC’s guidance for fully vaccinated people and the increased transmissibility of some Covid-19 variants of concern.

CDC warns high risk people not to go on a cruise ship

In:
21 Aug 2021

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a new warning on Friday to anyone who is at high risk of severe complications from Covid-19 not to go on a cruise, even if they are fully vaccinated.

According to the CDC's website, the warning applies to Older adults, people with weakened immune systems (including people who take medicines that suppress their immune systems) and people of any age with certain underlying medical conditions, because they are more likely to get severely ill if they get Covid-19.

"Severe illness means that a person with COVID-19 may need: hospitalization, intensive care, a ventilator to help them breathe or they may even die," according to the CDC's website

Why the change? The CDC says the new advice follows several coronavirus outbreaks that have been reported aboard cruise ships.

"The virus that causes Covid-19 spreads easily between people in close quarters aboard ships, and the chance of getting Covid-19 on cruise ships is high. Outbreaks of Covid-19 have been reported on cruise ships."

While there have been cases of Covid on cruise ships, protocols onboard have proven to contain the cases to just a few passengers. In many situations, cases were limited to families traveling together.

Royal Caribbean acts quickly with contact tracing and additional testing to quarantine and safely repatriate those passengers home, often via private jet transportation.

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley said earlier this week there are typically one to two passengers that test positive for the illness on a typical sailing.

Mr. Bayley went on to say that due to the high levels of vaccinated passengers and frequent testing, a cruise ship, "is literally one of the safest places on the planet."

The new warning did not result in a change of the agency's Covid-19 levels, leaving cruise ships at level 3 or "high".

The CDC's 4-level system categorizes destinations, including international destinations and United States Territories, into the following four levels:

Level 4: Very high level of Covid-19
Level 3: High level of Covid-19
Level 2: Moderate level of Covid-19
Level 1: Low level of Covid-19

The new warning is in addition to the agency's previous guidance that unvaccinated passengers not go on cruise ships.

Due to Bahamian law, Royal Caribbean now requires anyone over the age of 12 to be fully vaccinated in order to go on a cruise. Children 11 and under do not have a vaccine option, and are allowed to sail albeit with additional requirements and protocols.

Royal Caribbean now accepts CDC-approved at-home COVID-19 tests

In:
09 Aug 2021

Update 8/20/21: Royal Caribbean confirms the Abbott BinaxNow COVID-19 Ag Card Test, which is taken at home and supervised by a telemedicine professional, is accepted. It must be taken under live video supervision.

Royal Caribbean recently added a new requirement for anyone going on a cruise from the U.S. will need to get a Covid-19 test taken before the sailing, and there is now a new option available to get that completed.

The cruise line has updated the test requirement policy on its website to say it would allow home/self-tests if there is documentation can be provided from a medical professional that they were supervised.

With this change, the at-home tests that are done in a video conference with a medical professional are acceptable. These tests can be completed in 15-minutes and do not require finding an appointment at a nearby testing center.

Over the last two weeks, Royal Caribbean has introduced a new requirement for passengers where they must provide a negative PCR or antigen test for Covid-19 during check-in.

This test must be taken no more than three days prior to sailing and must be arranged by each guest at their own expense with an accredited test provider.

Abbott BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Ag Card Home Test is supervised and administered remotely via Zoom. Results are available within 15 minutes.

The test can be self-administered using a short nasal swab (not the deep and invasive nasopharyngeal swab) and check test results in 15 minutes.

The at-home tests by Abbott does require a prescription, which allows for someone to fill out a form to apply for an online prescription.

Results are available instantly email, as well as through the manufacturer's app. There is also a QR code provided to be shared via text, email and other methods.

The test can be used on children as young as two years old when samples are collected by an adult and for all people aged 15 years or older.

One issue with these at-home tests is there are reports of hours-long wait times due to an increase in demand for tests. Your experience may vary depending on when you opt to take the test.

Royal Caribbean is flying passengers home on a private jet if they have Covid-19

In:
07 Aug 2021

Cruise ship passengers that test positive for Covid-19 are not just left behind at the nearest port. In fact, Royal Caribbean takes the health and safety of passengers, crew members, and the communities their ships visit seriously enough to hire private transportation home.

Unlike other industries that have had little to no government regulations regarding their Covid-19 response and protocols, the cruise industry has been held to a much higher standard with requirements and oversight.

Exemplifying the cruise industry's commitment to the welfare of its guests is the fact anyone that has tested positive for Covid during the course of a cruise has been flown home in a private jet.

Considering the expense and logistics involved in flying anyone home at the last minute on private transportation, the fact Royal Caribbean is using private jets and limousines for those afflicted with Covid is rather impressive.

Royal Caribbean says vaccinated guests and children not yet eligible to be vaccinated who book a cruise sailing on or before October 31, 2021 will have the following Covid-19 Assistance at no extra charge.

  • 100% cruise fare refund for you, and your Travelling Party, if any of you tests positive for Covid-19 within 14 days prior to the cruise or at the boarding terminal.
  • Pro-rated cruise fare refund if your cruise is cut short for reasons related to Covid-19.
  • If you test positive for Covid-19 during the cruise, Royal Caribbean will cover the costs of Covid-19 related medical treatment onboard, any required land-based quarantine, and travel home for you and your Traveling Party.

Unvaccinated guests age 12 and older sailing from Florida homeports who booked prior to March 19, 2021 or after June 28, 2021 will not be subject to this Covid-19 Assistance, and must provide proof of travel insurance as outlined in prior to boarding.

Two RoyalCaribbeanBlog readers recently had the unfortunate opportunity to be flown home during their cruise due to Covid.  

Daniel was on Adventure of the Seas in June when towards the end of his cruise, he tested positive for Covid during a routine Covid test for all passengers. Everyone else in his traveling party tested negative.

Daniel was fully vaccinated and followed protocols, but unfortunately had to end his cruise early when he tested positive.

Daniel said a half hour or so after taking the test, crew members approached him on the pool deck and informed him he needed to quarantine in his room due to the positive test.

After the second test came back positive, he put on a hazmat suit and was brought to the ship's medical center to get bloodwork, urinalysis, and chest x-ray.

"The care was lovely and touching since I was scared, anxious, etc," he recalls.

After that he was quarantined in an oceanview stateroom and supplied with water, cleaning supplies, and unlimited room service.

He and his family were disembarked in Cozumel, where Royal Caribbean arranged for an ambulance to the airport, a private jet ambulance home and a limo van waiting for him in Tampa International Airport.

"Wonderful care and service from the flight crew," David said of getting home. "Royal Caribbean was amazing how they handled this nerve wracking experience."

Another RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader, smokeybandit, was on Adventure of the Seas more recently, and through contact tracing, his son was identified as a close contact of someone who tested positive on the ship.

He shared the experience on the RoyalCaribbeanBlog message boards.

"We never really asked for details on when or what they defined as a close contact since I figured we'd never get that detail as I'm sure they'd cite privacy.

Like Daniel, smokeybandit and his family were quarantined initially while another PCR test was administered. Just like Daniel, they were given complimentary room service, wifi, movies, etc.

Smokeybandit's family was taken off the ship in Nassau and boarded a limo van, where they were driven to the plane and flew directly home. 

His family boarded a 6 passenger Learjet that can convert to an air ambulance.  

Once they arrived home, a town car was waiting for his family to take them home.

Smokeybandit indicated that the transportation home was covered by Royal Caribbean, although he did have his own travel insurance.

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