Crystal Cruises Reportedly Shutting Down
It looks like there may be no saving Crystal Cruises.
The line has reportedly let go of all its shoreside employees, which comes on the heels of two ships being arrested in Freeport due to unpaid bills. On Tuesday evening, unconfirmed reports surfaced from employees that their last day was either Wednesday or this Friday.
V.Ships Leisure, a ship management service, has been appointed as managers of Crystal Symphony and Serenity by the liquidators. Both vessels have reportedly been put up for sale.
The cruise line’s demise is due to the bankruptcy of parent company Genting Hong Kong, which filed for liquidation in January as it ran out of cash.
Royal Caribbean Loosens Masking and Smoking Protocols
As the Omicron surge winds down, Royal Caribbean is going back to its previous mask and smoking protocols.
Starting February 15, the line will once again allow guests to go mask-free in vaccinated only venues, which includes select restaurants, bars, entertainment, and the casino. On the same date, smoking will again be allowed in the smoking area of the casino.
In mid-December, Royal banned smoking in the casino completely, and began requiring masks in all indoor areas including vaccinated venues due to the uptick in COVID cases.
This news follows a similar announcement from Norwegian on Tuesday, when the line said it will stop requiring masks anywhere on its ships beginning March 1st.
Carnival Updates Testing Policy
Carnival Cruise Line has updated its testing policy concerning those who have recently recovered from COVID.
The line announced that those who have recovered within three months of their sailing date don’t need to submit a pre-cruise test before embarkation. The exception applies to those who are at least 10 days past their infection, have no symptoms, and have the required proof.
The policy applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated guests, but it is not a replacement for needing the vaccine to sail. Unvaccinated guests who have recently recovered still need to apply for an exemption from Carnival, and being able to sail is not guaranteed.
This change follows in the footsteps of Disney Cruise Line, which has a similar testing exemption for recently recovered guests.