Royal Caribbean has announced that they are looking for volunteers to help get its cruise ships sailing again.
The news first broke on the company’s Facebook Page where it said, “Can’t wait to cruise? You’re in the right place. This is your one-stop-shop for updates and next steps about joining us on a simulated cruise as we make our return to adventure. Stay tuned to be the first to know more about how to be one of the first back at sea.”
Trial cruises are expected to be relatively short voyages to Royal Caribbean’s private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay, in order to test out new health and safety protocols that will be implemented on its vessels.
This is being done in conjunction with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, which has put into place a conditional-sail order under which every ship must be certified as safe before being allowed to resume revenue-generating sailings.
Who Can Sign Up
There are certain parameters as to who will be permitted to take part in these sailings, including that all guests must be over 18 years of age. Would-be passengers can be employees of Royal Caribbean Group, but can receive no compensation for taking part.
Similarly, volunteers can not be pressured to take part as a term of their future or continued employment, and no compensation can be paid to those chosen.
During the simulated sailings, all of the normal activities one would experience on a cruise will be in place, including dining and entertainment. The ship will also recreate scenarios in which a crew member is infected and guests must be quarantined.
To sign up to be a volunteer on one of these simulated voyages, you just have to fill out a simple form on a new Trial Cruise Volunteer website. Royal Caribbean will contact you with further information if you are a proper candidate.
Last week, during a conference call with travel partners, Vicky Freed — senior vice president, sales trade support and services for Royal Caribbean Group — hinted that the company might be looking for volunteers. At that time, she indicated they would primarily be choosing employees for the initial test sailings.
No word on which ships will be first to operate simulated sailings or from which port, although it is likely they will be departing out of Florida.
Eventually, every ship in any cruise line’s fleet will have to do a simulated sailing in order to test not only how well the new health and safety protocols have been implemented, but how well the crew has been trained on them.