Test cruises with volunteers may not be happening as originally envisioned, as the industry moves to a restart in North America and the idea that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention’s Conditional Sail Order (CSO) may be dropped or modified.
The CSO has so far said companies must conduct trial cruises using employees and volunteers as stand-in passengers to test safety and health protocols.
Speaking on a webinar on Wednesday, Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain said the idea was launched six months ago, and was originally focused on a protocol-based approach to health and safety.
Since then he said, the industry has conducted hundreds and hundreds of cruises with passengers (in Europe and Asia), and they are better tests as a highly theoretical sample sailing.
“There may be a slightly different approach – more of a shakedown approach,” said Fain, “to give the crew time to train and give our loyal supporting travel partners a chance to see and learn about the product.”
Fain said nothing has been decided yet.