The testing program, launched last Thursday, is designed to show the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that the Miami cruise operator can safely operate during the covid-19 pandemic.
Mock trips with volunteer passengers are part of the Conditional Sailing Order set by the CDC on Nov. 1 after the agency lifted a ban on cruise ships operating in U.S. waters, according to media reports.
All cruise ships are required to launch at least 15 trial sailings to receive a covid-19 conditional sailing certificate from the CDC and to be able to sail with passengers again.
The CDC also requires cruise lines to protect crew members by providing regular testing and proper safeguards before they can launch the trial sails.
“It has been so gratifying to receive literally thousands of emails and calls offering to volunteer,” Bayley said on Facebook.
Volunteers can sign up for the trials by joining the Volunteer of the Seas Facebook page, which now has around 50,000 members.
Those signing up to volunteer must be over age 18, according to the sign-up form.
The company didn’t mention where the trials will be conducted. But according to the New York Post, volunteers will begin the trial sails in 2021 with a trip most likely to CocoCay, the company’s private island in the Bahamas, 55 miles north of Nassau.
Royal Caribbean International was launched in 1969 as a global cruise line service for vacationers.
At last check Royal Caribbean shares were trading little changed at $74.08.