Everything you need to know about Royal Caribbean's free trial cruises - Cruise International

Everything you need to know about Royal Caribbean's free trial cruises

By Ruby Norris | 15 Dec 2020

Following the new Conditional Framework Order for sailing in the U.S., Royal Caribbean is looking for volunteers for free trial cruises.

Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas

Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas

Royal Caribbean International previously hinted at a call out for volunteers to test trial voyages ahead of plans to resume sailings. 

According to Cruise Industry News, a representative of the company revealed they had over 3,000 emails as well as an outpouring of social media responses to the call out for volunteers.

The call for volunteers for trial sailings comes as the CDC ( U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) dropped their ‘No Sail’ order and introduced a new Conditional Framework with a phased approach to resuming sailings. The cruise line then set up a website leading to a questionnaire for those interested in taking part in the free test cruises.

“While we review the requirements proposed by the CDC and consider when we can host our simulated trial sailings, we are gathering information from those who have shown interested,” the company stated.

The scheme, aptly named Volunteer of the Seas, would see volunteers selected to take part in trial sailings of Royal Caribbean’s Perfect Day at CocoCay private island cruise. These ‘test sailings’ will be used to test out the safety and health protocols, and monitored by the CDC and company officials, before Royal Caribbean can resume their usual cruise services.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Royal Caribbean trial cruises.

What are the Royal Caribbean test cruises?

Royal Caribbean will need to apply for a permit if the cruise line wants to sail out of U.S. homeports. In order to get a permit, the company will need to meet a number of requirements including having a number of trial cruises; using employees and volunteers as trial passengers to test safety and health protocols.

Royal Caribbean’s Coco Cay

Who can go on the trial cruises?

Royal Caribbean revealed they would be using employees and a number of volunteers to trial cruises and have since received over 150,000 sign ups.

According to Cruise Industry News, it is said that along side cruise line employees and members of CDC staff, Royal Caribbean will likely choose volunteers among its most loyal customers.

When will the trial cruises start sailing?

After initially hoping to get some of the test sailings up and running in December, Vicki Freed, senior vice president for sales, trade support and service at Royal Caribbean International, hinted at January 2021.

“We don’t know exactly when the test sailings are going to happen – we think in Q1, and we’re hoping for January,” she said at the Virtually Yours forum in early December.

Which Royal Caribbean cruise ships will be taking part?

It is still intended that the test sailing will be one of Royal Caribbean’s short Caribbean itineraries, the Perfect Day at CocoCay cruise and there it is likely to be the purpose built Mariner of the Seas and/or Navigator of the Seas.