The first test cruises could come sooner rather than later.

Following the signing of the port agreements, Royal Caribbean has confirmed that it has submitted the first test cruise plan to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley confirmed that the first such plan has been sent to the CDC for approval so that the cruise line can begin simulated voyages.

Posting on Facebook, Mr Bayley jumped on a wave of optimism that has swept the cruise industry lately and announced that Royal Caribbean would take its next big step.

“Yesterday, Royal Caribbean presented the CDC with the first of several port / health plans that require approval for the simulated voyages required prior to approval for regular cruises.”

Mr Bayley did not specify which port or ship was part of the application.

The cruise line announced nNew crossings to Alaska in summer 2021 On the same day this application was announced to the CDC.

The simulated voyages are the test sails required by the CDC to obtain permission for a cruise ship to sail out of the United States.

According to the CDC Framework for Framework Conditions for Conditional Sailing Regulations (CSO), cruise ships must first make an agreement with each port on the health and safety of crew, passengers and port staff.

So far, Royal Caribbean has signed port agreements with at least two ports: Port Canaveral and Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale). Other port agreements may also exist but have not been publicly disclosed.

With the submitted application, the CDC informs that it will respond to submissions within 5 working days. According to the CDC, applications that are both complete and accurate are expected to be approved quickly.

CDC may refuse the request to undertake a simulated voyage if the cruise ship operator does not meet any of the CDC’s requirements for COVID-19 aboard cruise ship mitigation, technical instructions or commands, or if the simulated voyage does not, according to the CDC, take adequate security precautions to minimize the risk of COVID-19 for all participants. CDC can also monitor and inspect every aspect of the simulated voyage, including through personal or remote means that allow visual observation.

In the meantime, Mr. Bayley has promised that more news will follow soon: “In the coming days and weeks we will have more exciting news to share for all of our crew and all of our loyal guests.”

What is a test cruise?

This announcement from Mr. Bayley marks the next step in Royal Caribbean’s resumption of cruises from the United States.

During test cruises, cruise lines can operate ships with volunteer passengers to prove that their new protocols work.

Continue reading:: Here’s how to volunteer for a Royal Caribbean test cruise

Simulated voyages must meet CDC expectations for certification, which includes a variety of protocols, exercises, and simulations to ensure the ships can operate safely and respond to all health needs on board.

These volunteers will help test Royal Caribbean’s new health protocols and ensure that the new rules are working as intended.

So far, At least 200,000 people have signed up as volunteers on a test cruise.

Royal Caribbean has also worked hard to get crew members vaccinated by taking their ships to American ports to be vaccinated.