Update on Out At Sea: Extra!

Updated: September 2, 2021

Ahoy everyone,

As we near the final payment deadline for the November sailing to Cozumel, we wanted to send out some updates and address some questions we’ve received from the group in an effort to ensure everyone is as informed as possible for this program.

Program Status As Of Today (9/2/21)

As of today, our sailing is still scheduled, and we (as Out At Sea) are planning to proceed as planned with the approximately 20 individuals who have registered for this program. We acknowledge that there is still a risk when sailing, and that it is currently impossible for cruise companies to implement any program or policies that would eliminate that risk entirely. We do, however, have confidence that Royal Caribbean will create as safe an environment as they are able, and encourage everyone to be mindful while on board.

Current Requirements to Sail

At present, Royal Caribbean is mandating both proof of vaccination AND a negative COVD-19 test, taken within 3 days prior to the sailing departure date. While the state of Florida has attempted to ban such requirements, earlier last month a Federal judge granted an injunction against the law, allowing cruising companies to move forward with the requirements.

That said, the injunction is temporary, and could change at any time. However, the cruise line companies have a vested interest in ensuring their passengers are able to remain healthy and safe during the trips. 

Health Protocols On Board

As part of their conditional sail application to the CDC, Royal Caribbean has implemented a number of health and safety guidelines for while you’re on board the ship. While you can visit this FAQ from Royal Caribbean regarding Health and Safety protocols, here are a few highlights:

 

Should you or your cabin mate test positive for COVID-19 during the sailing, Royal Caribbean will cover the costs associated with treatment while at sea, along with arranging transport for your return home. If you test positive at the cruise terminal or within 14 days prior to sailing, you are eligible for a full refund or Future Cruise Credit.

OAS Health Recommendations

While we are currently unable to mandate that all participants be fully vaccinated prior to our sailing, we are STRONGLY recommending it, including any recommended booster shots relevant to your vaccine type. We will also recommend personal awareness of your health leading up to the sailing, and while on board, including social distancing, and wearing masks any time you’re out and about in public areas. 

Between Now and November

As of this moment most new infections (>95%) are unvaccinated. With the new health and safety policies and vaccine availability and requirements, the cruise industry has expressed confidence that they can keep their passengers safe while providing an enjoyable experience. Even with the surge in cases resulting from the Delta variant, the CDC has been supportive of cruise lines that have been adhering (and in some cases, surpassing) recommended and required guidance for returning to sailing operations. This is in major part due to the vaccine requirements on ships, and the continued testing before (and sometimes during) each sailing. Current CDC protocols require ships to have at least 95% of passengers and crew vaccinated although, as mentioned above, there is a push to make this 100%.

The CDC has updated the cruising information section of its website to include a ship-by-ship color coding system. This table shows the operational status of each ship, along with a color indicator as to whether there have been any cases recently on board, and the resulting actions taken by the CDC for any cases identified. As you can see, our ship, the Serenade of the Seas, is currently running green. We will watch this list in the coming weeks and let you all know of any updates that may impact our sailing.

OAS will continue to monitor the situation and remain in contact with travelers to answer any questions and address any issues that arise. As always, we are first and foremost concerned with the ability for our participants to have a safe and enjoyable experience.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns that you may have between now and our sailing. We look forward to seeing you on board!