(Cruise Industry News) – Royal Caribbean International’s President and CEO Michael Bayley highlighted the importance of the COVID-19 vaccines in the company’s planned restart in North America and the Caribbean.
“Nine months ago, we formed a task force with the cruise industry, bringing together the cruise lines that operate in the Caribbean and the Caribbean countries … That team, which consisted of over 14 countries and all of the cruise companies, has met on a regular basis to talk about how we will operate in the future,” Bayley said, speaking at a Caribbean Tourism Organization event held on Wednesday.
According to Bayley the progress of the vaccination programs around the world has changed the conversation topic.
“In the beginning, we were very engaged with discussions over protocols, masks, testing and trying to align protocols of the countries with protocols of the ships, harmonizing all of it to create a sense of safety and security trough shared collaboration and science,” he explained.
“Now, with vaccines, it is beginning to shift. Using the CDC as an example, we see that, cautiously, they are relaxing many of the rules and regulations because they are getting science and data that shows that, if you are a vaccinated community, there’s very little transmission. It is a much different environment.”
In this light, the industry has committed itself to fully vaccinate all of its crew members, according to Bayley.