Vicki Freed, Royal Caribbean International's senior vice president of sales, trade support and service, confirmed today that the first sailings the line will offer when it resumes service will be short cruises to its private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay.
She also said that travel advisors may be able to serve as volunteers on the test sailings that the CDC is requiring cruise ships perform before being certified to enter service.
During her weekly Coffee Chat with travel advisors, Freed said that the red light on cruising has "now turned amber -- we're not stopped anymore, and we're working on all the details on how we get back to service in a healthy and safe way."
As per the CDC's recent Conditional Sailing Order and the recommendations of Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line's Healthy Sail Panel, Royal will launch a series of sailings "to test the new protocols and make tweaks and modifications to make sure everything is running smoothly and we still deliver that Royal Caribbean amazing vacation experience when we welcome back our guests. It will be safer and even more memorable," she said.
Freed added that many travel advisors had already sent her emails saying they want to be on those simulated trial cruises.
"We haven't decided how to select people at this point," she said, adding that so far she knows there will be Royal Caribbean employees and that "we will possibly be looking for volunteers."
Freed encouraged anyone who is interested to contact her to get on a list.
As for the additional two months of cruise cancellations, through Dec. 31, Freed said, "Let's hope this is the last extension."
She said the return to service will take a "lot of work."
"It is complicated to go through these CDC recommendations, but we're going to do it because we believe in our industry just like all of you believe in our industry," she told advisors.