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Maine Opens to Overnight Cruises, Negative COVID-19 Test Required
Maine Opens to Overnight Cruises, Negative COVID-19 Test Required
Exterior on Freedom of the Seas
Exterior on Freedom of the Seas

Over 100,000 People Sign Up for Royal Caribbean's Test Cruises

Exterior on Freedom of the Seas
Exterior on Freedom of the Seas

November 16, 2020

Aaron Saunders
Senior Editor, News and Features

(1 p.m. EST) -- In less than one week, Royal Caribbean has already had over 100,000 people sign up for its new Volunteer of the Seas program of test cruises."And just like that...100,000 people have volunteered," writes Royal Caribbean president and CEO Michael Bayley on his corporate

Facebook page

. "We can’t wait to start this next phase with you all!"The program, which is part of new regulations mandated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) new Framework for Conditional Sailing that was instituted on October 30, allows cruisers to register their interest to be part of test sailings designed to run through health and safety practices and protocols as mandated by the CDC. Under the new guidance, the CDC requires all cruise lines wanting to sail to, from or via a U.S. port of call to perform so-called "simulated voyages" to rest out new health and safety protocols.{#widget:image|decorators:article_image|image:3117|title:CocoCay (Photo: Royal Caribbean)|description:CocoCay (Photo:Royal Caribbean)#}While some of the requirements, such as testing out shipboard entertainment and dining venues and shore excursions on private islands, sound like fun, others could be more arduous.The CDC requires that check-in, embarkation, and COVID-19 quarantine drills be run in addition to standard muster drills, meaning these voyages will certainly be no pleasure cruise.Still, many were quick to sign up for the chance to be part of the safe, successful return to the seas.The CDC mandates that test voyages only take volunteers over 18 years of age who have no pre-existing conditions that could otherwise render them more susceptible to COVID-19 infection. While there is no information about when, or where, these test cruise will take place, it is widely expected they will leave from Florida and head to Royal Caribbean's private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay -- though ships could also easily stay docked alongside without ever sailing. Interested cruisers can fill out Royal Caribbean's

easy-to-use form

to register their interest. The only information collected is your name, number of people in your party, email, phone number and your Crown & Anchor number.No other cruise lines have set up public test cruise registries as of yet. Cruise Critic will update this story with more information as it becomes available.

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