8 Royal Caribbean crew members test positive for COVID-19, delaying inaugural sailing

Eight Royal Caribbean crew members have tested positive for COVID-19, delaying the inaugural sailing of its Odyssey of the Seas cruise ship.

Michael Bayley, the president and CEO of Royal Caribbean, shared the news in a statement to Facebook on Tuesday.

"During routine testing, eight crew members received a positive test result for Covid-19," Bayley wrote. "All 1,400 crew onboard Odyssey of the Seas were vaccinated on June 4th and will be considered fully vaccinated on June 18."

Bayley went on to explain that six of the eight crew members who tested positive for the virus did not exhibit any symptoms, and the other two had mild symptoms. He also shared that out of caution the entire crew for the ship would be quarantined for a period of 14 days.

The date for the inaugural sailing of the cruise ship has been pushed back from July 3 to July 31 as a result of the positive tests.

"While disappointing, this is the right decision for the health and well-being of our crew and guests," Bayley added.

Earlier this month, Royal Caribbean International adjusted its policy, making vaccinations against the coronavirus optional for cruise ship passengers.

“Guests are strongly recommended to set sail fully vaccinated, if they are eligible. Those who are unvaccinated or unable to verify vaccination will be required to undergo testing and follow other protocols, which will be announced at a later date,” the company said at the time.