Royal Caribbean reported that two children tested positive on this week’s sailing of Adventure of the Seas.

The ship sails out of the Bahamas, and was the first by the cruise line to return to business in North America, requiring vaccines for those eligible. Both positive results, which came after the required routine testing ahead of disembarkation, were for unvaccinated guests under the age of 16.

The two were immediately quarantined with one showing mild symptoms and the other asymptomatic, according to a statement. Members of their travel party, who are all vaccinated, tested negative, and the cruise line performed contact tracing and testing, which all proved negative as well.

The line said they disembarked Thursday in Freeport and were headed back to their home in Florida.

With its vaccine requirement in place, the ship had been sailing with 92 percent fully vaccinated guests and 100 percent vaccinated crew. Its next sailing is set to depart Saturday on a voyage from Nassau with stops at Grand Bahama Island, private island Coco Cay and Cozumel.

The cruise line is set to expand its Caribbean footprint when it finally returns to business next week from the U.S. for the first time in more than 15 months, with a planned July 2 sailing with paying customers on board Freedom of the Seas from PortMiami. Already this week, the ship sailed with 650 volunteers, becoming the first in the U.S. to perform a simulated voyage so that it could earn its conditional sailing certificate from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Under its existing conditional sail order, the CDC allows cruise lines to either perform a test voyage to show that it has proper COVID-19 safety protocols or lines can sail with 98 percent crew and 95 percent passengers fully vaccinated.

In Florida, though, Gov. Ron DeSantis has an executive order in place and has signed a law that goes into effect on July 1 that prohibits the use of so-called vaccine passports, and would fine companies $5,000 per instance if they require proof of vaccination.

Royal Caribbean has opted to require vaccines on its sailings outside of Florida, but not from the Sunshine State. The approach will allow children under the age of 16 to sail, but there are financial impacts and restrictions in place to anyone eligible to get a vaccine that choose not to.

Sister line Celebrity Cruises, which had originally opted to sail with the vaccine requirement, and is set to become the first cruise ship to sail with paying customers from the U.S. since March 2020 when it leaves Port Everglades on Saturday, has shifted its stance for Florida as well now, opting to allow unvaccinated customers, but with limitations such as segregating where they can eat.

Both Carnival Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line have plans to sail from Florida with the vaccine requirement in the next two months, but it’s unclear how they will deal with the state’s law.

Royal Caribbean, though, as well as Disney Cruise Line and MSC Cruises, have all opted to perform the simulated sailings, which allows for more families with children not yet eligible for the vaccine to sail.

“As a family brand, Royal Caribbean typically sails with 10 percent of our guests under 12 years old, and today, they are ineligible for the vaccine,” according to a press statement. “We are committed to continuing to deliver memorable vacations to families and is why we are conducting simulated cruises.”

For sailings outside of Florida, though, it still has the requirement in place for anyone 16 and older, and after Aug. 1, that requirement drops to anyone 12 and older.

For Florida, the line’s official stance is, “We strongly recommend all guests eligible for the vaccine be fully vaccinated. Travelers eligible but not fully vaccinated or able to show proof of vaccination will be subject to testing and additional health protocols at their own expense. Children not eligible for vaccines will be tested at no cost.”


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