During a webconference with travel agents today, Vicki Freed, Senior VP of Sales, said that although Royal Caribbean has already suspended sailings through May 11th, there would be news this week about that. Other cruise lines are already starting to extend cancelation windows deeper into the summer. Logically the coming news will likely see RCI mirror its industry peers and extend the brands suspension of sailings this year.
The Centers for Disease Control has issued an additional 100 day no-sail directive already. However several cruise lines including Royal Caribbean, are pushing back on the suggestion of not cruising that long. It remains that 80,000 crew members are on over a hundred ships across the industry. Sending crew members home is difficult due to travel restrictions in their home countries. The want to send them home is questionable as well since re-crewing ships after they have left the ship would be expensive and exceedingly hard.
Europe, select regions of the U.S. and other areas where the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus is peaking are starting plans for relaxing travel and economic restrictions. Johnson and Johnson is starting production of a non-approved vaccine in anticipation FDA approval and global distribution in early 2021. However the crisis the pandemic represents and the impact on cruising is far from over.