The Caribbean has become a homeport destination for two of the largest North American cruise lines as they prepare to restart cruising services.
Celebrity Cruises will restart cruising in June, homeporting Celebrity Millennium in St. Maarten, while Royal Caribbean International will restart cruising the same month, but from Nassau aboard Adventure of the Seas.
“We’ve been working on the return to service for well over a year for this market,” said Vicki Freed, Senior Vice President of Sales and Trade Support and Service, Royal Caribbean International.
“We’ve been sailing successfully in Singapore and feel very confident about our strong protocols that are in place,” she added.
All crew will be vaccinated and guests will be required to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination, if they’re over 18. Those under 18 will only require a negative PCR test.
Like Quantum of the Seas sailing out of Singapore, Adventure of the Seas will sail with reduced occupancy. The ship is designed to carry 3,100 at full double-berth capacity.
The ship will spend two days at Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island, and will also visit Grand Bahama and Cozumel.
Guests will be allowed ashore at these destinations, but only on Royal Caribbean-organized shore excursions to limit interaction with locals.
The shore excursion policy is the same as that used by MSC and Costa Cruises for their restart in the Mediterranean and is typically a requirement by local authorities to reduce the chances of COVID-19 being brought ashore.
Celebrity Cruises will homeport Celebrity Millennium in St. Maarten, cruising seven-night itineraries departing June through August.
The cruise line is offering two different itineraries: one will call at Aruba, Curaçao and Barbados, while the other will call at Tortola, St. Lucia and Barbados.
Like Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises will require guests over the age of 18 to have been fully vaccinated.
“Returning to the Caribbean after more than a year away is such a significant moment for us. It marks the measured beginning of the end of what has been a uniquely challenging time for everyone,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President, Celebrity Cruises.
“That we’re able to offer people the opportunity to safely vacation onboard the revolutionized Celebrity Millennium, is incredible, and that we will sail from the magical island of St. Maarten is very special,” she added.
“I am forever grateful for the support and collaboration of the St. Maarten government.”