The travel agency industry is receiving coronavirus updates along with cruise line, resort and tour operator updates and changes to cancellations policies quicker than we can honestly keep up. But we try, as this is a mega important event in all of our lives.
We received this update from Royal Caribbean Cruise Line on behalf of clients we have booked on upcoming crises with the line. We thought we would share it with you so you could see not only what Royal Caribbean is doing to protect our mutual clients but also the extra incentives our clients are receiving that do follow though with their vacation and cruise plans.
Our advise remains: Be calm, be smart, be educated about this, wash your hand vigorously and often, avoid sick people, don't go around where other people are if you are sick, and don't travel if you are sick.
Please note, the only two cruise ships thus affect by coronavirus were carrying elderly passengers in Asia, where this virus originated.
MESSAGE FROM ROYAL CARIBBEAN
Over the last few weeks, we're sure you've been monitoring the news regarding coronavirus COVID-19. As global developments continue to change daily, we are fully focused on protecting the health and safety of our guests and crew, along with the ports we visit. In addition, we want you to feel comfortable and ensure you have a wonderful cruise.
While this situation remains quite fluid, we continue to assess the impact and monitor the number of cases around the world. As a result and to comply with guidance from the U.S. Centers of Disease Control, World Health Organization, and other global public health authorities, we've implemented new and enhanced health & safety protocols, along with travel regulations. So, here's what you need to know.
OUR TRAVEL REGULATION & HEALTH SCREENINGS
Until further notice, all ships in the Royal Caribbean International fleet will adopt the following health screening protocols:
Regardless of nationality, boarding will be denied to:
Any person who has traveled from, to, or through mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Italy, Iran, or South Korea 15 days prior to embarkation.
Any person who has come in contact with anyone with 15-day prior travel to mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Italy, Iran, or South Korea. The CDC characterizes contact with an individual as coming within six feet (2M) of a person.
Any person who within 15 days prior to embarkation, has had contact with, or helped care for, anyone suspected or diagnosed as having COVID-19, or who are currently subject to health monitoring for possible exposure to COVID-19.
Secondary, enhanced health screenings will be performed on:
Any person who reports feeling unwell or displays flu-like symptoms.
Any person who has traveled from, to, or through Japan or Thailand 15 days prior to embarkation.
Any person who is uncertain about contact with individuals who have traveled in the 15 days prior to embarkation from, to, or through mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Iran, Italy, South Korea, Japan, or Thailand.
In some cases, guests presenting certain symptoms in the specialized health screenings may be denied boarding.
NEW HEALTH SCREENINGS
As of March 6th, 2020 on all Royal Caribbean International ships, mandatory temperature screenings will be conducted for all guests and crewmembers on embarkation day. If your temperature is above 100.4°F or 38° C, you and those in your party will undergo a secondary health screening. Temperatures will be taken with a digital, no-touch thermometer. So, no need to worry.
If you require a secondary screening, this is what you can expect:
Your temperature will be checked again.
You'll undergo a pulse oximetry reading. This means, a small device will be placed on your finger to measure your oxygen level.
If you happen to have a chronic lung illness, like asthma, please bring a letter from your medical practitioner that indicates your normal baseline oxygen saturation levels. This will help ensure you are not denied boarding if you are healthy otherwise.
Then, a medical professional will check you for flu-like symptoms, respiratory illness, etc., and would make a final assessment to understand if you're fit to sail.
CLEANLINESS ONBOARD & IN THE TERMINALS
We continue to take numerous proactive steps to maintain high health standards. This includes:
Thoroughly sanitizing the cruise ship terminal before and after every sailing,
Special sanitizing of high traffic areas onboard multiple times a day,
Adding extra medical staff on each sailing,
Providing complimentary consultations with medical experts for all guests & crew,
Plus, the Captain will make two daily announcements during your cruise reminding everyone of how to stay healthy onboard.
And remember, you can do your part too! Here are some important tips to help keep you healthy and prevent colds, flus, and stomach viruses - both onboard and on land.
After using the bathroom and before any meal or snack (it's a cruise; we know there's lots of that), make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
If you happen to sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue (or with your upper sleeve). Avoid sneezing or coughing into your hands or without covering your nose and mouth.
Use hand sanitizer as often as possible. Rub the gel thoroughly, and in-between your fingers, until your hands are dry.
SO, WHAT HAPPENS IF WE HAVE TO DENY YOU
If it is decided that we must unfortunately deny you boarding at the terminal, you'll receive a 100% Future Cruise Credit for your cruise fare paid, and any precruise Royal Caribbean International purchases and taxes and fees will be refunded to your original form of payment.
If you or someone in your party does not comply with our updated travel regulation, or has a fever before your cruise, please contact your Travel Advisor immediately, or contact us at 1-800-256-6649 or visit www.RoyalCaribbean.com/contactus for your local Royal Caribbean International office phone number. All guests who are denied boarding due to these restrictions will receive a credit for future travel.
As this fluid situation continues to evolve, we plan to be as communicative as possible regarding any changes to our health protocols & travel regulation. We hope that with everything we've implemented, you feel comforted knowing we're doing everything possible to keep you healthy & safe on our ships. We look forward to welcoming you onboard soon!