For weeks now, the coronavirus has caused havoc worldwide. An estimated 30,000 people have fallen ill from the virus, with more than 500 of those succumbing to it.
Meanwhile, entire cities have been locked down, advanced screening measures have been implemented worldwide, and even a cruise ship has been quarantined after passengers were found to have the illness.
Now Royal Caribbean has said that they have “plans in place” to move Spectrum of the Seas — which currently sails from China — should the virus continue to cause issues for an extended period.
That news comes from a recent earnings call for the company, when an analyst asked the CEO of Royal Caribbean if the company had a contingency plan should the coronavirus continue to spread.
Michael Bayley, CEO, responded with this:
“Yes, I mean, obviously, we have contingency plans for all of our ships deployed globally, and it’s part of our overall planning process. So in the case of — at the moment, it’s really Spectrum [of the Seas] that’s being removed from the China market and that’s safely sailing with our crew. We have plans, obviously.
“But I think, as we’ve all said, it’s really difficult to understand what is going to happen. I think we’re all waiting to see. But we do have alternative plans in place, and we can either redeploy regionally or outside of the region, but we do have plans in place.”
Note that there is no concrete decision made yet to move the ship out of China right now. Currently the company has cancelled eight cruises aboard the Spectrum of the Seas until at least early March. It’s likely that the cruise line will reassess the situation in the coming weeks to see if those cruises in March can continue.
Royal Caribbean has made the decision to deny boarding on any ship to passengers or crew who have traveled to China, Hong Kong, or Macau within the last 15 days.
Those who have been in contact with another person that has traveled to these areas will have extra screenings before boarding, as will those with passports from these areas, and anyone feeling unwell.