Royal Caribbean International is delaying the inaugural navigation of its Odyssey of the Seas cruise ship after eight crew members tested positive for Covid-19, officials said on Tuesday.
“During routine testing, eight crew members tested positive for Covid-19,” company CEO Michael Bayley said in a statement. “The 1,400 crew aboard the Odyssey of the Seas were vaccinated on June 4 and will be considered fully vaccinated on June 18. “
Of the eight cases, six people were asymptomatic and two had mild symptoms, he said. All of those who have tested positive for Covid-19, along with hundreds of other crew members, are in quarantine and being monitored by a medical team.
The inaugural navigation of the Odyssey of the Seas, initially scheduled for July 3, is now set for July 31.
“Although disappointing, it is the right decision for the health and well-being of our crew and our guests,” added Bayley.
The announcement came less than a week after two passengers tested positive for Covid-19 on Celebrity Millennium, another subsidiary owned by the Royal Caribbean group.
The guests were asymptomatic and isolated as both were monitored by a medical team, the cruise line said.
All guests were required to present a negative Covid-19 test and proof of vaccination 72 hours before departure.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who test positive for Covid-19 after being fully vaccinated, or breakthrough infections, are rare.
Of the more than 130 million people in the United States who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, there have been reports of at least 10,262 breakthrough infections, the CDC said last month. Many of those who tested positive after being fully immunized were asymptomatic.
The CDC gave the green light to begin work on restarting cruises last month for the first time in more than a year after the huge ships became one of the first super-spreader locations for the coronavirus .