Royal Caribbean Resumes Recruiting Indian Crewmembers
Michael Bayley, the president,and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., announced through a Facebook post that the company will resume hiring beginning on May 21. The news comes less than a fortnight after the cruise line said it would temporarily suspend recruiting crew members from India, and it has been welcomed by Indian seafarers.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is the world's second-largest cruise company after Carnival Corporation, and it was one of the first to suspend hiring of Indian crew as a result of the re-emergence of COVID-19 in the region. Royal Caribbean Cruises owns both Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises.
Crewmembers from India will be allowed to join Royal Caribbean Cruises under "enhanced protocols." Bayley said that these procedures would be in effect for at least a limited while, but that these improved protocols will be used for crewmembers arriving from other countries where new COVID-19 cases are on the rise.
Before boarding a ship, Indian crew members will be put through a series of tests followed by isolation to ensure their safe embarkation on the ship. Every crewmember boarding the ship must follow a strict protocol, in the following order:
1. PCR Test
2. 14-day quarantine
3. PCR Test
4. Charter flight
5. PCR Test
6. Given a Covid-19 vaccine
8. PCR Test
The news was welcomed on social media by the cruise line's employees. Many of Royal Caribbean's Indian crew members particularly appreciate the cruise line's vaccination scheme, as India is experiencing vaccine shortages amidst its ongoing outbreak.
The Royal Caribbean crewmembers of the Explorer, Liberty, Navigator, Mariner and Independence of the Seas have already completed their first dose of vaccination at the Port of Miami. Crewmembers joining from India are next on the list.