SINGAPORE: Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas is still scheduled to set sail on Thursday (Dec 10), the company said on Wednesday.
Royal Caribbean said it was deploying "enhanced sanitation" on board the Quantum of the Seas after a passenger tested positive for COVID-19 during a cruise to nowhere.
"At this time, there are no changes to your cruise. However, we’re committed to keeping you posted every step of the way," it said in a notification alert to customers.
An update is expected by 6pm on Wednesday on whether there will be further changes to the scheduled trip on Thursday, said Royal Caribbean.
The company added that in view of the COVID-19 case, passengers who no longer wished to sail or who wanted to reschedule their trip could do so.
“We’re extending the deadline for you to opt-in to our Cruise with Confidence programme till Dec 10, 2020,” Royal Caribbean said.
“So, if you decide to not sail with us, you may cancel for a 100 per cent future cruise credit of your cruise fare paid.”
To avoid waiting on the phone, Royal Caribbean said customers can submit an online form here by Dec 10. Once the request is received, the reservation would be automatically cancelled and credit would be issued within 30 days, the company added.
One Singaporean who booked the Thursday cruise said he plans to go ahead.
The director of an advertising firm, who wanted to be known as Mr Bhatt, said he and his family plan to maintain safe distancing and stay away from crowds during the cruise.
“We trust the Singapore Government to take prudent steps to ensure our safety and as long as it is recommended we will take the cruise tomorrow,” the 40-year-old said.
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Earlier on Wednesday, it emerged that a passenger on the cruise that departed on Monday tested positive for COVID-19. The passenger was immediately quarantined under medical supervision.
The ship returned to Singapore on Wednesday morning.
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“Once all guests (disembark) the ship, we’ll then conduct enhanced sanitation in both the cruise terminal and the ship using the new procedures we’ve put in place to ensure everything is good to go for your sailing,” Royal Caribbean said.
"Our new sanitisation protocols rival those at the best hospitals, using disinfectants and techniques approved by the local authorities, including electrostatic fogging, to clean frequently and consistently."
The Quantum of the Seas began three- and four-night cruises from Dec 1 as part of a pilot scheme that allows round-trips with no ports of call.
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In October, the Singapore Tourism Board announced that two cruise lines - Genting and Royal Caribbean - will resume cruises at a maximum capacity of 50 per cent.
Cruises are required to comply with safe management measures, such as social distancing and mask-wearing.
Regular inspections will also be conducted on board to ensure compliance.
Cruise lines found to be non-compliant will be subjected to penalties, including fines, suspension of sailings and revocation of their CruiseSafe certification, which is required for all cruise lines sailing out of Singapore.