Oasis of the Seas returns to New Jersey after test cruise
After the longest test cruise a Royal Caribbean cruise ship has ever taken, the Oasis of the Seas made its return to Cape Liberty cruise port in Bayonne, New Jersey.
The very first Oasis-class ship to operate from the New York and New Jersey port area embarks on its test cruise on August 22. She sailed to the Bahamas and only stopped at A Perfect Day at Cococay.
His test cruise completed, Oasis of the seas should now receive his conditional navigation certificate from the CDC. This will allow the cruise line to sail with vaccinated and unvaccinated passengers if they choose to do so again in the future.
What is a test cruise?
A test cruise is a simulated voyage that a ship must undertake to navigate with vaccinated and unvaccinated guests. During the test cruise, the CDC checks whether the cruise line and the ship are complying with the many protocols and rules that the agency has developed to ensure that navigation can be done safely. They do this by navigating under realistic conditions, with volunteers acting as passengers on board.
Protocols that the CDC verified on board Oasis of the seas, and which the vessel was required to comply with on its voyage to the Bahamas included:
- How the cruise line treats passengers confirmed or suspected of having COVID, including how to transfer those passengers from their cabins to isolation and off the ship if necessary.
- Evacuation procedures for positive cases and all guests in the event of an outbreak on board.
- How the cruise line handles private island tours and regular port excursions
- Activities on board, wearing a mask on board and social distancing
- Embarkation and disembarkation, including check-in procedures
The CDC could also decide to check all medical facilities on board, procedures for the crew on board, test procedures and much more. Once the CDC is satisfied that the vessel is in compliance, it will issue a conditional navigation certificate.
Also read: Things to know about the Oasis of the Seas of Royal Caribbean
Why did Royal Caribbean have to take the test cruise?
Royal Caribbean has chosen to run all of its ships to or from the United States on simulated voyages. This would allow the cruise line to bypass a CDC’s minimum 95% vaccination mandate.
However, the cruise line has chosen to sail with nearly 100% of guests vaccinated due to new policies from the Bahamas and the US Virgin Islands. There is a small exception for customers under 12 and there are adjustments depending on where each vessel is coming from. The cruise line also always follows CDC guidelines to protect everyone.
While the CDC’s conditional navigation order is expected to expire by November, there is no word on whether it will be extended again. And if so, the cruise line wants to keep the ability to sail with vaccinated and unvaccinated guests.
What is the next step for Oasis of the seas?
Oasis of the seas will probably receive its certification in the next few days. Once everything is in order, the vessel can begin operations from Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, New Jersey. The harbor is right across from Manhattan and offers some of the most epic sailing on the planet.
On September 5, the 226,838 gross tonnage Oasis of the seas will sail for the first time in 18 months with paying guests. After a day at sea, she will stop at Port Canaveral, Florida, a perfect day at CocoCay, and Nassau, Bahamas, before departing for two more nights to Cape Liberty, New Jersey. From November 3, the ship will depart southward from Miami for 7-day Caribbean cruises.