Royal Caribbean’s president and CEO Michael Bayley has revealed that 100,000 people have signed up to volunteer for the company’s “mock cruise” programme since it launched last Thursday.
Writing on his public Facebook page, Mr Bayley said: “And just like that…100,000 people have volunteered. We can’t wait to start this next phase with you all!”
“Mock cruises” are trial sailings with volunteer guests that will demonstrate the effectiveness of Covid-19 health and safety measures on board ships.
It’s part of a series of steps mandated by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to get the cruise industry going again in America. At the moment, there’s still no clear date for when cruises might resume from the US.
Mr Bayley unveiled the mock cruise programme on 12 November, writing in a public Facebook post: “As many know from reading the CDC conditional sale order we will be operating trial sailings with volunteer guests. It has been so gratifying to receive literally thousands of emails and calls offering to volunteer.
“To make things easier and keep everyone up to speed, we’ve set up a Volunteers of the Seas group! Here you’ll find out all the next steps and can sign up to learn more.”
The group now has over 42,000 members.
Mr Bayley later revealed that Royal Caribbean received tens of thousands of volunteers within hours, with 100,000 by the early hours of 16 November.
Volunteers for the mock cruise, who must be over 18, would get to sail for free and could potentially travel with friends and family.