The CEO of Royal Caribbean International said 100,000 people have volunteered as passengers for the company’s mock cruises, reportedly in the works to set sail at an undetermined, future date in the fight against the coronavirus.
Earlier this month, Royal Caribbean executive Vicky Freed revealed the company needs cruising enthusiasts to volunteer as passengers in the US as it preps to return ships to service. Under new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cruise lines must run these trials to assess their ability to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19, before formally resuming sailing with reduced capacity.
The first cruises next year may be short trips to CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island in the Bahamas, Cruise Industry News reported.
To that end, the cruise line recently created a “Volunteer of the Seas” Facebook group, which is currently 38,400 members strong, and opened up an online form to gauge interest.
According to Michael Bayley, Royal Caribbean’s CEO and president, the cruise line been inundated with responses since announcing the opportunity, with tens of thousands of people allegedly eager to volunteer.
“And just like that … 100,000 people have volunteered. We can’t wait to start this next phase with you all!” Bayley wrote in a Facebook post shared on Sunday.
“It has been so gratifying to receive literally thousands of emails and calls offering to volunteer,” he said in an earlier message.
Though it remains unclear how many volunteers may be selected for the mock voyages, when the sailings might happen, and where exactly they’d be going, a rep for Royal Caribbean said the cruise line is thrilled to have this level of support.