About 600 people boarded a Freedom of the Seas cruise ship Sunday in the first simulated trip in the United States by Royal Caribbean International.
The simulated trip, meant to test the safety of cruise ships, set sail at 7 p.m. Sunday from PortMiami with a fully vaccinated crew.
“It is a very important moment, we have all the procedures ready,” Hernan Zini, Captain of Ships of Royal Caribbean said. “We have worked many, many months to be ready at this point, together with the Florida authorities along with the CDC. And today we are putting all that to the test, a simulation cruise to prove that indeed we can do it.”
The cruise industry generates billions of dollars for the economy and employs thousands of Floridians.
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The simulated cruise comes after what has been a challenging time for the cruise industry, which for approximately 15 months has seen its ships anchored in ports.
Last Friday, a federal court in Florida ruled that the CDC's anti-COVID-19 regulations will continue in effect only until July 18, and from there they will become recommendations. The purpose of the simulation is to observe the security measures and multi-tier cruise line health.
People who cannot provide proof of vaccination will have to pay $136 for coronavirus tests and will have restricted access to some events and venues.