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Royal Caribbean sets 2021 cruises in Florida, Texas, Alaska.

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A Welcoming step toward normalcy for millions of avid cruisers___Royal Caribbean International announced Friday that six of its ships would sail from major US ports in Florida and Texas beginning in July.

Vaccines are not required for passengers, but all ship crew members will be vaccinated. Unvaccinated guests “will be required to undergo testing and follow other protocols,” according to a news release from the company.

The company’s first cruise since the coronavirus pandemic began will launch on July 2 in Miami, more than a year after the US Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention’s (CDC) no-sail order brought cruises to a halt, said the release.

“This is it. Vacationers can finally plan to take their precious time off this summer and truly get away after what has been a challenging time for everyone,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International.

According to Bayley, as of Friday afternoon, “90% of vacationers booking with Royal Caribbean are either vaccinated or planning to get vaccinated in time for their cruise.”

By the end of August, 12 Royal Caribbean ships will be cruising in the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Alaska, and Europe. Be sure to get your packing tips. 

The news release said people 16 and older sailing from Seattle to Alaska must be fully vaccinated, and those 12 or older must be vaccinated as of August 1. In addition, travellers departing from an international port must meet that nation’s travel requirements.

Celebrity Edge, part of the Celebrity Cruises line owned by Royal Caribbean Group, announced in late May that it had been cleared to sail from Fort Lauderdale with paying passengers in June.

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