The future of Australian cruise is currently being trialled by Singaporeans on board Quantum of the Seas.
The ship resumed sailings from the Lion City earlier this week, and will be offering cruises to no where to local residents.
Royal Caribbean’s world-first test sailings have begun on board Quantum of the Seas, which will be Brisbane bound as early as October next year.
Despite the recent cancellation of all Australian cruises through to April 30, 2021, Royal Caribbean says it is “hopeful” for a 2021 season in Australia.
Here is a sneak peek of what you can expect when Quantum of the Seas homeports in Brisbane next year:
How the cruises came about:
Quantum of the Seas sets sail with comprehensive health and safety measures in place and meets all requirements, including the CruiseSafe Certification standards jointly developed by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and DNV GL.
The ‘Ocean Getaways’ will also apply the same principles and safety measures that have been implemented by the local health authorities in Singapore to safeguard its residents.
The comprehensive health and safety measures onboard have been devised after months of work done by Royal Caribbean, which partnered the cruise industry to form the Healthy Sail Panel, a taskforce of globally recognised medical and scientific experts, which helped develop recommendations for establishing the strongest protocols in the travel industry.
Notable health & safety measures implemented during Royal Caribbean ‘Ocean Getaways’ from Singapore:
PRE-SAILING PREVENTIVE MEASURES
Mandatory testing: All guests will be required to undergo PCR testing prior to boarding the ship. Costs for the tests will be borne by Royal Caribbean.
Regular testing of crew: In addition to daily temperature checks, crew members will undergo weekly testing, as required by the Ministry of Health.
Staggered arrivals: All guests will be provided with staggered arrival slots, allowing for safe distancing during embarkation.
ONBOARD SAFETY MEASURES
Reduced occupancy: Quantum of the Seas will operate with reduced guest capacities at 50 percent occupancy. Similarly, occupancies in all public spaces on the ship including restaurants, will be limited to 50 per cent. Theaters and entertainment venues will be limited to 250 guests at any one time.
Enhanced cleaning and disinfection:
Enhancing cleaning will be implemented across all staterooms, public spaces and restaurants on a regular basis.
The new sanitisation protocols involve using disinfectants and techniques approved by the local authorities, and include electrostatic fogging to clean frequently and consistently.
Corridors and public areas electrostatically sprayed once a day, and frequently touched areas such as elevators, escalators, stairways and promenades will be cleaned every two hours. During peak periods, gangway rails will be cleaned every 20 to 30 minutes.
A dedicated housekeeper will also be assigned to clean a stateroom block once a day when guests are not in their staterooms.
Before each new sailing, the entire ship will undergo a thorough deep sanitization.
New guest safety drill, Muster 2.0:
Royal Caribbean’s new way for guests to undergo the cruise line’s mandatory safety drill. Muster 2.0 encourages higher levels of safety and health as it makes key elements of the drill, including where to go in case of an emergency and instructions on how to properly use a life jacket, accessible to guests on an individual basis via their mobile devices and interactive stateroom TVs.
Movement tracking and safe distancing: Singapore residents are required to have the Singapore Trace Together Bluetooth APP or Token at all times during the cruise. In addition to this, all guests and crew are required to carry Royal Caribbean’s new Bluetooth wearable device called ‘Tracelet’, which tracks movements and monitors for safe distancing at all times. Ground markings are in place throughout the ship to clearly demarcate safe distancing, which guests will be reminded to adhere to.
Mask wearing at all times: Similar to the Singapore national policy for public spaces, wearing a face mask onboard the ship is mandatory for all guests and crew. Guests can remove their masks when they are eating or drinking, within their staterooms, or engaging in strenuous physical exercise.
Rule of 5: In line with the Singapore national policy restriction for groups in public places, the ‘Rule of 5’ will still apply to groups onboard the ship.
Safe distancing at entertainment venues: Occupancies in theaters and entertainment venues will be capped at 250 guests max. Seats will also be blocked in order to enable safe distancing between groups. Extended hours and increased show times will be offered for popular shows and live entertainment, so guests don’t miss out.
Sanitiser stations throughout the ship: Sanitizer stations are made available throughout the ship, and all Royal Caribbean crew members are trained to encourage guests to sanitize their hands before entering specific venues.
Safety amenity kit: Onboard Quantum of the Seas, each stateroom will have a hand sanitizer and surgical mask for guests to use.
Ensuring clean air circulation: On Quantum of the Seas, the upgraded Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems replaces ‘used’ air inside the ship regularly with fresh air from outside. This continual intake of fresh air replaces the air in any space, with a total air change up to 12 times an hour in staterooms, and about 15 changes an hour in large public spaces.
Upgraded medical facilities: Quantum of the Seas is equipped with upgraded medical facilities on board, so immediate diagnostic testing can be carried out. Onboard, there will be 2 Doctors and 5 Registered Nurses, of which one of the nurses will also be a newly appointed Infectious Disease Control Officer that oversees the medical health and safety protocols on the ship.
Dining experiences: Onboard the ‘Ocean Getaways’, dining experiences will include contact-free menus and spaced-out seating to allow for safe distancing at all restaurants and cafes. At buffets, guests will no longer be allowed to serve themselves. Instead, single-serve portions will be available for pickup and crew members will also serve food and drinks to guests.
DEBARKATION SAFETY MEASURES
Antigen testing: As per the requirement of the Singapore authorities, all Royal Caribbean guests disembarking are required to undergo Antigen Tests at the cruise terminal at no additional cost to the guest.
Staggered debarkation timings: Guests will be asked to disembark at staggered times, allowing for safe distancing and less crowding at the terminal.
GOING ABOVE AND BEYOND
COVID-19 insurance: For even greater peace of mind, included in the cost of the cruise are COVID19 Protections for guests onboard Royal Caribbean’s Ocean Getaways. Guests can now get a full refund should they or any member of their travel party test positive for COVID-19 either during the three weeks prior to their booked cruise, or at the boarding terminal, or during the voyage itself. Alternatively, guests can also get a 100% cruise credit towards a future cruise should they or any member of their travel party test positive for COVID-19 during the three weeks prior to their booked cruise. In the updated protection plan, in the event of any COVID-19 related expenses, Royal Caribbean will cover onboard medical treatment, cost of any required land-based quarantine, and travel home for the guest, their travel party or any of their confirmed close contacts.
Cruise with Confidence: Travelers who book these sailings will be covered by the Cruise with Confidence program, which means they can cancel up to 48 hours before the sailing.