The million-dollar question in the cruise industry is when will cruise lines begin operating again. With the CDC imposed no-sail order set to expire in just under a month, in theory, cruise lines could resume operations thereafter. However, all major cruise companies have indicated that they will wait until at least September 15 to take to the seas again. But while Carnival has indicated that it will wait until at least October to return to service, Royal Caribbean recently announced that it expects to return to operations as soon as September 16.
BizJournals.com reports that Royal Caribbean will not only return to operations as early as possible in the United States but will also begin sailing again on August 1 in China. It appears that, unlike Carnival and Norwegian, Royal Caribbean is taking a relatively aggressive approach toward the resumption of operations.
Despite the somewhat optimistic announcement, conditions have forced Royal Caribbean to push back its anticipated return date several times. After initially canceling cruises for several months when the coronavirus pandemic first made headlines, the company continued to book for cruises in June. As the June sailings approached it became clear that Royal Caribbean would have to cancel them as well. The company has pushed back its return date several times, canceling cruises in the process.
With the coronavirus pandemic making a seeming resurgence in the United States, it seems all but certain that Royal Caribbean will be able to return to service on September 16 as planned.