Royal Caribbean 'confident' Odyssey crew will be fully vaccinated

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How will Royal Caribbean manage COVID-19 vaccination for all crew as mandated for Odyssey of the Seas' May debut in Israel?

This will be, by far, the largest cruise ship to require vaccination for crew — and all passengers over 16.

Israel's world-leading vaccination rate — which reached half its citizens on Sunday — likely ensures passengers on the Haifa-based voyages will be inoculated. But what about the crew, who hail from scores of countries?

Will Israel be supplying vaccines for them?

Private contractor to assist

'Royal Caribbean is working with its crew members to collect the information on their vaccines. We will work with a private contractor to ensure that any crew member who is not able to be vaccinated in their home country is vaccinated prior to setting sail,' a company spokesman told Seatrade Cruise News in response to that question.

'As more of our crew are vaccinated and vaccines become more available globally over the coming months, we are confident in our plan to have a fully vaccinated crew on board Odyssey,' the spokesman said.

The company added it is not able to provide further specifics at this point because details are still being worked through with the contractor and the Israeli health authorities.

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley recently said that in a survey of crew, the vast majority indicated they're 'OK' with a vaccination mandate.

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