Recently our own Rob and Lisa Hale embarked on the Royal Caribbean ship Symphony of the Seas out of Miami, Florida on a trip to Saint Martin, Saint Thomas, and CocoCay Bahamas. Their personal account of Covid-19 protocols and ports of call is an excellent guide to safe sailing in 2021. With Royal Caribbean ships back on the seas, they have spared no expense in creating a safe and enjoyable cruise experience for all ages as we transition back to our pre-pandemic travel routines. Whether you are a first-time cruiser or a seasoned veteran, you can rest assured that Royal Caribbean has your travel needs covered.
Covid-19 Protocols Onboard
Currently, Royal Caribbean requires all passengers ages 12 and up to be fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to sailing as well as a negative Covid test 48 hours prior to departure. Children under 12 who are not eligible to be vaccinated require proof of a negative test as well. Upon check-in at the port, vaccine cards and Covid test results are checked 3 times before boarding the ship. In the past, check-in has been more flexible in terms of timing, now when you check-in online prior to your cruise, you pick a time to board and that is the time you are expected to arrive. In their stateroom, Rob and Lisa were provided 2 masks in case you needed extra, Royal Caribbean also provided a small bottle of sanitizer in every stateroom as well as sanitizer stations in all public areas of the ship including shops, theatre, restaurants, and lounges. The current capacity on the Symphony of the Seas is 30%, which is excellent if you prefer a cruise that is less crowded. This allows for easier access to pool chairs, shows, activities, and restaurants! Masks are required in indoor public areas of the ship unless you are actively eating or drinking. Masks are also required on Royal Caribbean excursion transportation including buses. You are not required to wear a mask in your stateroom or on the pool decks. The Royal Caribbean crew is masked at all times and is also tested multiple times during the sailing. Test results for the crew are then announced over the PA system onboard. Social distancing marks remain 6 feet apart on the floors and you are served in the Windjammer buffet instead of serving yourself. All in all, Rob and Lisa felt very safe on this Symphony of the Seas sailing and have booked more cruises on other ships in the near future!
It is always recommended to book shore excursions directly through Royal Caribbean for both safety and security purposes. On Saint Martin, Rob and Lisa enjoyed a double-decker bus tour around the island which included stops to Toppers Rum Factory, a cheese factory, an airplane beach (where guests can see airplanes taking off and landing right above your head!), a scenic overlook and the division of the French and Dutch portions of the island monument. This tour was full of photo opportunities with the most picturesque scenery and some delicious food and drinks!
In Saint Thomas, Rob and Lisa braved a Sky Ride to the top of Paradise Point to take in the beautiful ocean and island views. At over 700 feet above sea level, the views can’t be beat! The transportation to the Sky Ride required masks as well and it is a short drive away. A wristband is provided for this excursion and you can ride the Sky Ride multiple times per day if you like.
On the Royal Caribbean private island of CocoCay in the Bahamas, Rob and Lisa enjoyed both the “thrill” and “chill” sides of the island. The “thrill” side boasts the tallest waterslide in North America and also a large helium balloon that will take you 450 feet above the crystal clear waters. The waterpark and balloon ride comes at an additional charge, although there is no charge to enjoy other things CocoCay has to offer. On the “chill” side, Rob and Lisa enjoyed the beach, lazy river, and swimming pools with swim-up bars. Being that this is a Royal Caribbean private island, food is included on CocoCay as well as drinks with a cruise beverage package.
Book your next Royal Caribbean Adventure now!
If you have enjoyed Rob and Lisa’s account of their Royal Caribbean sailing on the Symphony of the Seas, they would love to help you plan your next epic vacation as well! Contact the team at Travel N Relax to get your personal travel advisor with a personal account of their experiences who can help tailor to your perfect expectations and stay tuned for more adventures of Rob and Lisa to come!