Cruises

I Volunteered to Be a Royal Caribbean Test Cruise Passenger! (Am I Crazy?)

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Royal Caribbean was cleared to operate a test cruise — and I volunteered to be a guinea passenger.

Matt Hochberg wrote on Royal Caribbean’s blog that Freedom of the Seas will set sail from Miami from June 20-22.

But Mr. Hochberg added, “Each cruise ship needs to be approved by the CDC in order to conduct test cruises.” (Bold mine.)

So if we’re selected to take part in a test cruise, I have no idea from where exactly we’d embark. (Or when.) My father-in-law said he saw a Royal Caribbean ship in Long Beach, California (the closest port to my home). That’d be convenient, sure. But I’m happy to fly somewhere on my own dime to start the journey. Especially because Delta gives MQM, MQD, and MQS bonuses this year — even for award travel.

It sounds like different medical emergencies and responses will be simulated.

“While the ship is indeed conducting a cruise as if it were a normal cruise,” Mr. Hochberg explains, “the CDC wants the cruise ship to test out procedures and ensure it can handle any health situation it could encounter.”

I’m happy to volunteer my time if I must (safely) sacrifice a few days in the interest of cruise ship science and advancement 😉 .

To be clear: we wouldn’t get paid or receive vouchers for future Royal Caribbean travel. But it’s still a heckuva focus group experience if you ask me.

Life preserver on a cruise ship deck
(©iStock.com/LeeYiuTung)

My wife, father-in-law, and I all volunteered. What are the chances of being selected?

In a separate post, Mr. Hochberg wrote:

Royal Caribbean posted in its new Facebook group that the cruise line has received more than 3,000 emails, not including the tweets, comments, and messages across our social channels with interest in signing up for test cruises.

So we’ll see.

What About the Royal Caribbean Crew with COVID?!

USA Today‘s Morgan Hines reports that four Royal Caribbean employees (out of 1,400) sailing to the United States aboard Odyssey of the Seas tested positive for COVID-19.  (That’s 1/3 of one percent of people infected.)

Plus, “Most crew members currently on board Odyssey of the Seas have not been vaccinated yet. The crew members who have not been vaccinated will be vaccinated once they arrive in the U.S.”

Ms. Hines adds, “The cruise line has said that 100% of crew will be required to be fully vaccinated.”

I’m willing to take my chances.

Sign Up to Be a Test Cruise Passenger

If you’re interested in joining the test cruise lottery, here’s the submission page. Please note that people 18 years of age and older are the only ones allowed to sail.

Ahoy — or No Joy?

Will you volunteer to set sail on a test cruise — or wait until you feel comfortable? Please share your thoughts in the below Comments section!

Featured image: ©iStock.com/ALEXIUZ

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

1 Comment

  1. I would love to do it, as long as I can have unlimited WIFI. I live in South Florida and work remotely, so I can use most teams and wifi to connect my laptop and do my job while being a tester.

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