The Oasis of the Seas, the world’s second largest cruise ship, finally returned to New Jersey today after a test cruise to prepare for a much anticipated February 10, 2012 departure. The ship arrived at 12:30 PM at the Port of Newark’s Elizabeth Marine Terminal, where a large crowd gathered to welcome it. It was an event that was full of excitement, as the ship’s captain, Richard Smalley, said there was a “great buzz” about the upcoming cruise.
The Oasis of the Seas has recently departed the US for its first return to New Jersey, following a successful eight-day test cruise. The 102,000-ton behemoth—the world’s largest cruise ship—conducted a number of passenger awareness activities during the course of its trip, including a simulated collision with a lifeboat.
The Royal Caribbean’s flagship Oasis of the Seas returned to port today after spending several days testing on the Hudson River for any possible issues that may arise. The ship departed New York City on Wednesday after undergoing a series of tests, including the Hudson River pilot test.
The Oasis of the Seas has returned to the Cape Liberty cruise port in Bayonne, New Jersey, after the longest test voyage of any Royal Caribbean cruise ship to date.
On August 22, the first Oasis-class vessel to operate out of the New York City and New Jersey harbors set off on a test voyage. She’s on her way to the Bahamas and has only stopped at A Perfect Day at Cococay.
Oasis of the Seas should be getting her Conditional Sailing Certificate from the CDC now that her test voyage is complete. If the cruise company chooses to do so again in the future, they will be able to sail with both vaccinated and unvaccinated passengers.
What is the purpose of a test cruise?
A test cruise is a simulated trip on which a ship must sail with both vaccinated and unvaccinated passengers. During the test voyage, the CDC examines whether the cruise line and the vessel follow a number of procedures and regulations established by the agency to guarantee safe sailing. They do this by sailing under realistic circumstances with volunteers aboard acting as passengers.
Matt Bannister / Shutterstock.com / Matt Bannister / Shutterstock.com / Matt Bannister / Shutterstock
The CDC verified the following procedures aboard the Oasis of the Seas, which the ship required to follow throughout its journey to the Bahamas:
- How the cruise company handles passengers who have been diagnosed with COVID or are suspected of having it, including how these people are transferred from their staterooms to isolation and, if required, off the ship.
- In the event of an epidemic aboard, positive patients and all guests will be evacuated.
- Private island excursions and normal port excursions are handled differently by the cruise company.
- Mask-wearing aboard, onboard activities, and social separation
- Check-in processes, as well as embarking and disembarkation
The CDC may also opt to inspect any medical facilities aboard, as well as crew protocols, testing processes, and other factors. The CDC will issue a conditional sailing certificate if it is satisfied that the ship conforms.
Also see: Everything You Need to Know About Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas
Why did Royal Caribbean feel compelled to participate in the test cruise?
Royal Caribbean has decided to mimic all of its ships traveling into or out of the United States. This would enable the cruise company to avoid the CDC’s minimum immunization requirement of 95%.
Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas will make its debut in New York on August 18, 2021.
Due to new Bahamas and US Virgin Islands regulations, the cruise company has decided to sail with almost 100% vaccinated passengers. There is a minor exemption for children under the age of 12 and modifications are made based on where the vessel is departing from. In order to keep everyone safe, the cruise company is nonetheless following CDC standards.
The CDC’s Conditional Sail Order is scheduled to expire in November, but no one knows whether it will be extended again. If that happens, the cruise company wants to maintain the option of sailing with both vaccinated and unvaccinated passengers available.
What Does the Future Hold for Oasis of the Seas?
In the following days, Oasis of the Seas will most certainly get her certification. The ship may then begin operations from the Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, New Jersey, if everything is in order. The harbor is just across from Manhattan and offers some of the world’s most spectacular sailing opportunities.
On September 5, the 226,838 gross ton Oasis of the Seas will take sail with paying passengers for the first time in 18 months. She’ll stop at Port Canaveral, Florida, for a Perfect Day at CocoCay, and Nassau, Bahamas, before sailing back to Cape Liberty, New Jersey, for another two nights. Beginning November 3, the ship will sail from Miami on seven-day Caribbean itineraries.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will Oasis of the Seas sail in 2021?
Unfortunately, Oasis of the Seas will not sail in 2021.
What happened to the Oasis of the Seas cruise ship?
The Oasis of the Seas cruise ship was retired in April 2019.
Do I get a refund if Royal Caribbean cancels my cruise?
No. You cannot get a refund if your cruise is canceled by Royal Caribbean.
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