Royal Caribbean seems to be ramping up its efforts to start sailing, and it looks like the cruise line wants to do this sooner rather than later.
With an extended season in Singapore, due to the incredible success of Quantum of the Seas in the city-state and Royal Caribbean announcing this week it will homeport its newest vessel, Odyssey of the Seas in Israel, it looked like that would be it from the cruise giant. Not so.
Cozumel’s mayor revealed some interesting news this week; in an article on Riviera Maya News, the major said Royal Caribbean is in negotiations with Royal Caribbean Cruises to make Cozumel a homeport in just a few months.
What Did the Cozumel Mayor Say?
Royal Caribbean has been finding some exciting solutions for sailing during the pandemic. The cruise line looking for a different homeport is therefore very much in the realm of possibilities. And with Cozumel soon opening its fourth dock, which can feature as a homeport, the facilities are in place.
According to Cozumel Mayor Pedro Joaquin Delbouis, Royal Caribbean had asked the port to act as a homeport. The major even went as far as stating that Royal Caribbean could move its base of operations to Cozumel since the United States government will not allow them to operate:
“A company has established a Plan B, that if in April there is no decision to sail, Cozumel would be its home port starting May,” he said. “We were consulted, and we immediately said yes.”
Cruise Hive reached out to Royal Caribbean regarding the comments made by the Cozumel mayor and we received the following response:
“While we suspended most of our global operations through April, our company is preparing for a healthy return to sailing. Protecting the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we visit remains a top priority. As we continue to navigate this pandemic, we’ve made continued progress on many fronts. We’re engaging with various stakeholders, particularly governments and partners in the travel industry worldwide, to evaluate the feasibility of returning to cruising from several destinations once it is safe to do so. No final decisions have been made regarding these efforts.”
Cozumel Looking To Reactivate Island tourism
As Cruise Hive reported in early February, Cozumel is incredibly eager to reactivate island tourism. The island’s government has been very proactive in contacting various cruise lines and offering them a homeport spot.
While most cruise lines would ordinarily speaking be happy with homeporting in the southern United States, the pandemic has changed that. As times roll by, it speaks for itself that cruise lines would start looking at other options. According to a statement from the island’s mayor last month, there have been talks between the island and MSC cruises:
“We are in talks with MSC, which managed an itinerary through the Caribbean without touching North American soil.”
Although MSC Cruises has been extremely successful with making cruises from Italy since August last year, and it would not be surprising to see MSC take on a new challenge, the fact remains that the European cruise line has already made plans for another vessel to resume sailings in May in Europe. So the focus could be elsewhere already.
Is It All Down To The CDC?
Whether or not Royal Caribbean will be homeporting in Cozumel does seem to be a decision influenced by the Conditional Sailing Order from the CDC, and when the CDC will finally come up with the details requested by the cruise line.
If Royal Caribbean feels it will be able to sail safely from Cozumel, as it has been doing from Singapore and the Canary Islands, and is planning to do from Israel, there seems to be little reason why the cruise line would not do so.