The discovery of Covid-19 cases among crew has forced Royal Caribbean International to postpone the introduction of new ship Odyssey of the Seas from the US.
Eight members of the 1,400-strong crew tested positive for the virus and have been placed in quarantine.
The ship’s introduction from Fort Lauderdale on cruises to the Caribbean has been put back until the end of July.
President and chief executive Michael Bayley descibed the situation as “two steps forward and one step back”.
In a Facebook post, he said: “Out of an abundance of caution, we are postponing Odyssey’s inaugural sailing from July 3 to July 31, 2021.
“A simulation cruise, originally scheduled for late June, will also be rescheduled.
“During routine testing, eight crew members received a positive test result for Covid-19.
“All 1,400 crew on board Odyssey of the Seas were vaccinated on June 4th and will be considered fully vaccinated on June 18. The positive cases were identified after the vaccination was given and before they were fully effective.
“The eight crew members, six of whom are asymptomatic and two with mild symptoms, were quarantined and are being closely monitored by our medical team.”
“To protect the remaining crew and prevent any further cases, we will have all crew quarantined for 14 days and continue with our routine testing.”
Bayley added: “Guests and travel partners will be notified and given several options to consider.
“While disappointing, this is the right decision for the health and well-being of our crew and guests.”