Royal Caribbean Will Offer (Nearly) Fully Vaccinated Cruises From Israel In May!

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Aerial View of Odyssey of the Seas
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Perhaps no industry has been as devastated during the COVID-19 pandemic as the cruise industry. The writing was on the wall ever since the Diamond Princess was quarantined in Tokyo last February. The US State Department warned to stop taking cruises in March. But some people were still stuck at sea for months as countries refused entry.

Even in the best of times, cruises are floating petri dishes, with bugs like norovirus spreading like wildfire across a cruise ship.

But Royal Caribbean hopes to take advantage of Israel’s vaccine leadership to kickstart their turnaround.

They will offer cruises from Haifa, Israel starting this May! The brand new Odyssey of the Seas will offer 3 to 7 day tours of the Greek Isles and Cyprus. It’s the first time that Royal Caribbean will service Israel and it will be the maiden voyage for Odyssey of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean will require that all crew and passengers 16 and older be fully vaccinated.

However as the vaccine hasn’t been tested on kids, they won’t be required to be vaccinated.

One thing is for sure, the world will be closely watching the outcome of this cruise.

Would you travel on a cruise where all adults are vaccinated? Or would you wait until kids are able to be vaccinated as well? Will we see more cruise line and tourism companies take advantage of Israel’s vaccination program?

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40 Comments On "Royal Caribbean Will Offer (Nearly) Fully Vaccinated Cruises From Israel In May!"

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Reb Yid

Kosher?

JWI

Sure why not. Just require kids to wear masks!

Dan\'s the man

Why?

CtownBin

I think JWI meant because the kids on the ship won’t be vaccinated.

Josh

Interesting that there is no mention of kosher in the article. You would hope that they know that a large portion of people will probably want to be able to eat!

Dave

On the contrary! Most Israelis do not keep kosher. Additionally, not every Israeli is Jewish (Muslim, Christian, etc). Lastly, some from the region may travel to Israel in order to embark on this cruise.

a

A lot of irreligious Israeli’s do keep kosher.

Tavster

They will likely require kids below 16 to present a negative covid test, as is being currently require across hotels in Israel

David

Right now even israelis are having a hard time getting into the country- this will be doomed from the start unless the israeli government gives some sort of green light for reentry before the cruise departs.

Dan\'s the man

Obviously they coordinated it with the government!

a

In Israel coordinating with the government doesn’t mean anything, they could cancel the last minute like they did with many flights.

Reader

well if I’m vaccinated I don’t care that the kids are not, and why should they wear masks not necessary

Nissim

Will there be a problem with snius? Will they have a chareidi type cruise as well?

Dave

Even Kosherica only has a few hundred Jews (out of the non-Jewish thousands) that are part of their group. One that is concerned about tznious may want to endeavor elsewhere.

CtownBin

Can’t see why tznius problems would be worse on this cruise than on any other cruise ship in the world.

Steve

I did a cruise from MIA right before corona last Feb. The kosher TV dinners, although abundant, we’re not the best at all. There were some kosher products available for general population like Kelloggs, bagels, lox. I hope they improve on this aspect

Dan\'s the man

Which cruise line?

Steve

RCL

CtownBin

I did a cruise in Alaska about 2 years ago on RCL. We had airline-style kosher meals. It wasn’t out of this world obviously, but it was still way better than what you get on a plane. Plus, there were a lot of kosher products from the general food- cereal, bagels, lox, cream cheese, peanut butter, jam etc. etc. They were also happy to double-wrap anything you asked in an oven, including things like fish and potatoes that they hadn’t touched yet, etc. And they would probably put in things you brought along to be warmed as well- as Dan says, BYOKSML. With a bit of creativity it wasn’t at all bad. But of course you’re not going for the food like regular cruise-goers, you’re going to travel.

Aryeh Sonnenberg

Kids may be vaccinating from age 12 by this time.

MaiaG

There are sometimes specially organized groups (maybe AACI) that provide a cruise within a cruise kosher and touring experience from Israel.. A friend took one a few years ago and said that the non-kosher travelers asked about getting the kosher food because it looked better. Pretty funny.

Yitzi

AACI has taken Mano cruises, the whole ship is kosher. However, nowhere near a ship like RCL, esp this being a new ship.

Mano buys older ships, I haven’t gone on one yet, but some people I know said it was ok. I’d rather go on a more modern ship, but hey that’s just me.

As for Kosher, RCL would be re-miss not to have a fresh kosher option. I know not all people in Israel keep kosher but a large number of people do, as well as Muslims that keep Halal and Kosher would work for them.

Also being that RCL had a kosher option for Yeshiva week in 2019 & 2020 and seems like it was pretty successful, at least in 2020, I’d say they should at least entertain the idea. Im sure it wouldnt be that difficult, at least not here.

Nirc

If they have a fresh kosher food option, I would fly from USA to take the cruise.

Jonty Maresky

We’ve cruised on RCC and can testify that their standard kosher meals are excellent. Many of the regular items, like snacks, cereals, baigels and flavored drinks etc carry OU labels.Furthermore, their extremely helpful attitude towards kosher cruisers makes the kosher issue easy to cope with. They’re a really great cruising company (strive for excellence)

Dave

A lot of kosher-related questions, but no one mentioned the availability of standard (factory-sealed) products with and OU or OU-D, and whether they suspect this cruise will have those products. The US based cruises I’ve been on, I’ve found there to be a large selection of OU products (cream cheese, butter, cottage cheese, yogurts, muffins, jams, apple sauces, ketchups, mayonnaise, Lender’s bagels, sliced bread, lox, etc). The European cruises use European-based products which aren’t as simple to identify whether they are acceptable or not. If RCL decides to use packaged food products from Israel, then there will be a great selection of sealed kosher food items. If RCL is using breads, yogurts, condiments, etc from Europe— then it’s going to be rough.

Mark d

No one raised the issue of what day of the week the cruises depart . 7 day cruises that depart thurs fri and obviously Saturday are non starters

jackie wiesner

is this cruise a one time event or will RCC line have frequent cruises from Haifa? if yes, RCC will be a major competitor for MANO cruise line. both companies destinations to the greek isles are very similar and the prices will have to be competitive to lure the Israeli public for each company’s deals. as far as kosher meals are concerned, there is no problem with MANO, however, i am not familiar with RCC line’s kosher food offerings. for the observer cruisers, let us not forget having a synagogue and the daily minyan on MANO. Is this important amenity being offered on RCC line as well?

Josh

a small portion of the ship’s main dining room, as well as individual restaurants and bistros spread out around the vessel, will offer full kosher food service. From an article in the jpost

DOUG

Being a brand new ship with many restaurants, it seems like it would be easier than on a previously operating ship to designate certain areas as kosher, or say, keep the buffet all dairy / vegetarian and certain restaurants kosher fleish as long as it is based in Israel. But this would require a lot of training of staff from Philippines, Malaysia, etc who probably have had zero exposure to kashrut.

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