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Royal Caribbean International Dominates the 2020 Travvy Awards



Royal Caribbean International turned in yet another dominant showing at the 2020 Travvy Awards on Wednesday night, coming away more than a dozen honors across a variety of categories, including another coveted gold for Best Cruise Line Overall.

Founded in 1968, the iconic cruise line has built quite the trophy case over the years, adding additional golds for Best Cruise Line in the U.S./Canada; Best Cruise Line in the Caribbean/Bahamas; Best Contemporary Cruise Line and Best Family Cruise Line at this week’s event in New York City.

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Travvys 2018

Royal Caribbean’s award-winning fleet of ships was also recognized, with the Oasis-class Symphony of the Seas—the world’s largest cruise ship—earning gold for Best Cruise Ship Overall and Best Large Cruise Ship.

Meanwhile, Navigator of the Seas won gold for Best Contemporary Cruise Ship. The Voyager-class ship recently underwent a $115 million bow to stern renovation, adding a slew of new features, including the longest aqua coaster at sea (The Blaster) and the industry’s only headfirst mat racer waterslide (Riptide).

The cruise line’s epic night didn’t end with those awards though as Royal Caribbean also claimed gold for Best Cruise Entertainment, Best Cruise Line for Special Needs, Best Cruise Line Website and Best Travel Agent Only Website.

Royal Caribbean also picked up a silver Travvy in the category of Best LGBTQ Cruise Line. It’s worth noting that the Miami-based cruise line is the first and only to receive the distinction of being Gay Travel Approved.

Up, Up and Away helium balloon at Perfect Day at CocoCay
PHOTO: Up, Up and Away helium balloon at Perfect Day at CocoCay. (photo by Patrick Clarke)

On the heels of another impressive performance at the Travvy Awards, it’s safe to say that the past year has been a monumental one for Royal Caribbean, which also saw the debut of its new private island destination in the Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay.

However, it appears the cruise line is poised to build on its momentum in 2020 and beyond, with its newest ship, Odyssey of the Seas, set to debut in November and recently announced plans for another private island destination in Vanuatu.

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Cruise Ship Denied by Two Caribbean Ports Amid Coronavirus Outbreak



An MSC Cruises ship was turned away from at least two ports in the Caribbean on Tuesday after a crew member fell ill amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

According to The New York Times, MSC Meraviglia was denied from docking in both Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Georgetown, Cayman Islands after port authorities learned that a crew member from the Philippines was ill. However, the Associated Press reported that the employee was believed to be sick with the common seasonal flu.

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

“In an abundance of caution, in order to provide protection to the health and safety of the residents of the Cayman Islands, the government has denied permission for the cruise ship to call on Grand Cayman as previously scheduled,” Dwayne Seymour, health minister of the Cayman Islands, said in a statement.

The cruise line expressed frustration over the repeated denial, claiming that the ill crew member and all passengers on the ship had passed a health screening prior to embarking.

“The crew member had traveled to Miami from Manila, via direct connection in Istanbul,” MSC Cruises said in a statement to the Times. “He developed symptoms of common flu and tested positive to Type A influenza after he visited the ship’s 24/7 Medical Center while already on board. He has no other symptoms.”

The ship, which is carrying more than 4,500 passengers and 1,600 crew members, is in the midst of a 15-day roundtrip sailing from Miami that had included scheduled stops in Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Mexico, Bahamas, Belize and Honduras.

MSC Meraviglia isn’t the first ship to be turned away from port amid fears of the spreading coronavirus and likely won’t be the last. Tuesday’s unexpected hiccup comes just one week after MSC Cruises updated MSC Bellissima’s Grand Voyage itinerary to Asia.

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