Atlanta couple set to sail first cruise since pandemic

A metro Atlanta couple said they jumped at the opportunity to set sail on the seas as Royal Caribbean launches its first few cruises from North America since the pandemic hit. 

"As soon as we saw the opportunity to cruise again we jumped at it because that’s our favorite way to travel," Laura Notarnicola.

Traveling is a passion for Laura and Nick. The two had four cruises booked in 2020 but were anchored because of the pandemic. 

"We just took this opportunity because of pleasure but also I feel like this is history. It’s the first Royal Caribbean cruise to go out after a pandemic," John Fain said. 

Adventure of the Seas is the first ship to set sail from North America. This seven-night cruise leaves from Nassau, the Bahamas on Saturday.

"It’s been a bit of a cluster and roller-coaster. I think they have done relatively well but I think there has been last-minute information that has come out and they have been wanting to keep up to date with CDC guidelines," Notarnicola said.

"It took them a while for them to get our health protocols out because I feel they wanted to make it perfect. Probably a week or two we got the protocols and we booked this in March," Fain said. 

According to the Royal Caribbean website, all guests age two and older, including those who have been vaccinated, will need to be tested before boarding the ship.

There are relaxed mask mandates and testing for vaccinated guests. For those who aren’t vaccinated, they will have to take several additional tests before being allowed at certain ports.

"The energy is going to be crazy I think everyone is feeling the exact same way. I think everyone is ready to get on a cruise ship and ready to go. Of course, there is a little bit of uncertainty because we haven’t been on a cruise during the COVID times," Notarnicola said. 

"Honestly I’m feeling excitement. I’m ready to turn up," Fain said. 

The cruise lines website listed new air filtration systems improved cleaning standards, and say all employees are vaccinated.

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