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Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas now among largest cruise ships to sail from Galveston

Galveston already enjoys the Liberty of the Seas, but now the city’s port is also home to the Adventure of the Seas – a fellow Royal Caribbean International cruise ship and one of the two “largest cruise ships to sail from Galveston,” port authorities said.

Adventure of the Seas, capable of hosting 3,800 guests and nearly 5,000 people in total, will host short, seasonal cruises to Caribbean ports of call, according to a Port of Galveston release.

The ship set sail on its first voyage Monday to Cozumel, Mexico, bringing Galveston’s active cruise ships up to six, with three Royal Caribbean ships and three from its rival, Carnival Cruise Line. The start of seasonal cruises offering onboard the Disney Wonder will round out the port’s later in November.

Adventure of the Seas is Royal Caribbean’s latest investment in Galveston, where it is building a $125 million cruise terminal to open in 2022. The new terminal will allow Royal Caribbean to relocate its behemoth 6,780-guest Allure of the Seas cruise ship to Galveston.

After the pandemic led the CDC to shut down a COVID-stricken cruise industry in March 2020, the agency this year offered cruise lines two options to resume sailing. Cruise ships must either impose public health measures such as mask requirements and run simulated voyages to prove they can operate without an outbreak, or ensure 95 percent of crew and passengers are vaccinated.

The restrictions, due to expire Nov. 1, were extended in late October to January 2022, with the agency citing concerns about the delta variant. Despite new laws passed in Texas this year to prohibit most other businesses from demanding proof of vaccination, Carnival and Royal Caribbean, Galveston’s two year-round cruise lines, still require vaccines for most guests 12 years and older.

RELATED: After passenger from Galveston cruise ship dies of COVID-19, Carnival tightens vaccine policies

Since Carnival resumed voyages on July 3, marking the return of cruises to Galveston, both of the port’s perennial cruise lines have faced limited COVID-19 outbreaks onboard that have drawn the CDC’s attention. After a Carnival Vista passenger hospitalized for COVID-19 died in late August, Carnival rolled out stronger vaccine and testing policies.

The CDC is currently monitoring coronavirus cases onboard Royal Caribbean’s two other Galveston-based ships, Independence of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas, although the number of cases hasn’t met the agency’s threshold for an investigation.

charlie.zong@chron.com

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