This weekend’s weird cruise news: Royal Caribbean trademarks face mask

Apr 27, 2020

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Are you an unabashed Royal Caribbean fan? Get ready to get your Seaface on.

That’s the name of a brand of face masks that just might be popping up on Royal Caribbean ships in the not-so-distant future.

Royal Caribbean isn’t saying for sure, but the line’s parent company, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., has filed a trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the word “seaface” to be used in conjunction with a sanitary mask.

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The application, which can be viewed at the patent office’s website, requested that the trademark be listed under two categories of goods and services: “Sanitary masks for virus isolation purposes” and “cruise ship services”.

In making the application, Royal Caribbean Cruises declared it had intention to use the mark in commerce or in connection with the categories it listed.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has applied for a trademark for the word "Seaface." Image is a screenshot of the application at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. applied for a trademark for the word “Seaface.” Image is a screenshot of the application at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Royal Caribbean Cruises paid $225 (about £181) per category to make the filing, or $450 (£362) in total, according to the application.

The filing was made on April 8 but went unnoticed for nearly two weeks. Its existence was first reported this week by Royal Caribbean Blog, a blog for Royal Caribbean fans that’s unrelated to the line.

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When asked by TPG for more information on the trademark application, a spokesperson for Royal Caribbean Cruises said he would look into it. He did not respond in time for publication.

Royal Caribbean Cruises is the parent company of Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara and Silversea.

The application offered no clues as to whether Royal Caribbean Cruises was in the process of designing a face mask that would be worn by crew only, passengers only, both or neither.

Even if it’s intended only for crew, we’re guessing savvy Royal Caribbean fans will be able to snag one of the masks by befriending their room stewards. Or, maybe these masks will be sold in shipboard stores. Either way, great swag.

Royal Caribbean Cruises already is known for several customer-facing shipboard features that are branded around “sea” words. Passengers on both Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises ships get “SeaPass” cards that open their cabin doors and are used for charging onboard expenses. Some Royal Caribbean ships have an indoor “SeaPlex” venue with bumper cars and other activities.

None of the Royal Caribbean Cruises brands currently are operating cruises. All major cruise lines around the world have temporarily shut down cruise operations through at least May or June due to the coronavirus outbreak. But when the lines return to service, it’s likely that at least some cruisers will want to wear masks while on board.

Related: The bizarre story of the last 8 cruise ship passengers still at sea 

Many travellers already are wearing face masks when flying and arriving at hotels, and at least one major country, Canada, is requiring travellers to have face masks while flying. As of this weekend, all United Airlines flight attendants will be required to wear face masks while in the air.

Some sort of mask mandate on cruise ships — either for masks worn by crew, passengers or both — might be a requirement on some ships for a time after cruising resumes. Two Asia-based cruise lines, Dream Cruises and Star Cruises, already have said crew on their ships would be required to wear masks when serving food and beverages once vessels return to service.

In addition, in a “no-sail” order issued earlier this month for cruise ships operating in U.S. waters, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requested that cruise lines develop a plan that “prevents, mitigates and responds to the spread of COVID-19 on board cruise ships.” It’s possible such a plan could involve some sort of mask use for either crew or passengers in certain circumstances.

Featured image by Thanit Weerawan/Getty Images.

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