Economy

First Caribbean Cruise Since March Does Not Go Well

First Caribbean Cruise Since March Does Not Go Well”

SeaDream 1, one of the world's smallest cruise ships, departed Barbados on November 7 with 53 passengers and 66 crew - the first cruise ship to venture back to sea in an industry docked since March by the global coronavirus outbreak. "Everyone else has tested negative".

And still some 10% of guests aboard the first cruise to the Caribbean since March have tested positive for coronavirus, according to a reporter on the ship.

Gene Sloan, a travel writer with The Points Guy who is on the ship, said Lund later announced that there was "preliminary evidence" of a sixth case but a second test was required to confirm. All passengers were asked to isolate in their cabins for the next 24 hours as medical teams came onboard and went door-to-door to test all passengers for any virus spread.

There, another four people tested positive and passengers remained quarantined on the ship Thursday afternoon.

The SeaDream cruise ship, which departed Barbados on Saturday, has been forced to turn back to the island, after at least one passenger on board was confirmed of having COVID-19.

The first Caribbean cruise to launch after the no-sail order was lifted has already seen several cases of COVID-19 on board just days after departing Barbados.

More news: Ivy League cancels 2020-21 winter sports season amid coronavirus pandemic

"We're going to be doing a series of sailings using our employees and other volunteers to test out the new protocols and make tweaks and modifications to ensure that everything is running smoothly and still deliver that Royal Caribbean incredible vacation experience", Vicki Freed, Royal Caribbean Senior Vice President, Sales, Trade Support and Service, said in a statement.

Royal Caribbean is planning number of test sailings to give the cruise line the opportunity to validate new health and safety protocols. "Our main priority is the health and safety of our crew, guests, and the communities we visit".

The strict testing system meant to create a "COVID-free bubble" on the ship to ensure the odds of an outbreak were extremely low. Passengers were required to have two negative COVID-19 tests before boarding the ship and had their temperatures checked daily, according to the cruise line's officials, who also said the ship was sanitized daily. Five of the seven passengers who have tested positive are part of one family traveling together who stayed in the same cabins.

Cruises in the US remain canceled through the end of the year.

After the first positive test, Sloan wrote that the ship began working under the assumption that it had more infected passengers onboard and would immediately return to its point of departure in Bridgetown, Barbados. "It creates a false sense of security".

The SeaDream 1 voyage is being closely watched by the industry as cruise companies work to meet the new CDC requirements.



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