Two more cruise ships have been turned away from islands in the Caribbean due to a number of COVID cases.
Carnival Freedom was prevented from docking in both Bonaire yesterday and Aruba today after several crew tested positive.
And passengers on Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the seas were about to disembark for tours in Curacao yesterday when the ship was turned away due to three passengers and 52 crew testing positive.
Odyssey guests were later told that today’s stop in Aruba was also cancelled.
Earlier this week, another Royal Caribbean ship – Explorer of the Seas – was barred from docking in St Lucia after crew members tested positive.
According to Cruise Hive, the captain of Carnival Freedom told passengers in a letter: “The rapid spread of the Omicron variant impacts how destinations are responding to even a small number of cases.”
The letter added: “Our team is working to identify alternative port options and we will share that information as soon as it is confirmed.”
The ship is on an eight-day cruise from Miami and it had previously been allowed to stop at Curacao, despite the positive cases onboard – which are understood to affect around 2% of the crew.
Royal Caribbean’s newest ship Odyssey of the Seas is also on an eight-day cruise from Miami. In a statement to Cruise Hive, the cruise line said the decision not to visit the islands of Curacao and Aruba ‘was made together with the islands out of an abundance of caution due to the current trend of COVID-19 cases in the destinations’ communities as well as crew and guests testing positive on board’.
The 55 cases of COVID represent 1.1% of those onboard, 95% of whom are fully vaccinated, it said.
“All of whom tested positive are fully vaccinated and mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic. We continue to monitor their health. Close contacts were also identified and placed in quarantine to be monitored for 24 hours prior to testing,” added Royal Caribbean.
The cruise line has recently tightened its mask-wearing rules, to require them to be worn in all indoor spaces.