Royal Caribbean ship turned away from St Lucia due to COVID onboard, passengers are evacuated from another RCCL ship

By Linsey McNeill
21/12/2021
Home » Royal Caribbean ship turned away from St Lucia due to COVID onboard, passengers are evacuated from another RCCL ship

Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas was refused permission to call at St Lucia after crew members onboard the ship tested positive for COVID, but the cruise was allowed to continue.

The cruise line said crew involved were put into isolation to protect other staff and passengers.

Passengers were apparently told by the captain over the ship’s PA system that they would be spending a day at sea after the ship was refused permission to dock at the Caribbean island. It then continued to Barbados and St Kitts, as planned.

Six passengers with COVID were medically evacuated from another Royal Caribbean ship, Symphony of the Seas, on which at least 42 other guests subsequently tested positive, according to Cruise Hive.

They were half-way through a seven-day Caribbean cruise, which had more than 6,000 passengers onboard.

The cruise was able to continue as planned, which is a far cry from the first outbreak of COVID onboard a cruise ship in February 2020, when thousands of passengers were forced to isolate on the Diamond Princess for 27 days.

Royal Caribbean said 95% of those onboard Symphony of the Seas were vaccinated, including all but one of those who tested positive.

In a statement, Royal Caribbean said: Forty-eight of the 6,091 guests and crew members on board Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas Dec. 11 sailing tested positive for COVID-19 –.78% of the onboard community.

“They were identified as a result of immediate contact tracing after a guest tested positive. The cruise sailed with 95% of the onboard community fully vaccinated, and 98% of those who tested positive were fully vaccinated.

“Each person quickly went into quarantine. Everyone who tested positive was asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic, and we continuously monitored their health. Six guests were disembarked earlier in the cruise and were transported home.”

Guests who tested positive remained in quarantine onboard, it said, and left the ship when it reached Miami. The ship had previously called at St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island in the Bahamas.

Royal Caribbean has since tightened its mask policy, with all guests now required to wear masks indoors at all times, unless eating and drinking.

Norwegian Cruise Line has also mandated mask wearing in all indoor public spaces and it has reversed a decision to loosen its pre-departure testing regime.

NCL had informed guests that, from 17 January, they would only need a single COVID test at home, but it has since announced that it will continue with its testing at terminals until the  end of January.

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