Social media continues to document additional deaths and major illnesses arising from COVID-19 exposure on the MSC Virtuosa which concluded its sailing this summer from the United Kingdon. Two week ago, in articles titled COVID-19 Aboard MSC Virtuosa and Passenger Dies After Super-Spreader COVID-19 Cruise on MSC Virtuosa, we reported that there were arround 75 to 100 guests, on the MSC cruise ship, who contracted COVID-19 during a series of cruises from the U.K. We also reported, based on information from crew members on the ship, that there have been around 25 to 50 crew members who are positive for COVID-19 as well.

The number of infected guests increased initially to 165, notwithstanding MSC’s promises of social distancing and “constant cleaning and sanitation” which would, somehow, magically tranform the ship into a “safe bubble.” He writes: “”Jim Walker, while in my opinion biased against the cruise industry, does appear to bring fact-based, or at least evidence-based information to light.”

Twitter and Facebook remain abuzz with unanswered complaints from cruise passengers who became sickened with the virus.  Guests have continued to complain that the ship, marketed by the cruise line as providing a safe, virus-free “bubble” of a cruise, has been operating at a crowded capactiy with guests not wearing masks or socially distancing.

A private Facebook group, organized for people who have been infected with COVID-19, has now beeen joined by around around 232 infected guests (involving 93 cabins with average of 2.5 guests per cabin). Since we last reported on the fiasco, there have been at least two deaths of passengers (in addition to the deaths we peviously reported) due to COVID-19, as well as several cases of serious illnesses of guests requiring emergency medical treatment and hospitalization.

These are all “unofficial” disease figures because MSC steadfastly refuses to act responsibly and respond to numerous ongoing complaints from its customers. Former guests have connected on Twitter and Faceebook to determine the extent of the COVID outbreak.

Meanwhile, the corporate offices of MSC have remained mum, ignoring its customers and speaking only to spread disinformation. MSC claims that the summer season sailing from the U.K. has been a “success” and its COVID protocls “worked well.” MSC managing director Antonio Paradiso stated at a “conference at sea” organized by the Institute of Travel & Tourism (“ITT”) that “we’ve supported the whole travel industry as UK cruises have given travel agents the chance to start selling something again. Round-UK cruises have been a real success story this summer.”

Ironically the travel conference was held on the crowded MSC Virtuosa, and was touted by the ITT as “our first in-person event since March 2020 due to the pandemic.” MSC Director Paradiso talked to the conference attendees on the cruise ship, not about operating “smaller and “safer” ships, but about “Rebuilding Our Industry Bigger and Stronger.”

Ben Bouldin, a representative of the cruise trade goup for the industry, CLIA-UK, appeared at the conference on the infected cruise ship. He bizarely represented that the cruise industry’s health protocols were “absolutely working.”

CLIA also makes the preposterous claim that there were only 50 COVID-19 cases, out of the 100,000 or so guests from the U.K., on cruise ships operated by all of its member cruise lines over the past several months this last summer. In light of the fact that there were well over 200 guests infected on the MSC Virtuosa alone over just the last couple of cruises, such an allegation is not only absurd but shows the extent that cruise lines and their trade organization will manipulate the data to try and bamboozle the public. CLIA and the cruise lines have lied about such COVID-19 data in the past (falsely claiming that cruise ships in Europe and Asia carried “over 400,000 guests with less than 50 COVID cases.”)

Perhaps the appropriate name associated with the MSC Virtuosa shold be the MSCVirusosa.”

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September 27, 2021 Update: Except for a few newspaper in the U.K., most newspaper and media outlets have not covered this outbreak. One exception is cruise vlogger Midships which operated a YouTube channel which covered the MSC Virtuosa superspreader events.

Five guests are positive for COVID-19 on Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas, (according to a reliable crew member (who wishes to remain anonymous) on the cruise ship and is familiar with the testing of passengers and crew members.

The infected guests were moved to what the crew calls the “red zone” for isolation onboard the cruise ship.

These passengers were disembarked today in Cyprus.

The COVID-19 tests on the Jewel are performed by a company called “Eurofins” which conducts the Antigen and PCR tests onboard. The crew member explained that Eurofins usually performs tests on crew members on days 2 and 3 of the week-long cruise. Guests are usually tested near the end of the cruise.

Virtually all cruise ships today are experiencing either some number of crew members who test positive or a handful of passengers who turn out to have the virus, notwithstanding the fact that they are already vaccinated. Certain cruise lines are consistently refusing to disclose the number of infected passengers and crew members on their ships.  A month ago, we published a short article titled Infected at Sea – The New Normal on Cruise Ships?  Of course, there is also an increasing number of “super-spreader” cruises taking place, that the cruise lines are trying to cover-up, like on the Carnival Vista last month and, more recently, on the MSC Virtuosa over the course of the last several weeks.

If these infections on the Jewel involve the highly contagious Delta variant, the R0 (pronounced “R naught”) (the mathematical term which indicates how contagious the infectious disease is) is as high as “7” or  “8.”  Each person infected is likely to infect 7 or 8 others. The virus on the Diamond Princess, in contrast, had a R0 of  only “2.”

The Jewel of the Seas departed from Limassol, Cyprus a week ago on September 11th. The Royal Caribbean ship visited ports in Greece including Rhodes Island, Mykonos Island, Piraeus, and Santorini Island. The ship returned to Cyprus today.

Are you aware of a COVID-19 outbreak on a cruise ship? Let us hear from you in the comment section below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

Image credit: Jewel of the Seas – Top – Dave Souza – CC BY-SA 2.5, commons / wikimedia; bottom – Royal Caribbean.

A German newspaper reports that there was a COVID-19 outbreak among crew members on  the World Voyager cruise ship operated by Nicko Cruises. The virus was initially detected in a member of the engine room crew and then spread to other ship employees. The cruise ship is currently in Hamburg, Germany.  As a result, the ship “is therefore not allowed to leave the port for the time being.”

The cruise scheduled for last weekend had to be canceled. “Before guests are allowed on board again, all crew members must be retested,” according to the German press.

According to Nicko Cruises, the entire crew is vaccinated against COVID-19. The next cruise with passengers is expected to leave tomorrow for France and Portugal.

This involves one of many cruise lines that have recently experienced COVID-19 outbreaks among vaccinated crew members. A month ago, the Carnival Vista experienced COVID-19 outbreaks on consecutive cruises involving twenty-six (26) crew members and, a week later, sixteen (16) crew members, as well as guests, one of whom died. More recently, the MSC Virtuosa experienced a super-spreader event involving over 100 guests who became infected, including at least one who died of COVID-19. In both the Carnival and MSC incidents, there was a lack of transparency with the cruise lines refusing to disclose the extent of the outbreaks.

These type of cases will continue to occur as the pandemic continues and the Delta variant further emerges.

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Image credit: Top – World Voyager – NDR; World Voyager – Bottom – Nicko Cruises.

A German newspaper reports that the AIDA Cruises’ AIDABella is “being (temporarily) converted from a cruise ship into a quarantine ship. 1,500 people are said to be on the ship for two weeks to spend their time there in quarantine.”

The newspaper explains that there is a need to quarantine future AIDA crew members, including the crew of the AIDACosma (below right), the “newest ship in the Aida fleet (which) is scheduled to go into operation in Bremerhaven in December. Before the crew can start their work on the cruiser, they have to go into isolation due to the ongoing corona pandemic. And that is what the AIDABella is intended for.”

The German newspaper further explains that the cruise ship, which has not been used by passengers this year, will then remain in Bremerhaven for the next three months.

The pro cruise industry publication, Cruise Industry News, reports today, without any explanation, that AIDA Cruises, owned by Carnival Corporation, denies that it has plans to use the AIDAbella as a quarantine ship for its crew members.

“No, this is not true,” AIDA’s press department told Cruise Industry News. “There are no concrete plans for the AIDAbella now.”

AIDA’s denial raises the question how the cruise line of how Aida intends to quarantine its new, incoming crew members in the future.

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Image credit: AIDABella – Top – Maciek Godlewski – CC BY 3.0, commons wikimedia.; ADACosma Bottom – Meyer Werft.

 

A record number of passengers on the MSC Virtuosa have tested positive for COVID-19 during the past two weeks. Three days ago, in our article titled COVID-19 Aboard MSC Virtuosa, we first reported that several dozens of cruise guests on the MSC cruise ship complained of catching COVID-19 during cruises from the United Kingdom.

A week ago, the first complaints began appearing on Twitter of guests who felt ill during their cruise and, typically, tested positive as soon as they left the MSC ship. Several dozens of passengers complained that there was no enforcement of the wearing of face coverings or social distancing.  Many people who had cruised earlier on the same ship in June or July on the MSC Virtuosa contrasted those relatively safe cruises with the free-for-all on the crowded ship.

Yesterday, a local newspaper in the U.K. announced that a passenger died due to COVID-19. Eighty-one year old English navy veteran Wilf Broyden boarded the ship, after testing negative for the virus, with his wife, son and grandchild as well as his son’s girlfriend and two children. Five days into the cruise, Mr. Broyden began feeling ill and tested positive at the hospital at home after the cruise. He died a week later in the hospital.

The article explains that “Covid had broken out on board” and “staff suddenly (began) wearing hazmat suits.” People were also “coughing & struggling to breathe.”

According to the article, “his family believe he could have caught the illness while on the seven-day cruise …”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the incubation period for COVID is 2 to 14 days, “with a median time of 4-5 days from exposure to symptoms onset.” According to the original news article, he tested negative for the virus shortly before embarkation and then began having symptoms five (5) days into the cruise, which is exactly the the median time for exposure. The CDC info is based on three peer reviewed studies by the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine and Annals of Internal Medicine.

One other cruise passengers on the MSC Virtuosa died during the  cruise, according to the local press. The U.K. press reported that a man, described to be “in his 70s,” died onboard the MSC Virtuosa which called on Portland Port last Saturday (September 4th). Although there is no indication that the death of this cruise guest was related to COVID-19, the absence of information from MSC Cruises is naturally leading to such speculation.

MSC Cruises is continuing to refuse to disclose the number of infected passengers on the ship. I have counted well over six dozen guests who have contacted our office or tweeted or posted personal comments on Facebook that they became infected during the cruise. One guest who tested positive and later contacted us, Jake Dixon of London, England, was quarantined in his cabin after testing positive and later escorted of the ship by employees wearing hazmat suits. (He sent photos to the left and  right). Mr. Dixon indicated that there is a private Facebook page  for people who tested positive (either on or off the ship. (There are 50 guests reportedly in this group alone, so far). There is also a Facebook group called MSC Virtuosa Liverpool 31st August where at least a dozen other cruise guests indicated that they tested positive for the virus. There are several dozens of guests posting on Twitter as well.

The number of guests infected on the last two cruises appear to be far in excess to the number of those affected on other cruise ships since the cruise industry was shut down last year. Recently there were at least 26 crew members and an unknown number of guests (including one woman, age 77, who died) who tested positive for COVID-19 on the Carnival Vista cruise ship two weeks ago.

MSC Cruises has demonstrated a brazen lack of transparency in refusing to disclose the number of COVID-19 cases on the MSC Virtuosa, and suggesting that it increased its COVID protocols only in response to increased incidents of the virus in the U.K.  MSC allegedly “tightened up” its COVID-19 measures only after a visit by port health officers in Southampton, following numerous complaints by guests on the cruise. Read article by cruise fan and travel writer Dave Monk (a/k/a ShipMonk), titled MSC Cruises tightened up Covid measures on MSC Virtuosa after Southampton port health officer raised passengers’ concerns.

ShipMonk wrote that according to passenger, Eric Suth from Scotland, the ship was “a breeding ground for Covid” because of the self-service buffet and a lack of social distancing. Mr. Suth said he was tested as soon as he disembarked and proved positive. ShipMonk writes only that “the number of people affected has not been established.”

Of course, the exact number of those infected on the MSC ship cannot be determined for no reason other than the fact that MSC refuses to reveal such information to the public. However, it can easily be gleaned from social media that the number of infected guests on the MSC Virtuosa far exceeds those infected on the Carnival Vista. Several cruise guests on the ship have estimated the number of positive cases to be 100 or more. By my count, a reasonable and conservative estimate of those infected on the MSC Virtuosa is at least seventy-five to one-hundred guests, so far, and counting.

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Image credits:  MSC Virtuosa Pool and Crew Member in Hazmat Suit – Jake Dixon; Top – Hazmat suit in hallway – Twitter photo via Fifegirl @PReidie

This past week, Twitter has remained abuzz with complaints of COVID-19 by cruise guests on the MSC Virtuosa cruising from the United Kingdom.

Nearly a week ago, the first complaints began appearing on Twitter of guests who felt ill during their cruise and, typically, tested positive as soon as they left the MSC ship. Several people tweeted that some cruisers would not agree to be tested on the cruise ship in order to avoid a £100 fee. Many complained that there was no enforcement of the wearing of face coverings or social distancing.  Others complained that not only were people ignoring the wearing of masks but that the ship was crowded.

The MSC Virtuosa is a new cruise ship which was delivered from the shipyard to MSC in early February. The cruise ship entered service on May 20th with a series of three and four-night cruises from Southampton, before beginning seven-night cruises around the British Isles in mid-June.

The U.K. press also reports that a man, described to be “in his 70s,” died onboard the MSC Virtuosa which called on Portland Port on Saturday (September 4th).  Although there is no indication that the death of this cruise guest was related to COVID-19, the absence of information from MSC Cruises is naturally leading to such reasonable speculation.

Unfortunately, there appears to be no legal requirement for cruise companies either in U.S. or U.K waters  to disclose the actual number of cases of shipboard COVID-19 to the public. This leads to cruise lines withholding such information from the public for their own selfish PR reasons rather than the health and safety of their customers. Social media sites like Twitter provide one of the only glimpses of what is actually happening on ships at sea.

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Image credit: Top – MSC VirtuosaDorset Echo.

September 8, 2021 Update:

MSC Cruises says it has strengthened its “Health & Safety Protocol” on MSC Virtuosa, with more testing, “following a rise in Covid infections in the UK.” MSC concludes that “suspected cases at the terminal and on board have been “effectively managed in line with the protocol.” Travel writer and cruise fan Dave Monk of the UK tweets:

Still, cruise guests are still complaining bitterly on Twitter that the MSC ship theater and nightclubs are packed and few are wearing masks or socially distancing. Meanwhile COVID-19 infections continue . . .
Below are a few tweets this morning:

The local press in the UK has picked up the superspreader event taking place on the MSC Virtuosa: Pensioner couple split up on MSC Virtuosa as covid cases found on cruise ship.

Recent comments left on our Facebook page by guests on the MSC ship:

  • “My whole family are isolating post cruise, all positive tests.”
  • “I too tested positive for Covid after Disembarkcation on Sat in Southampton. It is a complete shambles on board, wearing of masks compulsory in public areas, but as soon as you get to a bar or eating area off they come. The theatre was packed to full capacity. No two metre social distancing, how can you when the ship appeared to be bursting with people. Never will I go on MSC again.”
  • “We disembarked a week ago (1/9) and all 3 of us tested positive. We have seen many more guests report positive results. It was chaos whilst we were on board. Massive queues all over the ship, people not wearing masks, occupancy limits for hot tubs and lifts not adhered to. MSC did not follow their own safety protocol. They didn’t enforce their own rules which were there for the safety of their guests. It has taken the intervention of Port Health for MSC to take any action but it has still been too little too late. Having multi embarkation ports of Southampton, Liverpool and Greenock creates a vicious circle for the spread of the virus and there is no circuit breaker like cruises with only one embarkation port.”
    “I voiced concerned onboard between the 18th and 25th of August-met with blank stares from staff!”
    “I got on 25th august and was horrified. We got off on the 1st both tested positive. Was so angry with myself I trusted them with our life.”

Earlier this week, a passenger aboard Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas was taken from the cruise ship and hospitalized ashore in the Italian town of La Spezia after he experienced COVID-19 symptoms on the cruise ship.

The Italian newspaper Il Secolo XIX reported earlier last week that a 74 year old U.S. passenger began feeling symptoms after he embarked the cruise ship in Barcelona on August 29th.  Following a regular stop on its itinerary in  Palma de Mallorca on August 30th, the next day the ship arranged for transportation of the guest to the Sant’Andrea hospital in La Spezia where he was admitted into the infectious diseases ward. He was accompanied by his wife who remained with him as the ship sailed on to the next port.

Royal Caribbean required all guests over the age of eighteen to be vaccinated and test negative before boarding. The entire crew is vaccinated. The article states that the guests also “suffered from other important pathologies.” He tested negative for COVID-19 shortly before embarking the ship.

After disembarking the infected guest, the Harmony called on ports in Civitavecchia (Rome) and Naples, Italy. There were no other public reports of COVID-19 infection among the crew or other guests. The ship is expected t0 return to Barcelona tomorrow (Sunday).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance to recommend travelers (departing from U.S. ports) who are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19  that they avoid cruise ships, regardless of their vaccination status.

The new CDC guidance applies to older adults (defined as 65 and older), people with certain medical conditions and pregnant and recently pregnant people. Prior to this announcement, the CDC recommended that only people who were not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 completely avoid cruise ships. 

As reported by USA Today, the CDC’s website says the virus that causes COVID-19 can spread easily between people in close quarters on ships, and the chance of getting COVID-19 on cruise ships is “high.”

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Image credit: Top – Harmony of the Seas – kees torn – EN AVANT 20, CC BY-SA 2.0, commons / wikipedia; bottom – Harmony of the Seas in port of La Spezia – Il Secolo XIX

The Carnival Panorama returned to its home port of Long Beach, California yesterday from a seven-day cruise with multiple cases of COVID-19 according to a guest who sailed on the cruise ship (and wishes to remain anonymous) who sent this message:

“The Carnival Panorama just returned to Port of Long Beach, there were multiple covid cases onboard, with a lot of passengers being disembarked on some ports of call accompanied by medical personnel.”

Last week, the Carnival cruise ship visited the Mexican ports of Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta before returning yesterday (August 28th) from its first cruise since Carnival was forced to suspend cruise operations last year at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. The Carnival Panorama had its inaugural sailing on December 11, 2019.

The cruise ship returned to the U.S with positive COVID-19 cases notwithstanding the fact that Carnival claimed that at least 95% of its passengers were vaccinated, as it told the Mexican government last week. A local newspaper in Long Beach reported that the Carnival Panorama can accommodate approximately 4,000 passengers but is operating at about 75% capacity (3,000).

I have also heard from guests on different Carnival cruise ships who tested positive after returning home from cruises who tried to contact Carnival and had to leave a message with sales representatives that they tested positive for COVID-19. Another couple left a tweet to this effect on Twitter and commented that other guests tested positive as well.

According to a local newspaper in Long Beach, the Long Beach Post News, the Carnival Panorama experienced what it vaguely called a “technical problem” reducing the speed of the cruise ship. The newspaper referred to a Carnival Facebook private page called the CARNIVAL PANORAMA CRUISE PAGE, which shared a letter from Carnival explaining that the Panorama was “experiencing an issue that is affecting the ship’s maximum cruising speed.”

The newspaper mentioned that Carnival recently implemented HAVE FUN. BE SAFE. COVID-19 GUEST PROTOCOLS including “requiring proof of vaccination for the vast majority of guests and regular testing for others. Panorama’s entire 1,400-member crew is fully vaccinated, according to the company’s website. All passengers, regardless of vaccination status, must present a negative COVID-19 test result from within three days of embarkation. Unvaccinated guests must take another test prior to embarkation and a third test 24 hours into the voyage if the cruise is longer than four days.” AXIOS reported last week that Carnival  announced new mask guidelines, which say that all guests are required to wear masks indoors.

Carnival’s COVID protocols state that:

“Vaccinated guests are not required to maintain physical distance on board the ship.

It is recommended that unvaccinated guests maintain physical distancing as follows:

  • Outdoors – Remain at least 3 feet from others when not wearing a mask and not in your cruise companion group.”

This cruise line’s “HAVE FUN, be safe” protocols in practice have been criticized as too heavy on “HAVE FUN” and too little on “be safe.” A video posted on Carnival Senior Cruise Director John Heald Facebook page shows the cruise director on the Carnival Panorama standing in front of hundreds of guests crowded together on the (exterior) Lido deck, many without masks.

Comments left on the John Heald’s page are split between those who complained that the gathering was unsafe and negligent and those defending the reckless spectacle who essentially said “if you don’t like it, stay home.” Included in the latter category were attacks on Dr. Fauci and the usual comments typical of COVID skeptics and deniers that masks allegedly don’t work:

  • “. . . if this 5 second moment is a turn off for u, do everyone a favor and stay home.
  • . . . you do know they just proved yesterday that these masks do nothing.
  • . . . seriously stay home if you are worried. It’s your choice just as its theirs, there is absolutely no proof that the masks work . . .
  • . . . This is never going away. They will only come up with different names for this. Stop your mask bs already. Stay the heck home if your worried. IT’S NEVER GOING AWAY!
  • . . . you know you have the choice to stay home and be all safe in your bubble.
  • . . .  it just shows what a joke the mask mandate is. Nothing more than a misleading visual they have no legitimate function.
  • Let them stay home and we will just keep having a great time!!
  • Don’t like it, stay home.
  • If you don’t like it… don’t sail.
  • So glad everyone is having fun, we are back !! This is why we cruise!
  • This looks amazing!! Can’t wait until September 6 on Sunrise. So glad you all were having a great time! I see with these comments there’s a lot of jealous people trying to bring the hate to the party 😳🙄😩🤣

These comments expressing concern for the crowded space and absence of social distancing were usually met with vitriolic attacks.

  • “This looks scary and irresponsible.
  •  They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This one screams unsafe.
  •  If cruising is stunted at all. It will be because Carnival already has a death on its hands and there may be more with this kind of thing going on. This is GROSS NEGLIGENCE.”

Carnival Cruise Line failed to reveal any information regarding the number of infected guests or crew members on this ship.

When the Carnival Panorama last sailed from Long Beach in March of 2020, it kept its passengers on board the ship when it returned to Long Beach after a week-long voyage to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas because a single guest was transported off the ship to be tested for coronavirus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made the decision to hold passengers on the ship pending the results of a single COVID-19 test. The test turned out to be negative. Passengers were quoted in the Long Beach Post News as saying that they were “glad the cruise line was being careful.”

Seventeen months later today, it is clear that Carnival is refusing to disclose the total number of crew and guests infected with COVID-19 on any particular cruise and is sloughing off direct responses to such inquiries from the media. It is also apparent that guests are disembarking from Carnival ships and quickly testing positive  without follow up by this cruise line.

Carnival recently demonstrated a lack of transparency in responding to media inquiries into the extent and number of COVID-19 outbreaks on several Carnival ships. Regarding the COVID-19 outbreak on the Carnival Vista, for example, at least one guest died of COVID-19, one was seriously sickened and went ashore in Belize, an unknown number of others were infected, and at least forty-two crew members tested positive for COVID-19 over a two week period.  But Carnival initially falsely characterize that it was managing only a “small number” of positive cases on the ship. Several national newspapers, such as Axios,  eventually characterized the true number of COVID-19 cases on the Carnival Vista as “the biggest outbreak of coronavirus cases since cruises resumed in the U.S. and Caribbean last June.”

After leaving one Carnival Vista passenger with COVID-19 alone in a sub-standard hospital in Belize and sailing on to the next port (Cozumel), Carnival belatedly claimed that “it was highly unlikely Ms. Tackett contracted the coronavirus aboard the ship . . . ” notwithstanding the fact that her symptoms began 4 days into the cruise which was consistent with the incubation period explained by the CDC which can begin as early as 2 days.

A common thought expressed by many Carnival fans is that “covid is everywhere” and the public needs to “just learn to live with it.” Given COVID-19 breakthrough infections, the emergence of the highly contagious Delta variant, and the carefree-have-fun-nonchalant attitude of many Carnival fans, there will continue to be COVID-19 outbreaks on Carnival ships in the future.

According to the COVID-19 color code database, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that all thirteen Carnival cruise ships operating in U.S. waters, authorized to sail with passengers, had COVID-19 infections in the last seven days.

With COVID-19 now appearing on virtually every Carnival ship leaving from the U.S., don’t expect any accurate COVID-19 infection details any time soon from the likes of Carnival.

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Image credit: Carnival Panorama – Tunestoons – CC BY-SA 4.0, commons / wikimedia.

At least eight Carnival Cruise Line guests have tested positive during the first two weeks on the Carnival Mardi Gras‘ sailings. Of course, Carnival Cruise Line has not disclosed all of these cases or other COVID-19 cases on the ship. The only question is how many other passengers and crew members tested positive during these two cruises.

Last week, Florida Today published an article by Dave Berman titled As Cruise Ship Passengers and Crew Contract COVID-19, Cruise Lines Upgrade Their Protocols. The article states that “three passengers tested positive for COVID-19 at the end of the recent inaugural seven-night sailing from Port Canaveral of Carnival Cruise Line’s newest and largest ship, the Mardi Gras.” It is less than clear whether Carnival or the home port (Port Canaveral) disclosed the positive cases.

Port officials at Port Canaveral explained to the newspaper that “two of the passengers were children who did not have the COVID-19 vaccine, and the third was a vaccinated parent of one of the children . . . ”

There were at least that many COVID infected passengers on the next cruise on this Carnival ship, which left Port Canaveral on August 7th and returned August 14th. This is the particular voyage during which cruise vlogger Dee of the vlogging partners Dee and Jay (who operate the popular “ParoDeeJay” YouTube page) became infected with COVID.  A couple on the same cruise subsequently advised me that they and another couple all tested positive after leaving the Mardi Gras, and again re -tested positive on a repeat test (See, comment section of article). Their complaints appear to have been ignored when the couple contacted Carnival Cruise Line after the cruise:

  • “We tried to contact Carnival on Saturday to no answer even on Emergency number and sent an email to their customer care. This morning we called reservations and reported it and they said they were sending it to the resolution department. We still have not heard from anyone at Carnival. How many more are there and shouldn’t Carnival be engaging?”

This past week, 26 crew members on the Carnival Vista tested positive for COVID-19, one guest died after a medical evacuation from the port in Belize to the U.S., and one became very ill and was in a hospital ashore in Belize. Other guests undoubtedly became infected but Carnival summarily dismissed the seriousness of the outbreak claiming that it was managing just a “small number” of infected people.

Last week, the Sun Sentinel newspaper in Fort Lauderdale inquired into the number of COVID-19 cases on Carnival’s cruise ships.  A Carnival representative responded by stating “. . . we are not reporting specific numbers.”

Over the last twenty years, Carnival Cruise Line and its parent Company, Carnival Corporation, have struggled with basic traits of honesty and transparency. The disclosure of the true number of guests and crew infected with COVID-19 would go a long way to begin in regaining the public’s trust. Of course, Carnival Corporation has been convicted of not only numerous environmental crimes in continuously polluting the air and water for the past decade but has repeatedly been convicted of lying to the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Department of Justice. Unfortunately, this cruise line is a recidivist corporate felon which lies when it would do better to simply tell the truth.

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Image credit: Mardi Gras – kees torn – CC BY-SA 2.0, commons / wikimedia.

German newspapers are reporting that there were five crew members infected with Covid-19 on board the Mein Schiff 2 operated by TUI Cruises. The crew members and their close contacts isolated after they tested positive. The cruise operator acknowledged the infections of the crew and said that some of them have mild symptoms.

The German newspaper Bild indicated that a ship employee was infected in the kids club which was subsequently closed.  Children on the cruise ship reportedly were not affected, and all of the other 924 passengers on board subsequently tested negative for the virus.

The Mein Schiff 2 is currently sailing in the Mediterranean Sea and was on a ten-day voyage from Palma de Mallorca on Friday.

This is not the first time that there have been COVID-19 cases on the Mein Schiff 2. Last February, we reported that there were four guests aboard the cruise ship who tested positive for COVID-19 at the end of the cruise.

A year ago, five crew members hired to work aboard the Mein Schiff 1 (photo below) tested positive for COVID-19. The German cruise blog called Kreuzfahrt-Aktuelles (cruise news) originally published the news.

The Mein Schiff fleet of cruise ships is operated by the German TUI Group, which staffs, manages and operates the ships in a 50:50 joint venture with Royal Caribbean.

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Image credit: OBS via Bild