Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas finally started its inaugural cruise and revenue sailing from Limassol, Cyprus this past week. The Jewel of the Seas will be sailing from Limassol until late October 2021, on seven-night cruises calling at Piraeus, Rhodes, Crete, Mykonos and Santorini.
According to the Financial Mirror, on Saturday the agency which operates the cruise terminal in Limassol “safely welcomed the crew and passengers” who boarded the Royal Caribbean cruse ship, “ensuring that personal protective measures and social distancing were strictly followed.”
Unfortunately, two guests tested positive for COIVD-19, according to crew members on the ship who wish to remain anonymous. The guests were reportedly isolated, and the cruise line is in the process of testing over a dozen people who were in close contact with the two infected guests who were assigned the same cabin. Eight crew members are reportedly in isolation, including the guests’ stateroom attendant and seven dining room employees as well.
There has not been a general announcement regarding the cases over the intercom on the ship yet. This is the typical method that cruise ships notify their guests of COVID cases. Yesterday, we reported that in the last week, there have been positive coronavirus cases on the Viking Sky, Viking Jupiter (Northern Europe), World Dream (Singapore), MSC Grandiosa (from Spain) and the American Constellation small cruise ship (Alaska). The World Cruise ended its cruise and returned to Singapore due to the single positive case. The America Constellation initially had three cases but contact tracing and additional testing revealed a total of ten infected guests and crew members.
Here in the U.S., COVID-19 cases are on the increase in all fifty states as the Delta variant continues to emerge. Virtually all hospitalizations and deaths in the U.S. caused by COVID-19 now involve people who decided not to be vaccinated. The Delta variant continues to pose a problem outside of the U.S. as well. There will be a steady stream of accounts of positive COVID-19 cases like this as more and more cruise line resume operations.
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July 18 2021 Update:
A.M. Post: Many people have asked whether the infected guests were vaccinated. I will try and see if this information is available.
The local media says that this inaugural cruise from Limassol was supposed to be for “for fully vaccinated crew and guests,” but the same article says “authorities in the Republic of Cyprus further require that non-vaccinated passengers aged 12-18 who are traveling with their families on the Jewel must show a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours of arrival on the island.”
P.M. Post: I received this information from a crew member on the ship: “All the guests are vaccinated, those 2 individuals are from Israel, so they should have a good dose of Pfizer.”
Image Credit: Dave Souza – CC BY-SA 2.5, commons / wikimedia.
July 21 2021 Update: Today, a newspaper in Cyprus covered this article.