The Carnival Vista arrived in the port of Roatan, Honduras this morning with at least fifty (50) crew members who tested positive for COVID-19. One guest on the Carnival cruise ship also tested positive.

The ship reportedly did not allow any crew members to go ashore. Only passengers were allowed to disembark.

This information was provided by a trustworthy Carnival crew member on the ship who wishes ro remain anonymous and employed by the cruise line.

The Carnival Vista joins a growing list of other ships owned by Carnival Corporation which have experienced recent COVID-19 outbreaks:

  • The Carnival Panorama had 69 cases reportedly involving just its crew;
  • The Carnival Corporation-owned Koningsdam operated by Holland America Line (HAL) had 21 cases involving crew members and was blocked by Puerto Vallarta from its port;
  • The Carnivlal Freedom was barred from calling at two Caribbean ports, Bonaire and Aruba, after numerous people exprienced what Carnival would say was only a “small number” of cases. Carnival refused to identify whether the infected included crew members or guests. The newspaper reported that Carnival “did not disclose how many people onboard the Carnival Freedom tested positive.”

Earlier this week, a passenger on the Carnival Vista cruise ship commented on Twitter that she learned that there were thirty-eight (38) infected crew members on the prior cruise.

The corporate communications/crisis communication people for the Carnival brands of cruise ships have a policy of responding to media inquiries by never discussing the actual number of guests or crew members infected with COIVD-19 on their cruise ships. Instead, Carnival Corporation always states only that a “small number” of guests or crew members were infected. Five, fifteen or fifty infected crew members? It’s the same response every time – “a small number.”

This lack of transparency is emblematic of a cruise company and an industry which has struggled with honesty over the years. Carnival Corporation has been convicted of lying to the United States Coast Guard and the federal government and its lawyers on multiple occasions in connection with criminal environmental crimes it committed over the years. Carnival also violated the terms of its criminal probation which it is continuing to serve in the criminal litigation filed against it in the Southern District of Florida.

Time magazine reported on the surge of COVID-19 cases which the Omicron variant has inflicted on the cruise industry. The magazine reported that there are currently 89 cruise ships with cases of COVID-19 aboard sufficient to issue yellow and orange warnings to the public. It quoted Carnival’s Roger Frizzell, spokesperson for Carnival Corporation’s communications department, who claims that every one of  Carnival’s shipboard breakouts is just a “small-number,” as saying that Carnival’s COVID protocols were “effective.”

Carnival has not yet commented on this latest outbreak, on the Carnival Vista.  Rest assured that when it does, it will not be able to help itself from characterizing this outbreak as involving only a “small number” of crew members.

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Image Credit: Gordon Leggett / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0 commons / wikimedia.