As of this weekend, 100% of the cruise ships tracked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are sailing with cruise guests and/or crew members who have tested positive for COVID-19. The Cruise Ship COVID-19 Dashboard maintained by the CDC shows that of the ninety-six (96) cruise ships tracked by the CDC, six (6) cruise ships have cases of COVID-19 which are below the threshold for CDC investigation and eighty-eight (88) cruise ships with cases which have met the CDC’s threshold for investigation.
The CDC’s dashboard shows zero cruise ships with no COVID-19 or COVID-19-like cases. To repeat, there are absolutely no cruise ships designated as “green” by the CDC.
The threshold for investigating COVID-19 on cruise ships sailing with passengers is 0.3% or more of total passengers and/or crew.
As the popular Cruzely web site reports, well over half (nearly 60 ships) were green as recently as mid-March.
— James (Jim) Walker (@CruiseLaw) June 27, 2022
Not coincidentally we have heard from dozens of passengers and crew members who have reported that they have experienced COVID-19 outbreaks during their recent cruises, involving Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, MSC, Virgin Voyages and Princess Cruises.
Jewel of the Seas
At the beginning of last week, on the Jewel of the Seas, which is currently sailing on a 12 -day cruise through Norway from June 20 to July 2, 2022, thirty-six (36) of 1,438 guests tested positive. In addition, twenty-four (24) out of approximately 780 crew members tested positive.
A week earlier, forty-six (46) guests of the 1,750 passengers tested positive for COVID-19.
Previously, the ship’s officers expressed their concern that there was an increasing trend of positive COVID-19 cases on the ship, and reminded the crew that they were required to wear masks on the ship. The situation aboard the Jewel of the Seas illustrates a common situation on many cruse ships with the crew ordered to continue to wear masks while the company does not require masks for guests.
At the end of last month, a number of senior officers on the Jewel of the Seas tested positive for COVID-19, including the master as well as the the ship’s staff captain and chief safety officer.
As with other other posts regarding this particular cruise ship, a Royal Caribbean crew member who wishes to remain anonymous provided this information to the firm.
From an infected guest on the Island Princess: “On June 13, 2022 between 200 and 250 passengers who tested positive for COVID-19 were disembarked from the Island Princess in Southampton. We were required to be quarantined for five (5) days in a hotel at Heathrow Airport. We were provided a meal allowance and no further help. This was on back-to-back cruises, including an 18-day Ft. Lauderdale to Southampton cruise (departing May 27, 2022) and a16-day Southampton to Norway round trip cruise (departing June 13, 2022).”
A guest from the MSC Seashore who sailed on the June 18 to 25, 2022 cruise, and tested positive for COVID-19, indicated that “half of the cabins” on deck 10 had guests with COVID-19 (left).
According to a crew member who wishes to remain anonymous: “Celebrity Beyond crew have a high number of Covid cases onboard right now. Over 3% of the 1200 crew. People being told to work extra shifts and extra work to pick up for the crew that are in isolation. The cases are rising everyday still.
The company closed all crew spaces so there is no where for the crew to go. Free shore leave has been taken away, now letting only 150 crew at one time off as long as numbers don’t continue to rise if they do all shore leave will be stopped.
Guests from the previous cruises also had a high number of cases . . .
The company set a 15 minute period of time to eat meals photo right).
Celebrity do not disclose the case numbers to guests or crew at any time. We’ve all had to find out by word of mouth.”
At least 120 guests were reportedly infected on Virgin Voyages’ Valiant Lady, according to a passenger who organized a group to travel on the cruise ship earlier this month and tested positive right after the cruise.
All Cruise Lines Are Affected As COVID-19 Surges Across the Cruise Industry
We have received over a dozen messages from passengers and some crew members regarding COVID-19 outbreaks on cruise ship, including s. Unfortunately, there is no central database and neither the cruise lines nor the CDC disclose this basic information.
The cruise lines are all trying to eliminate restrictions in order to increase the occupancy of their ships and create income while the reality is that COVID-19 is surging on their ships.
The CDC Should Disclose The Number of Guest and Crew Members Infected with COVID-19
As we pointed our earlier this month, cruise passengers deciding whether it’s safe or prudent to take a cruise with their family on a particular cruise ship which just had an outbreak, should be able to go to an official source for accurate information. They should not have to scour the internet or search through cruise chat rooms trying to find out basic public health information already reported by a cruise line to a federal health agency but not disclosed to the public.
The U.S. public pays for the services of the CDC and deserves transparency. The last thing the public needs is for the CDC to act like a non-transparent cruise line (which pays no U.S. income taxes because of its foreign incorporation and registration of its ships outside of the U.S.) and keep such public health hazards secret.
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