Princess Cruises’ Majestic Princess returned to Sydney this morning after a twelve-day cruise which left port on October 31st. There reportedly are now over eight hundred (800) active COVID-19 cases on this ship. This is the biggest single outbreak since the Ruby Princess cruise ship arrived in Sydney in March 2020 with 900 infected passengers.
So a new surge in Covid in NSW and a recent return of cruising through Sydney Harbour’s Terminal for cruise ships.
Coincidence? I think not.
— NorthEastFacing (@Gallipoli00) November 11, 2022
A Princess Cruises’ spokesperson claims that the infected cruise guests are “mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic and are isolating in their staterooms” and all “unimpacted guests are wearing masks and this will continue when they disembark in Sydney on 12 November.”
But at least one media outlet, 9 News in Sydney, reports that “medical evacuations are required” of sick passengers once the Princess cruise ship docks in Sydney.
There is some ambiguity regarding exactly how many cruise passengers and crew members are infected with the virus. There is no legal mandatory requirement for owners or operators of cruise ships to publicly disclose the number of COVID-19 cases on their cruise ships. Although Princess Cruises did in fact confirm that there is a COVID-19 outbreak on the Majestic Princess, none of the news outlets in Australia indicated that the cruise line disclosed the number of infected passengers or crew members. Some accounts mention that around twenty-five percent of the guests were positive for the virus; 25% of the 3,300 passengers would be around 825 infected guests. None of the Australian news media commented on how many crew members of the 1,300 ship employees are infected.
New South Wales (NSW) has a three tier reporting system where it reports and ranks cruise ships calling on NSW ports according to the percentage of cruise passengers and crew who test positive for COVID-19. NSW Health lists “% of Passengers & Crew Onboard who have Tested Positive to COVID-19 in Last 7 Days:” Tier 1 is “0.0% to <3%.” Tier 2 is “3% to <10%.” Tier 3 is “≥10%.” According to NSW Health, tier 3 likely results in a “operational compromise” of a cruise ship due to:
- Major impact to staffing and/or resource shortages.
- Unable to maintain critical services and/or imminent cessation of critical services. (Example: Reduction in critical staffing or resources that cannot be compensated (such as impact to healthcare workers, engineering staff, or shortages of food or PPE).
The Majestic Princess is currently designated at Tier 3 (risk level 3 of 3).
The Princess cruse ship just finished its last cruise which called on six ports in New Zealand.
There are dozens of people tweeting their concerns that the Majestic Princess has been spreading COVID-19 in all of these ports of call. Others have rhetorically asked on Twitter: “Where precisely in an overburdened health system do they have room for this?” NSW Health recently concluded that COVID-19 itself has been associated with an increase in out of hospital cardiac arrest and sudden deaths in young people.
Media outlets in Australia: 800 people with #COVID19 as @PrincessCruises' Majestic Princess returns to Sydney after 12-day cruise to 6 ports in New Zealand. NSW update on @cruise vessel COVID-19 status indicates +10% of guests & crew infected & some requiring medical transport… https://t.co/cZ6jz9af56
— James (Jim) Walker (@CruiseLaw) November 11, 2022
This is not the first recent COVID-19 outbreak on the Majestic Princess which was quarantined after arriving in Tahiti last month with at least 116 cases of COVID-19, according to a local newspaper.
.@PrincessCruises Majestic Princess had at least 116 #cruise guests with #COVID19 when it arrived in #Tahiti, according to a local newspaper. https://t.co/LtvDaVKIaR
— James (Jim) Walker (@CruiseLaw) October 26, 2022
@MajesticPrincess was quarantined by Tahiti, until released by negotiation, because of high levels of COVID, with at least 116 cases of COVID onboard Oct 11. Meanwhile in Juneau, Alaska, cruise ships gone, COVID transmission down. https://t.co/zr8YJwRbXM
— Global Cruise Activist Network (@CruiseNetwork) October 24, 2022
In the last ten days, we reported that there were at least 290 people on the Coral Princess and over 400 people infected with COVID-19 on the Quantum of the Seas when these cruise ships ported in Australia.
The over 800 people infected with COVID-19 on the Majestic Princess is the biggest single outbreak since the Ruby Princess cruise ship arrived in Sydney in March 2020 with 900 infected passengers, 28 of whom died prompting a class action case against Princess Cruises.
+800 people infected with #COVID19 on Majestic Princess which arrived today in Sydney is biggest single outbreak since Ruby Princess #cruise ship arrived in 2020 with 900 infected pax, 28 of whom died prompting a class action case against @PrincessCruises https://t.co/lzXCPClKMo
— James (Jim) Walker (@CruiseLaw) November 11, 2022
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Image credit: Majestic Princess – カテキン – CC BY-SA 4.0 commons / wikimedia.