Carnival cruise ship passengers complain of high number of Covid-19 cases

Carnival cruise ship passengers complain of high number of Covid-19 cases

Guests aboard a Carnival Corp. ship with an outbreak of Covid-19 say the staff was overwhelmed by the number of cases, showing the cruise industry is continuing to struggle with the illness.

Carnival didn’t say how many people were infected on the Carnival Spirit, which docked Tuesday in Seattle and has a capacity of more than 2,000 passengers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is looking into the situation, according to its website. 

The CDC is investigating cases on 53 cruise ships, more than half of those participating in its program. The agency investigates ships that report more than 0.3% of passengers or crew testing positive. Carnival, the largest cruise line operator, had 24 of its ships under investigation. But all of the major carriers have ships that met that criteria.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., the second-largest carrier, said Thursday it saw a consistent improvement in bookings throughout the first quarter, even with the surge related to Omicron variant earlier in the year. In the past eight weeks, bookings have been “meaningfully higher” than 2019, the company said on a call with investors.

“Our cases for the most part have been relatively low across our fleet,” Royal Caribbean Chief Executive Officer Jason Liberty said in an interview. “We’re living with Covid in our society, and even the cases that we have had, none of them have been anything more than mild symptoms.”

Most Carnival Spirit guests who tested positive were asymptomatic, according to Matt Lupoli, a company spokesman. He added that additional measures were put into place during Carnival Spirit’s voyage.

Hotel Quarantine

“We are committed to protecting the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we visit, including following thorough and effective sanitation measures for the ship and continuing to remain vigilant with our protocols,” Lupoli said.

Darren Siefertson, a 54-year-old who travelled with his family on the Carnival Spirit, is quarantined in a Seattle-area hotel after testing positive on board. He said he faced long wait times to speak with staff on the phone and struggled to get his meals. Other passengers told local media that the ship was unprepared for the outbreak.

“The cruise was beautiful until the crisis became unmanageable,” Siefertson said in an interview. “It was all downhill from there.”

Similar reports have emerged from other trips. One Carnival ship, the Ruby Princess, docked in San Francisco last month and had more than 100 passengers test positive, according to CBS News. Passengers on previous voyages on the same ship reported high case counts in March.

In March, the CDC lifted its warning against cruise ship travel, citing declines in Covid-19 cases on board. All Carnival crew members are vaccinated and wear masks, Lupoli said. 

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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Vijay Singh

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