Carnival Cruise Lines’ Carnival Freedom said it has been forced to alter its stops in the south Caribbean after several individuals onboard tested positive for COVID-19, the firm said.
“This is a vaccinated cruise, and all guests were also tested before embarkation,” Carnival Cruise Lines said in its statement to news outlets on Dec. 24. “Unfortunately, Bonaire and Aruba authorities did not permit the ship to call in those ports, but we have confirmed a visit to Amber Cove, [Dominican Republic] today.”
Carnival requires its customers and staff to have been fully vaccinated 14 days prior to sailing and provide proof of vaccination, according to its website. A number of other cruise operators have similar requirements, and other cruise lines have seen spikes in COVID-19 cases in recent days.
The Carnival Freedom departed on Dec. 18 and docked in Curacao on Tuesday, Dec. 21.
“Carnival Freedom is following all protocols and has a small number on board who are in isolation due to a positive Covid test,” the Carnival statement also said.
“The rapid spread of the Omicron variant may shape how some destination authorities view even a small number of cases, even when they are being managed with our vigorous protocols,” the company added, referring to the COVID-19 strain that federal health officials say is the most prevalent in the United States. “Some destinations have limited medical resources and are focused on managing their own local response to the variant.”
The company continued: “Should it be necessary to cancel a port, we will do our best to find an alternative destination.”
Last week, Royal Caribbean said that its Odyssea of the Seas, which had a “95 percent” vaccination rate for crew and customers, saw an outbreak that prompted the ship to make a detour.
“Royal Caribbean International’s Odyssey of the Seas will not visit Curacao or Aruba as planned,” the cruise line told The Epoch Times last week. “The decision was made together with the islands out of an abundance of caution due to the current trend of COVID-19 cases in the destinations’ communities as well as crew and guests testing positive on board–55 crew members and guests, representing 1.1 percent of the onboard community.”
Another operator, Holland America Lines, said one of its ships was denied entry into a Mexican port after positive COVID-19 cases were found on board.
“Through onboard testing, we have confirmed that a small number of fully-vaccinated crew on Koningsdam tested positive for COVID-19,” Holland America said in a statement on Saturday to news outlets. “All are showing mild or no symptoms and are in isolation. Close contacts have been quarantined out of an abundance of caution.”