5 Test Positive Aboard Caribbean Cruise, in Its First Sail Since Pandemic
Five passengers aboard SeaDream-1 have tested positive for COVID-19. It is the first Caribbean cruise in the market to set sail since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
The ship set sail from Barbados last week Saturday, but the seven-day voyage was cut short after the first case was discovered. The ship re-docked in Barbados late Wednesday night after the discovery.
Gene Sloan, a journalist aboard the ship, broke the story.
Why it matters
- SeaDream 1 is the first line to make a comeback since March. It raises the question of whether or not cruises are safe as they attempt to return to the Caribbean. On its first cruise, there are cases.
- The Caribbean is the biggest cruise destination, thus cruise lines have been targetting a relaunch in the region.
- The ship’s doctor and Barbados’ health officials performed further testing of the passengers and crew and confirmed the new cases.
- The ship contained 53 passengers and 66 crew members on board.
- The ship was anchored in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and was on its way to Grenada when the discovery was made.
- Passengers and nonessential crew members were asked to isolate themselves in their rooms.
- Passengers had to test negative for COVID-19 test several days before boarding the ship, and the day the ship set sail.
- A 3rd test was required yesterday, Wednesday 11th.
- Ship captain Torbjorn Lund announced that one passenger felt ill before the test.
- A doctor on board the ship and an assistant are testing passengers and crew using three Abbott ID Now testing machines that the vessel carries on board. The machines only can process one COVID-19 test every 15 minutes, which has made the testing process relatively slow.
What are passengers saying?
Ben and David Hewitt-McDonald, writers of a cruise blog who have been aboard the ship for nearly three weeks told The Daily Beast, “We are really upset because we really felt like the passengers, crew, and cruise line took COVID very seriously yet it still managed to get on board. SeaDream requires double the amount of the tests as the CDC will require going forward. So we ask ourselves is testing the way forward if it can still get onboard such a small ship?”
Featured Image: SeaDream website