‘Lots of COVID-19’ on recent Princess Cruises sailings

Three recent cruises aboard Princess Cruises cruise ships have involved several dozen guests testing positive for COVID-19 according to passengers aboard the Caribbean Princess, ruby princess and sky princess ships. In all three cases, Princess Cruises did not specify the number of people who tested positive, demonstrating the lack of transparency typical of a brand owned by Carnival Corporation.

The title of the Vancouver Sun said the Caribbean Princess had “a lot of COVID” on board the ship.

“The whole 12th floor is an isolation ward,” Richmond’s Ally Carol told the Times Colonist newspaper. She boarded the Princess cruise ship in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with her partner in late March for a 19-day cruise to Canada. Princess canceled the remainder of the cruise last weekend.

“The newspaper reports that Princess Cruises did not mention or respond to inquiries about COVID-19 on board its cruise ship which the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) lists as having ‘orange status’. “.”

This means there are enough cases of COVID-19 on board to meet the threshold for a CDC investigation. The CDC launches an investigation when at least three percent of passengers and crew on board the ship have tested positive. Considering the Caribbean Princess had 1,600 passengers on board, this turns out to be at least 50 infected guests, plus the number of infected crew members which the cruise line also did not disclose.

A guest informed the Times Colonist Princess Cruises “has been very low key”.

“People have been showing up at the customer services desk asking how many people are sick and they won’t tell you anything,” she said. “They just say ‘oh, some bartender or waitress you’ve been seeing all week [is] feel bad” when you see they are gone. The captain made no announcement.

“They say they’re going to drydock early, but we all know it’s COVID. They didn’t say that, but we on the ship all believe it.

The cruise line reportedly did not test all guests after canceling the cruise and ordering everyone off the cruise ship, The Times Colonist reported. “We showed up for our test and they said there was no test,” one passenger said. “So knowing that they have COVID on the ship, instead of doing the responsible thing and testing all guests returning to Canada, they are disembarking all of us and sending us home, putting us on planes next to members from the unsuspecting public, instead of responsibly checking to see who caught COVID on their ship.

Operator, Princess Cruises, and owner, Carnival Corporation, revealed their usual lack of transparency last week when another Princess cruise ship, the Ruby Princess, arrived in San Francisco after a two-week cruise with several dozen COVID-19-positive passengers and crew, according to the Washington Post.

Princess claimed the infected passengers and crew were “asymptomatic or had mild symptoms”, but the cruise line declined to disclose how many people tested positive or when they tested positive during the voyage.

A third cruise ship, the flagship of Princess, the sky princessrecently took a transatlantic cruise and arrived in London with several hundred COVID-19 positive passengers.

the sky princess had previously been denied permission to dock at Havensight in the Virgin Islands, after exceeding the 3% COVID-19 positivity rate threshold. The Virgin Islands Daily News reported that “although details of the positivity rate on board the sky princess were not released, the cruise ship itself fell into the so-called “orange” category used by the CDC in its color-coding system for high-risk ships.

A guest who jumped ship in London told us about this outbreak, and provided a clue to the number of infected guests on the sky princess:

“Nearby sky princess transatlantic yesterday. The ship had 5 Covid-positive passenger buses sent to quarantine in London before returning home.

He further explained that each of the five coaches held “at least 100 passengers”.

The reality of these outbreaks on the Princess ship fleet comes at a time when the CDC dropped its travel health advisory for cruise travel last week. According to USA todayRemoving the CDC advisory does not mean the federal health agency considers cruise travel to be risk-free — but does mean cruise passengers will simply have to do their own risk assessment.

Although COVID-19 cases have declined in the United States, with a 7% drop in daily cases over the past week according to the Washington Postan increase in cases in Europe this month fueled by an omicron subvariant called BA.2 has set the stage for another potential wave of outbreaks.

Given the failure and refusal of cruise lines under the Carnival Corporation umbrella to release accurate information when passengers and crew on its cruise ships are infected at sea, it will remain difficult even for the best-informed passenger to assess the risks if it is safe to travel by cruise ship.

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Photo credit: sky princess – Fincantieri.

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