Princess cruise ship denied entry to Caribbean cruise port

sky princess, operated by Princess Cruises was not permitted to make its scheduled stopover in St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands on March 8, but instead sailed direct to St. Maarten for a longer port stay. Although few details were released, COVID-19 cases on board contributed to the itinerary change.

sky princess Miss St. Thomas

sky princess is currently sailing on a 7-day Eastern Caribbean itinerary, having left Fort Lauderdale on Saturday March 5th. The ship first called Princess Cruises‘ private island, Princess CaysSunday, then enjoyed a day at sea on Monday.

As the ship approached Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, for its scheduled visit on Tuesday, March 8, however, the captain announced that the ship had been turned away. The cause was an unknown number of COVID-19 cases detected on board, which the captain said were all mild or asymptomatic in nature.

The statement noted that the cases involved both passengers and crew, but no further details were revealed.

Photo credit: Solarisys / Shutterstock.com

The announcement was made about an hour before the scheduled docking time at the Caribbean cruise port, and instead of entering port, the ship continued on to St. Maarten ahead of schedule. It allowed sky princess to reach Philipsburg on Tuesday afternoon rather than Wednesday morning, and guests had more opportunities to explore the port.

The ship’s cruise will continue past St. Maarten with two consecutive days at sea before returning to Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, March 12.

While many cruise ships were denied access to multiple ports of call earlier this year due to the rise of the Omicron variant COVID-19, such denials have become increasingly rare as cases fell in the world.

sky princess Health and safety protocols

Currently, Princess Cruises CruiseHealth Protocols require pre-cruise COVID-19 testing for all passengers, and at least 95% of passengers must be fully vaccinated. The cruise line does not require reminders at this time, but they are strongly recommended for all eligible passengers.

Since March 1, 2022, masks are only recommended for passengers aboard Princess Cruises ships, but all crew members continue to wear masks. All guests and crew members must adhere to local protocols at all ports of call.

Sky Princess cruise ship
Photo: Princess Cruises

When the guests embarked sky princess, detailed letters outlined the protocols needed at each port of call. In St. Maarten, guests were required to wear face coverings indoors and in outdoor public spaces where social distancing was not possible.

According to passengers on board sky princesscurrently sailing, the Royal-class ship – which has a capacity of 3,660 passengers – is welcoming around 2,200 passengers this week. Many cruise lines continue to sail with reduced capacities at this time to promote social distancing, although capacities are gradually increasing as cruising restarts and more travelers feel confident in health protocols. and safety on board.

Outbreaks continue on cruise ships

sky princess is currently classified as “Orange” status according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Cruise Ship Color Status Chartmeaning there are cases on board and the CDC has begun to investigate the vessel’s conditions.

CDC sign
Photo credit: bear_productions / Shutterstock

Of all the cruise ships that have joined the CDC’s voluntary cruise ship program, 19 ships are classified as “Orange”, including ships from Carnival Cruise Line, Cunard Line, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean International.

For Princess Cruises, in addition to sky princess, majestic princess is also listed as orange.

There are also 44 additional ships listed as “yellow”, which indicates a few cases on board, but not enough to warrant further investigation. A total of 51 ships are listed as “green” with no COVID-19 cases on board, and no ships are listed as “red,” which would be a serious outbreak requiring additional safety and containment measures.

Sky Princess cruise ship

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