Other cruise disruptions reported

Mexican officials prevented the Holland America Line Koningsdam (IMO 9692557) from letting its passengers disembark in Puerto Vallarta after 21 crew members tested positive for Covid-19, the Jalisco state health department said.

A “small number of fully vaccinated crew” tested positive and all showed either mild or no symptoms, Holland America Line told CNN. Jalisco health authorities initially were going to allow people testing negative to disembark. However, they changed their mind, citing an “exponential growth of confirmed cases in the crew” by Thursday December 30th, the department said.

The ship had departed San Diego on December 19th with more than 1,000 passengers and more than 870 crew members, visited Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlán before it arrived in Puerto Vallarta. It was due to return to San Diego as scheduled on January 2nd. Holland America Line requires passengers and crew to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, with some exceptions for children – a policy adopted by all the major cruise lines.

Ports in the Caribbean islands of Bonaire and Aruba turned away the Carnival Freedom (IMO 9333149) last Wednesday and Thursday after a small number of people aboard tested positive for Covid-19, the cruise line said.

It was allowed to stop in Curacao on Tuesday. Dr Izzy Gerstenbluth, the national epidemiologist for Curacao, said the ship alerted him before it arrived that crew members had tested positive. After he visited the ship and determined the cases were contained among the crew, Curacao allowed the ship’s passengers to leave the ship, with the crew remaining on board, he said.

The ship returned to Miami as planned on Sunday.

Officials in Curacao and Aruba turned away the Royal Caribbean Odyssey Of The Seas (IMO 9795737) after 55 fully vaccinated crew members and passengers contracted Covid-19, the Miami Herald reported in late December. Curacao health officials decided the percentage of people aboard who tested positive was too high for the nation to allow the ship to dock, the Curacao Chronicle reported. The ship was scheduled to return to Florida’s Fort Lauderdale on Sunday January 2nd.

Colombian officials prevented the Seven Seas Mariner (IMO 9210139) from letting anyone disembark in Cartagena on Wednesday December 29th after seven positive Covid-19 cases — in six crew members and one passenger. The ship had begun an 18-day trip on December 18th from Miami to San Francisco .

It was noted that the disruptions so far had affected only a small fraction of operating cruise ships. The altered cruises also represented a small fraction of the dozens of cruise ships underway in the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, the wider Atlantic and the Pacific at any given time at this time of year.

Carnival spokesperson AnneMarie Mathews told CNN late last week that “some destinations have limited medical resources and are focused on managing their own local response to the variant”.

2016-built, Netherlands-flagged, 99,836 gt Koningsdam is owned by HAL Antillen NV care of manager Holland America Line NV of Seattle, Washington, USA. It is entered with Steamship Mutual (Americas Syndicate) on behalf of HAL Antillen NV.

2007-built, Panama-flagged, 110,556 gt Carnival Freedom is owned and ISM managed by Carnival Cruise Line of Doral, Florida. It is managed by Carnival Corp of Doral, Florida, USA. It is entered with Steamship Mutual and UK Club.

2021-built, Bahamas-flagged, 167,704 gt Odyssey of the Seas is owned by Odyssey of the Seas Inc care of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCL) of Miami, Florida. ISM manager is RCL Cruises Ltd of Weybridge, UK. It is entered with Gard on behalf of Odyssey of the Seas Inc (P&I Owners) and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (Tour Operators).

2001-built, Bahamas-flagged, 48,075 gt Seven Seas Mariner is owned by Mariner LLC care of NCL (Bahamas) Ltd of Miami, Florida. It is entered with Steamship Mutual (Americas Syndicate) on behalf of Seven Seas Cruises S DE.R.L.