Report: Passengers Question Carnival’s Response to Covid Outbreak on Ship

Some passengers aboard a recent Carnival cruise are questioning how the cruise line handled Covid cases on the ship, after reportedly dozens of passengers came down with cases.

This comes from local Seattle news station KIRO 7.

Carnival ship whale tail

Carnival Spirit was on a 16-day “Carnival Journeys” cruise that departed Florida for Seattle with a transit of the Panama Canal. However, as with many ships at the moment — and despite vaccines and testing — cases began to pop up onboard.

That’s not unusual. According to CDC data, 76 of 92 ships sailing U.S. waters are ‘yellow’ or ‘orange,’ indicating possible cases in recent days.

Carnival Spirit is currently one of 53 ships rated ‘orange,’ meaning at least 0.3% of those on the ship have possible cases.

However, at least some passengers that spoke with KIRO 7 were not happy with how things were handled when cases were found.

According to the report, one woman, Karin Ross, claimed that during the cruise her cabinmate tested positive for the virus. The cabinmate was then told to quarantine in the shared cabin. And when Ms. Ross asked to be tested, she was told it wasn’t needed. The report also said she was allowed to freely move around the ship.

The CDC’s website says close contacts of a positive case are to be tested and then quarantined for five days if vaccinated and boosted, unless they have documentation of recovery within the last 90 days (there was no mention of if Ms. Ross recently recovered from the virus). As well, a cruise line can opt to test close contacts daily for five days instead:

Another man, Darren Seiferston, says he tested positive for Covid and was isolated for six days. According to Mr. Seiferston, the response from Carnival was lacking.

“I’ve been on seven cruises since August, and of course Covid is always a concern,” he said. “But unfortunately, this ship was so unprepared and so mismanaged that many of us suffered greatly.”

According to Seiferston and reporting by KIRO 7, Carnival posted lists showing passenger names and room numbers of those testing positive for the virus.

“It’s not right what they did,” Seiferston said. “They posted names and room numbers at the elevators of people that were in isolation for Covid.”

In response to the story, Carnival sent the new station the following statement:

“The Carnival Spirit team managed a number of COVID cases during its Panama Canal journey from Florida to Seattle. There were no serious health issues, but we did have guests show minor symptoms or test positive. We encourage our guests to purchase travel insurance, and we believe that close to half the guests purchased travel insurance for unexpected travel disruptions related to COVID. Normally, guests are responsible for quarantine costs, but because so many of our guests were far from home, we made the hotel arrangements and have offered to share the cost of their lodging while they remain in Seattle to complete their five-day quarantine.”

According to Carnival’s policy, most passengers aboard its ships are required to be vaccinated in order to sail. As well, testing is required before boarding. Due to the length of this specific cruise, Carnival also required passengers more than six months past their initial vaccines to be boosted in order to sail:

The 16-day cruise required passengers more than six months past their last dose to have a booster in order to board.

There were no specifics given regarding the total number of cases on the ship, however, images of the list of passenger names and room numbers showed more than 30 cases on just two decks.

You can view KIRO 7’s original report here.

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