Cruise Ship Denied Permission To Dock At Two Islands Over COVID Cases

By Bill Galluccio

December 23, 2021

Port Everglades Welcomes Royal Caribbean Odyssey Of The Seas Ship, As The Florida Cruise Industry Slowly Restarts
Photo: Getty Images

A second Royal Caribbean cruise ship is dealing with a COVID outbreak. The Odyssey of the Seas reported 55 cases of the coronavirus during an eight-day cruise that departed from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on December 18.

The ship docked at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean's private island in the Bahamas, on Sunday and was supposed to make stops in Curacao and Aruba, but local officials denied to cruise liner permission to dock due to the high number of cases. Royal Caribbean said the ship will remain at sea until it returns to Fort Lauderdale on December 26.

"The decision was made together with the islands out of an abundance of caution due to the current trend of COVID-19 cases in the destinations' communities as well as crew and guests testing positive on board — 55 crew members and guests, representing 1.1% of the onboard community," Royal Caribbean said in a statement. "The cruise sailed with 95% of the onboard community fully vaccinated."

The cruise line said there were about 5,000 passengers and crew on board. Everybody who has tested positive was fully vaccinated, and all the cases are mild or asymptomatic.

"We continue to monitor their health. Close contacts were also identified and placed in quarantine to be monitored for 24 hours prior to testing," their statement continued.

Last week, Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas returned to port in Miami after 48 people tested positive for COVID-19.

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