After nine long months without cruising in the Caribbean, the first cruise back has officially been suspended due to a positive COVID-19 test. The luxury, yacht cruise ship SeaDream 1 commenced its first Caribbean cruise departing Barbados this past weekend.
The cruise was the first to return to the Caribbean since the pandemic shut operations down in March and was meant to demonstrate that increased safety protocols could allow cruises to take place again.
The ship’s captain announced that they had a preliminary positive test among one of the 53 passengers aboard the cruise at midday yesterday. After the results, all passengers were asked to return to their suites while the ship launched onboard testing for all of the crew and passengers.
As of last evening, the ship completed the tests with Abbott quick test equipment onboard. It was reported that everyone was testing negative.
Prior to the cruise, SeaDream Yacht Club required all passengers to test negative before boarding flights to Barbados and undergo a second test prior to boarding the ship. They were scheduled for a third test today midway through the cruise.
Operators of the cruise ship longed to create a COVID bubble for passengers under their strict set of health protocols. The crew is also being regularly tested.
Onboard the ship, passengers are being asked to maintain social distancing whenever possible. While passengers had not been asked to wear face coverings at the beginning of the cruise, they are now being asked to wear a mask.
The cruise line had agreed with the destinations in the Caribbean that passengers would remain separated from the population to reduce the risk of any exposure to COVID-19.
The ship was met by local health officials who conducted another round of testing for the passengers and crew. Passengers who have tested negative for the virus were able to leave the ship and travel home.