This week there was excitement surrounding the first sailing in the Caribbean since the global suspension during the Covid pandemic. Seadream, the operator of luxury yachts, made waves in the industry sailing from Barbados with a small group of guests and crew. The news turned quickly, however, with multiple guests testing positive for Covid. The cruise was cut short and returned to port in Barbados.
On the heels of this news, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) sent a letter to the CDC calling on the agency to reverse the decision to prepare for a return to cruising and instead reinstate the no-sail order for cruise ships.
Read the full letter (pdf opens in new tab/window)
The letter requests a response from the CDC by November 27; however, at this time, it is unclear if they are required to respond. It is important to note that currently, there is no change in the CDC’s most recent order, and there is no way to know whether this letter will impact the order, the plan to restart, or the timeline of the restart.
Right now, what I know about the situation is:
- There has been no change to the current CDC order, which outlines a plan for the safe return of cruising.
- In a message last week, Richard Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group, said, “Our objective hasn’t been to eliminate COVID. It has been to make the risk of COVID on a cruise ship less than it is in your hometown.”
- The SeaDream has been operating in Europe — without incident — for months.
- The people who tested positive this week were all traveling together, there have been no reports of additional positive tests.