PortandTerminal.com, February 28, 2020
It is now much safer to assume the worst and kick any suspected cruise ship problem down the road to the next port. No one wants a quarantined cruise ship like the Carnival Diamond Princess sitting off its coast for weeks and all of the mess that that entails.
HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA – Another cruise ship today was turned away by a port over worries that passengers on board had symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19).
In this most recent incident, it was a British cruise ship that was turned away by the Dominican Republic after passengers suffered flu-like symptoms.
“It is our opinion that this is an overreaction by the Dominican Republic,″ Fred Olsen, the ship’s owner said in a written statement.
Dominican officials said they blocked the Braemar from the Romana cruise port — where the cruise had been scheduled to end — after its captain reported four Filipinos, two British citizens and two U.S. citizens under medical observation for symptoms such as fever, coughing, or breathing difficulty.
It was one of at least three ships barred from a Caribbean port this week.
Maybe the Dominican Republic was right to block the cruise ship. Maybe they weren’t. And that’s the point now. It is now much safer to assume the worst and kick any suspected cruise ship problem down the road to the next port. No one wants a quarantined cruise ship like the Carnival Diamond Princess sitting off its coast and all of the mess that that entails.
Yesterday we reported on yet another ship, an MSC cruise ship this time, that had been turned away by two ports over similar fears – passengers on board showing signs of having contracted coronavirus. The ship’s passengers were eventually allowed to disembark after those concerns proved to be false.
And let’s not forget about the Holland America cruise ship, the Westerdam, that was turned away by 5 ports over fears that passengers on board had coronavirus.
“All guests on board are healthy and despite erroneous reports, there are no known or suspected cases of coronavirus on board, nor have there ever been.“
Holland America statement
Holland America swore up and down all along that no one on board was infected. But they were wrong. Cambodia finally agreed to let Westerdam’s passengers disembark and of course, one passenger was found to be infected with coronavirus as the rest scattered to the wind. Except for those who couldn’t.
Airlines and countries which they were due to connect through wanted nothing to do with them. “We’re on a tarmac in Pakistan. Help.” texted two elderly passengers to their daughter in the U.S. after Pakistan refused them entry to catch connecting flights.
We get it. You paid for your tickets and you want to have fun.
So cruise industry and cruise passengers, forgive us if we’re a bit on edge. And let us address the elephant in the room. When can we all agree that you probably shouldn’t be getting on a cruise ship right about now?
But for many of you, it’s full steam ahead.
Reuters interviewed recently interviewed scores of cruise passengers who were boarding their ship in Long Beach and asked them as politely as they could, something along the lines of “What the hell are you doing getting on a cruise ship? Do you not read the news?”
“What we’re planning on doing is washing our hands often, trying not to touch things and then touch our mouths, and just being aware of how we come into contact with people – the smart stuff,” the 55-year-old asset manager from Orange, California, said cheerfully. “We’re focusing on enjoying ourselves.”
God help us all. But do not expect any sympathy from us when your endless buffet, free drinks, waterslides and deck parties turn into a 2-week quarantine.
It’s now all on you.
Other articles you may find interesting
Copyright © 2019 PortandTerminal.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.