First cruise ship to resume on Caribbean has COVID outbreak

Sondre Skjelvik via REUTERS

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Five people aboard the ship have tested positive for the coronavirus thus far, according to CNN's Ana Cabrera. One passenger has been taken to hospital and 4 others are only showing mild symptoms.

The order, which applies to cruise ships in United States territorial waters that have capacity to carry at least 250 passengers, is considered a tentative step toward the resumption of cruising.

A passenger aboard SeaDream Yacht Club's SeaDream 1 received a preliminary positive COVID-19 test. He also said the ship would end its current trip and arrive in Barbados around 10 p.m.

It departed from Barbados on Saturday with 53 passengers and 66 crew members on board. Evacuation producers must also be tested, isolating anyone who tested positive for COVID and quarantining others on board.

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SeaDream 1 before it left port in Barbados last week. "Our main priority is the health and safety of our crew, guests, and the communities we visit".

The trip was the first time SeaDream had resumed its West Indies voyage since the start of the pandemic, which has killed nearly 240,000 Americans.

The health scare comes amid what Sloan described as a "watershed moment" for the cruise industry which had been forced to suspend operations due to the outbreaks.

The SeaDream had relaunched with extensive testing requirements.

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Bryant said passengers were required to have a negative PCR test to enter Barbados and underwent another test on the dock administered by the ship's doctor. SeaDream says it operated successfully earlier this year in Norway, completing 21 voyages during the summer season as the first luxury line to resume sailing.

'The ship's medical staff has tested all crew members and all tests have come back negative.

"All guests were tested twice prior to embarkation and we are in the process of re-testing guests." said SeaDream's executive vice president Andreas Brynestad in a statement. We know the cruise lines want to operate, and many cruise customers are eager to get back to cruising.

Travel writers and influencers onboard to cover the SeaDream I's return to the Caribbean were tweeting Wednesday about one positive case and said they were quarantining in their cabins.

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"The first few days of the trip were pretty normal", Sloan said. "There were changes on the ship, like social distancing and discouraging passengers from mixing with one another, but overall everything was always sanitized and people were taking it seriously". Passengers were instructed to return to their cabins and remain isolated there. "In fact, we had hundreds this weekend email us about volunteering to help the industry on test sailings", Sloan said. They were reportedly being tested four days into the cruise. At TPG, we are constantly hearing from readers who are eager to cruise again. It was not a ship with United States sailings in its near future.

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