Jewel of the Seas Shuffles Infected Crew Members Between Ships to Avoid Being Blocked at Caribbean

By Hanan Redwan Published on December 28, 2021
Jewel of the Seas Shuffles Infected Crew Members Between Ships to Avoid Being Blocked at Caribbean

The Jewel of the Seas faced a dilemma yesterday. After starting the day with fifteen crew members and five guests testing positive for COVID-19, ten additional crewmembers later tested positive for the virus. This brought the number of infected crew members to a total of twenty-five. With five infected guests, the total number of infected people on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship increased to thirty, which is more than 1% of the ship’s population of 2,500 (consisting of 1,700 guests and 800 crew members).

Many Caribbean islands will not permit cruise ships to stop in their ports if more than 1% of the total ship population (passengers and crew) test positive for COVID-19.

Royal Caribbean faced the distinct prospect of being barred from making future ports of call. Therefore, the company plans to avoid that spectacle by transferring several infected crew members from the Jewel to the Rhapsody of the Seas, which was at anchor off of St.Marteen, where the Jewel called this morning.

This information has been provided by a knowledgeable crew member on the ship who wishes to remain anonymous and employed on the boat. Since last July, the crew member had provided accurate COVID-19 about this ship’s guests and crew members when the ship was sailing from Cyprus. The crew member explained that the crew transfer was done “to reduce the number of COVID positive persons on board to be able to continue cruising and stopping at the next port of call.”

This particular situation has not yet been reported in the national media. But several cruise ships have recently been denied permission to call at ports in the Caribbean.

As the Omicron variant soared and spread across the cruise ships in the last week, no less than six ports denied permission for cruise ships to dock. Bonaire, Curaçao, St. Thomas, Aruba, Puerto Vallarta, Cartagena & San Juan have all barred cruise ships from docking at their ports due to COVID-19 cheerful guests and passengers on ships operated by Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Holland America Line. Several news sources have commented on the steps taken by ports in the Caribbean and Mexico to protect their residents from U.S. based cruise ships with infected people aboard.

Hanan Redwan

Hanan Redwan

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