COVID-19 until this week. Onboard medical staff noticed a higher-than-usual number of ship’s occupants coming down with flu-like over a week ago and, starting March 30, guests were asked to stay in their rooms.
coronavirus/index.html” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>CNN reported that the ship arrives with two dead and several others sick with the novel coronavirus. While it’s unclear exactly how many of Coral Princess’ 1,000-plus passengers and 878 crew will be cleared to disembark in Miami, Miami Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez told CNN that the most seriously ill will be transported off the ship first, bound for local hospitals. Two guests, in particular, who require immediate medical attention were to be taken to Miami’s Larkin Community Hospital, said the mayor.
Gimenez also explained that about fifteen coronavirus-positive passengers who don’t need immediate hospitalization will remain aboard to receive care in the ship’s medical ward until they are cleared the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
Reportedly, those passengers who are deemed fit to fly home will begin disembarking tomorrow, although the process, Princess Cruises said, “is expected to take several days, due to limited flight availability,” Mayor Gimenez disclosed that over 990 passengers and 840 crew members have thus far been deemed fit for travel.
The Coral Princess was about halfway through its itinerary when, on March 12, Princess Cruises announced that it would end underway voyages as soon as possible as worldwide concern grew regarding the spread of COVID-19. The cruise, which departed from Chile on March 5 and was scheduled to finish March 19 in Argentina, lasted more than two weeks longer than originally planned.
The vessel tried to disembark on March 19 in Buenos Aires as originally scheduled, as many passengers had air travel booked home from that point. When it did dock, the government would only allow Argentine passport holders and others who had confirmed same-day flights off the ship. The Argentine government warned that, if the Coral Princess did not cast off again that same night, it would be required to remain there indefinitely with no passengers disembarking.
The Coral Princess afterward appealed to authorities in Uruguay, where it was able to resupply, and in Brazil, but was denied disembarkation by both. Heading towards Florida, the ship picked up supplies once more in Barbados before finally finding safe harbor in Miami.
Comments & Discussion
Royal Caribbean Makes Additional Comment on Future of Buffets
The buffet—as much a staple on cruise ships as anything—will live on in a different form, at least on Royal Caribbean vessels.
A week after Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises, intimated that buffets would likely not exist when Royal Caribbean returns to the sea, CruiseRadio.net reports something of an evolution on that stance.
Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited, appeared on Coffee Chat, a weekly talk with travel advisors with host and Senior Vice President of Sales and Trade Support and Service Vicki Freed, and said buffets will change but not go away entirely.
“(Where) everybody reaches in and everybody touches the same tongs, you’re not going to see (that) on land or sea,” Fain said. “(But) it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a buffet. You might have it where all of that is served to you by other people. And there (are) other possibilities. But the point is that it will evolve.”
By way of example, Fain said to consider the Midnight Buffet.
“I don’t think anyone says, ‘Where’s the midnight buffet?’” he said. “You haven’t seen the midnight buffet for years and that was long before we had COVID-19. Tastes change and people change, and cruise lines change to accommodate.”
Fain told TravelWeekly, sister publication to TravelPulse.com, that cruisers will adapt, much as air travelers did in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
“If you remember after (that), all of a sudden you had to do a strip search at the airport. You couldn’t take a bottle of water on the plane,” he said. “A lot of people said, ‘Nobody’s ever going to fly. Who’s going to want to go on an airplane?’ Airplane travel didn’t end. In fact, it grew. But it evolved. So it isn’t the same when you go today. You do go through security checks, and you do go through identity checks and frankly, we’ve become accustomed to it and the technology has helped make it easier.”
Comments & Discussion
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