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Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Returns to Port Due to Mechanical Issue



A Royal Caribbean cruise ship has been forced to return to port. And, no, it has nothing to do with Hurricane Dorian.

This time, mechanical issues were the culprit as the Grandeur of the Seas returned to the port in Baltimore on Saturday.

The unidentified issues did force Royal Caribbean to drop off all passengers onboard.

The Grandeur of the Seas holds 2,446 passengers. It has 11 decks, was built in 1996 and refurbished in 2012. It departed on Saturday but hours later could again be seen docked in Baltimore’s Port Covington.

“The Grandeur of the Seas has experienced a technical issue with its propulsion system and was forced to discontinue the sailing and return to Baltimore for necessary repairs,” Royal Caribbean spokeswoman Melissa Charbonneau told The Baltimore Sun in a statement. “We understand this is an unfortunate inconvenience for our guests and sincerely apologize for the interruption in their travel plans.”

She provided no further information to the Sun on Saturday, but this morning Cruise Hive reported that the Grandeur of the Seas suffered an engine issue and the entire five-day sailing has been canceled.

In a letter to passengers, Royal Caribbean apologized to guests and not only refunded the entire cruise fare as well as any pre-paid excursions, but gave each passenger a free future cruise.

The debarkation process was set to start at 6 p.m. on Sunday evening. Royal Caribbean also provided free phone calls and internet access so passengers could make travel arrangements.

It is unknown if the repair issues will be done in time for the grandeur of the Seas’ next sailing, a nine-day cruise to Canada and New England beginning on September 5.

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Cruise Ship Denied by Two Caribbean Ports Amid Coronavirus Outbreak



An MSC Cruises ship was turned away from at least two ports in the Caribbean on Tuesday after a crew member fell ill amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

According to The New York Times, MSC Meraviglia was denied from docking in both Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Georgetown, Cayman Islands after port authorities learned that a crew member from the Philippines was ill. However, the Associated Press reported that the employee was believed to be sick with the common seasonal flu.

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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

“In an abundance of caution, in order to provide protection to the health and safety of the residents of the Cayman Islands, the government has denied permission for the cruise ship to call on Grand Cayman as previously scheduled,” Dwayne Seymour, health minister of the Cayman Islands, said in a statement.

The cruise line expressed frustration over the repeated denial, claiming that the ill crew member and all passengers on the ship had passed a health screening prior to embarking.

“The crew member had traveled to Miami from Manila, via direct connection in Istanbul,” MSC Cruises said in a statement to the Times. “He developed symptoms of common flu and tested positive to Type A influenza after he visited the ship’s 24/7 Medical Center while already on board. He has no other symptoms.”

The ship, which is carrying more than 4,500 passengers and 1,600 crew members, is in the midst of a 15-day roundtrip sailing from Miami that had included scheduled stops in Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Mexico, Bahamas, Belize and Honduras.

MSC Meraviglia isn’t the first ship to be turned away from port amid fears of the spreading coronavirus and likely won’t be the last. Tuesday’s unexpected hiccup comes just one week after MSC Cruises updated MSC Bellissima’s Grand Voyage itinerary to Asia.

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