Cruise Bruise News Wednesday Wow – March 3, 2020
MSC Meraviglia Returns To Port After Security Pepper-Sprays Passengers (see video below)
A brawl erupted on MSC Meraviglia which had been denied permission to dock in several Caribbean ports this week over fears of coronavirus. Passengers on MSC Meraviglia say an unruly traveler was pepper-sprayed. It happened during a heated moment when hundreds had cabin fever on what was meant to be 7 days of relaxation in the Caribbean.
The cruise ship, with roughly 6,000 people, arrived at PortMiami Sunday. The cruise line’s executive vice president, Ken Muskat, says there was a health scare. “There was no concern. No relation to coronavirus at all. But unfortunately, Jamaica decided to take it upon themselves to not allow us to disembark,” Muskat said.
Muskat says a crewmember had flu-like symptoms. They alerted Jamaican leaders and the island did not allow travelers on land. Next, Muskat says Grand Cayman turned them away before arrival.
Port of Seattle Begins New Protocols
The Port of Seattle announced changes this week to maintain the safety, health, and well-being of passengers and employees using Port facilities, including Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
The new protocols build on steps the Port began taking one month ago when public health officials first announced that a Washington resident was ill with the new novel coronavirus. The protocols support other actions being taken by maritime and airline partners and federal agencies.
“The Port, along with our aviation, maritime operators, and federal agencies are working together for the safety of our passengers and employees,” said Port of Seattle Commission President Peter Steinbrueck. “Our port’s transportation facilities play a critical role in the local economy, millions of people and their personal lives
The Port of Seattle is working to build the most equitable, sustainable, and successful maritime industries in the world and a world-class airport that meets the region’s growing demands. The largest capital development and investment plans in a generation are underway right now, aimed at maintaining efficient and sustainable facilities and ensuring that the region’s infrastructure helps local industries compete globally.
These investments provide critical trade and logistics services, generate revenue and jobs across the region, and benefit the community and environmental health. The Port focuses on the industries where our region’s natural competitive advantages align to global growth opportunities, including maritime cargo, commercial fishing, cruise, and recreational boating, and maritime industrial and manufacturing.
Coronavirus Leaves Cruise Industry With Canceled Trips
According to the Wall Street Journal, travelers are backing out of planned cruises over fears of the spread of coronavirus, dealing a punishing blow to the industry at a time of year when ships typically start to fill up. Two big cruise operators said ships in the Mediterranean are now about 60% full, down from about 75% at this time last year.
The Asian cruise market has dried up, with the big three operators—Carnival, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. —expected to lose more than $550 million this year in the region, according to industry executives. A small Japanese cruise operator, Luminous Cruise, filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, citing cancellations stemming from the virus.
Carnival Freedom Canceled Caribbean Port Calls
The Carnival cruise ship Freedom was bound for Jamaica and Grand Cayman. On Tuesday, the company confirmed it was diverting course to the Key West Naval Yard in Florida. In a statement by Carnival, it elected to make the change this week given uncertainty over policies with the countries involved:
We are implementing some itinerary changes on voyages scheduled to call on Grand Cayman and Jamaica this week. A number of Caribbean destinations continue to work through their policies with regards to cruise ship visits. And while we are following all U.S. CDC and World Health Organization screening protocols and guidelines, we want to avoid any possibility of a visit to a destination where there is uncertainty or we risk being turned away.
To be clear, there is no health situation on board to trigger this concern, but we are making this change to avoid even the possibility of disruption. We understand some guests will be disappointed and trust they will understand that this decision is being made to protect their vacation and maximize their experience with us.
Holland America Line’s Westerdam Heads To Alaska Early
Westerdam will depart the Philippines shortly and arrive in Juneau on or around March 22. Holland America Line canceled the remainder of its sailings in Asia last month, citing concern over ports turning away cruise ships due to the spread of novel coronavirus.
One passenger from the Westerdam tested positive for the virus but has since been cleared. All passengers have now left the ship, and the crew has tested negative.
Juneau City Manager Rorie Watt said One passenger from the Westerdam tested positive for the virus but has since been cleared. All passengers have now left the ship, and the crew has tested negative. Juneau does not have any reported cases of coronavirus. Watt said he is not concerned about the ship’s arrival in Juneau.
“By the time it arrives in Juneau, the crew essentially will have been quarantined on the ship, with no entry or exit of other people for the better part of a month,” Watt said.
Royal Caribbean Screening For Flu, Coronavirus
Royal Caribbean is implementing several new screening measures worldwide, including at the Port of Baltimore, as the coronavirus spreads to protect guests and crew.
Over the weekend, 82 people were sickened on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship out of Baltimore due to a flu outbreak. And with over 90,000 cases of coronavirus worldwide and more than 100 in the U.S., Royal Caribbean will be screening for both.
Using guidelines from the CDC and WHO, the temporary precautions will be in place for 30 days.
Regardless of nationality, Royal Caribbean will deny entry to:
- Any guest who has traveled from, to or through mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Iran, South Korea, and the Italian regions of Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy and Veneto in the past 15 days.
- Any guest who has come in contact with anyone with 15-day prior travel to mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Iran, South Korea, and the Italian regions of Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy and Veneto. The CDC characterizes contact with an individual as coming within six feet (2M) of a person.
- Guests who report feeling unwell or demonstrate any flu-like symptoms.
There will be mandatory screenings for anyone who:
- Any guest who has traveled from, to or through Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and Italy (all regions other than Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy and Veneto) in the past 15 days.
- Guests who are uncertain about contact with individuals who have traveled from, to or through mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Iran, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and Italy in the past 15 days.
Any guest presenting with a fever or low blood oximetry will be denied boarding. If you’re denied boarding due to these restrictions, you’ll receive a full refund.
Cruise Lines Relax Cancellation Policies
While passengers booked on canceled or rerouted cruises that were to call in Asian ports have been offered full refunds or credits, most cruise line policies on cancellations and payment timelines for cruises outside of Asia remain unchanged. However, some lines are starting to temporarily modify their cancellation policies on cruises outside of Asia.
The first to do so was Norwegian Cruise Line, which said in a statement: “We understand that your clients may be hesitant to plan or confirm their vacation.” Final payment for Norwegian’s June and July voyages are now not due until 90 days prior to sailing, rather than the usual 120 days. Up until 60 days prior to sailing, rather than the usual 120 days, Norwegian is allowing passengers to transfer a reservation to any other cruise of equal or greater value that departs on or before June 30, 2020.
MSC Cruises has modified its cancellation policy to allow any passenger who is booked on a Mediterranean cruise in March and April 2020 to postpone their cruise or switch to a different one operating in another region and sailing within the next year.
Viking Cruises is making a temporary exception to its cancellation policy so that passengers can postpone their cruise at any time up until 24 hours before the planned departure, without incurring any charges.
MS Amadea Port Call Monterey, California Amid Fears
The city of Monterey reports Amadea Shipping Company MS Amadea cruise ship was scheduled to come to port Tuesday followed all of the federal government’s guidelines in relation to coronavirus. Currently, there are no federal travel restrictions on cruise ships but the crew is required to scan all passengers for the virus before they board.
City manager Hans Uslar said he is aware of the public’s concern over the disease. “You have this risk right now I believe in any type and form of travel, we have daily hundreds of people arriving at the Monterey Airport, we have people arriving by the thousands in our city daily, so that risk probably exists everywhere right now,” said Uslar.
The city has been in contact with the ship’s master and no cases of coronavirus have been reported as of Monday afternoon.
Six hundred passengers boarded the Amadea in San Francisco on Monday. From the port of San Francisco, the ship will head to Monterey as part of a 26-day cruise through the Panama Canal to Miami. Prior to porting in San Francisco, the ship was in San Diego. It’s been in U.S. Territorial Waters for 10 days after cruising around South and Central America.
Dream Cruises World Dream Quarantine
On February 5, 2020, all 3,800 Dream Cruise ship World Dream passengers and crew were put under quarantine on board the ship at Hong Kong’s Kai Tak Cruise Terminal after Taiwan blocked its port of call in Kaohsiung. The quarantine was lifted on February 9, 2020, after all 1,800 crew members tested negative for the virus.
The majority of the passengers were not tested as they had had no contact with the infected Chinese passengers who had been on the ship January 19 to 24.
Second Engineer Dies Aboard Regal Princess Mexico
Second Engineer Officer Davide Pignataro Regal Princess Crew Death – On February 28, 2020, Princess Cruises’ Regal Princess Second Engineer Officer, Davide Pignataro, 29, from Castellammare, Itay, was found dead in his cabin aboard the cruise ship while the cruise ship was docked in Cozumel, Mexico. Read more on Cruise Ship Deaths.
Carnival Dream Crew Mexico Illness Death
On Thursday, February 6, 2020, Leonardus (Leo) Patra, was from Ruteng, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Indonesia, but, lived in Houston, Texas, worked as crew aboard Carnival Cruise Lines’ ship Carnival Dream, passed away in Quintanaroo, Mexico. Read more on Cruise Ship Deaths.
Video: MSC Cruise Ship Returns To PortMiami After Security Staff Pepper-Sprays Unruly Guests