(CNN) – At least four cruise ships were rejected from ports of call or banned from letting passengers ashore in America this week due to Covid-19 cases on board.
The latest interruptions on cruise ships include:
A “small number of fully vaccinated crews” tested positive and all showed either mild or no symptoms, Holland America Line told CNN.
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Jalisco’s health authorities were originally supposed to allow people who tested negative to go ashore. However, they changed their minds, citing an “exponential growth of confirmed cases in the crew” by Thursday, the department said. Only one crew member had tested positive less than a week earlier, the department said.
The ship, which left San Diego on December 19 with more than 1,000 passengers and more than 870 crew members, visited Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlán before arriving in Puerto Vallarta. It was to return to San Diego as planned Sunday.
Holland America Line, like the other cruise companies in this story, requires that passengers and crew be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, with some exceptions for children.
However, the company filed a compensation freeze on Friday in the Dominican Republic.
The ship returned to Miami as planned on Sunday, the cruise line said.
Passenger Jim Storupski told CNN-affiliated WPLG that his experience on board was positive, adding that the company was “very accommodating”. His wife, Connie, praised the company for their Covid-19 security protocols, saying they were “doing well.” The couple said they plan to sail with the company again in two weeks.
The Royal Caribbean Odyssey of The Seas.
Joe Raedle / Getty Images
Curacao health authorities decided that the percentage of people on board who tested positive was too high for the nation to allow the ship to dock, the Curacao Chronicle reported.
The ship will return to Florida’s Fort Lauderdale as scheduled for Sunday.
According to Royal Caribbean, the ship can accommodate up to 5,550 guests plus 1,600 crew members. It was not clear if the ship was fully occupied.
The Seven Seas Mariner.
Manfred Segerer / ullstein bild / Getty Images
The disturbances so far have affected a small fraction of the cruise ships operating
Positive Covid-19 tests aboard cruise ships are not unique to this month – they have occurred a second time since the cruise resumed departures from US shores this summer.
In August, for example, 27 people tested positive aboard a Carnival cruise ship before calling at a port in Belize City.
Now the proliferation of the Omicron variant can “shape how some destination authorities view even a small number of cases, even when handled with our powerful protocols,” Carnival spokeswoman AnneMarie Mathews told CNN Friday in a prepared statement.
“Some destinations have limited medical resources and are focused on managing their own local response to the variant,” Mathews added.
“Should it be necessary to cancel a port, we will do our best to find an alternative destination,” said Mathews.
Health and safety protocols
The companies recommend booster shots for their passengers. Holland America Line says crew members receive boosters as soon as they qualify.
Cruise companies generally require passengers to test negative for Covid-19 before starting their journey, and require frequent testing of their crews.
Passengers who test positive during the journey are generally required to isolate themselves
CNN’s Francesca Street, Melissa Alonso, Aya Elamroussi, Carma Hassan, Hira Humayun, Stefano Pozzebon, Valentina DiDonato and Sharif Paget contributed to this report.