Passengers, Crew On Carnival Freedom Test Positive For COVID, Third South Florida Cruise Ship Outbreak This Month


For a third time in less than a month, there’s been a COVID-19 outbreak on a cruise ship that departed from either Miami or Fort Lauderdale.

According to a statement from Carnival Cruise Line, a number of passengers and crew on the Carnival Freedom have tested positive for the coronavirus.

“Carnival Freedom is following all protocols and has a small number on board who are in isolation due to a positive COVID test. Our protocols anticipate this possibility and we implement them as necessary to protect the health and safety of our guests and crew. This is a vaccinated cruise and all guests were also tested before embarkation,” Carnival said in a statement.

Carnival did not say how many passengers and crew members tested positive or were in quarantine.

The ship, which departed from Miami last Saturday, was denied entry to Bonaire and Aruba due to the COVID cases. Carnival said the ship was allowed entry to Amber Cove, Dominican Republic on Friday.

“We are working closely with the CDC and local health authorities in all ports and destinations that we visit. The rapid spread of the Omicron Variant may shape how some destination authorities view even a small number of cases, even when they are being managed with our vigorous protocols. Some destinations have limited medical resources and are focused on managing their own local response to the variant. Should it be necessary to cancel a port, we will do our best to find an alternative destination,” Carnival said in the statement.

The ship will return as planned to Miami on Sunday, December 26th.

Royal Caribbean also experienced two recent outbreaks.

Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas ship was been denied entry to ports after confirmed COVID-19 cases on board.

According to the cruise line, the ship was not allowed to enter Curacao and Aruba after 55 fully-vaccinated crew members and passengers contracted COVID.

The ship will return to Port Everglades on Sunday.

Royal Caribbean says everyone who tested positive is fully vaccinated and experiencing mild symptoms or is asymptomatic.

A number of guests and crew members on the Symphony of the Seas also came down with COVID.

According to Royal Caribbean, 48 people out of 6,091 on the ship during the Dec. 11 sailing came back positive for the coronavirus after contact tracing.

Six guests were disembarked earlier in the cruise and were transported home.

Four of the 48 were close contacts who tested positive at the end of the voyage.

Royal Caribbean noted that 98% of those that tested positive were fully vaccinated.

If you plan on going on a cruise, keep a few things in mind.

To board a ship, you must provide a negative COVID-19 test. And most of the cruise lines require adult and teenage passengers to show proof of full vaccination.

Also, depending on which cruise line you are sailing, masks indoors may be required.