During the last six months, cruise executives have continuously said that COVID-19 cases onboard cruise ships cannot be avoided. At this time and according to the latest update, there are 17 cases on Norwegian Breakaway out of a total of 3,200 passengers and crew. Should you be worried about stepping on board a cruise ship?
0.54% of Passengers Infected on Norwegian Breakaway
The mass media is exceedingly capable of making the cruise industry look as if it is a breeding ground for COVID infections. However, as anyone with only the slightest information knows, cruise ships are currently one of the safest vacation options worldwide. Mass testing before cruises, fully vaccinated passengers, the measures are incredible.
17 COVID-19 cases have been identified onboard the Norwegian Cruise Line cruise ship that disembarked passengers in New Orleans today, December 6. This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases among passengers and crew members to only 0.54%.
As a comparison, cruise ships are only required to report any gastrointestinal cases (such as NoroVirus) onboard to the CDC if the number hits 3% of the total passengers and crew.
Besides the relatively low number of cases onboard, all Norwegian Breakaway guests have been fully vaccinated. Guests are all tested before the cruise starts, and while some cases will always escape detection, you can rest assured that the cruise line will do everything it can to keep you safe. The cruise line found the small outbreak onboard and responded promptly by testing everyone onboard:
“We are testing all individuals on Norwegian Breakaway prior to disembarkation, as well as providing post-exposure and quarantine public health guidance by the (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention),” the company’s statement said. “Any guests who have tested positive for COVID-19 will travel by personal vehicle to their personal residence or self-isolate in accommodations provided by the company.”
So far, the CDC has put the color code for the NCL cruise ship to a code yellow, which means the CDC is monitoring the situation.
The CDC requires ships to report Covid-19 cases onboard when 0.10% or more of passengers have been confirmed positive; at this point, the vessel’s level is raised to yellow. In the case of Norwegian Breakaway, this number is reached at three persons.
Why are Norwegian Breakaway’s Cases Reported so Heavily?
The numbers are begging the question of why the Norwegian Breakaway seems to be the vessel which the mass media is picking upon. And the answer to that is reasonably straightforward. It’s because it is one of the few cruise lines that have been open about the cases onboard, while the Louisiana Governor has also made the numbers public knowledge.
On the other hand, according to CDC data, one cruise ship reported 58 positive cases between July 24 and August 28, another reported 105 confirmed cases on four back-to-back trips between August 19 and September 7, and one reported 112 cases on four voyages between August 21 and September 7.
The fact is that neither the CDC nor any of the cruise lines ever felt the need to share info about which ships were affected. Seeing as no ships have been taken out of service, the CDC believes that all cruise ships have operated safely so far and continue to do so.
Twenty-three cruise ships are operating in the United States which have the same color status as Norwegian Breakaway. Not one cruise ship has reached the threshold for a Code Red since cruise ships started operating again in June of this year.
Since the start of operations this year, millions of passengers have enjoyed a safe and enjoyable cruise. In that time, 1,350 passengers have been reported as positive. Clearly, the cruise line’s health and safety protocols work. So for those who are thinking about a cruise, you are about to embark on one of the safest vacation options available, despite what some news outlets would have you believe.