After the fear of a possible Coronavirus infection, the Anthem of the Seas cruise ship is to delay departure out of Bayonne, New Jersey, until Monday but guests can board the ship today.
Coronavirus Fear Delays Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship
There is no end in sight as the deadly Coronavirus impacts the globe, including Anthem of the Seas in New Jersey. The Royal Caribbean cruise ship will not be departing the Cape Liberty Cruise Port until Monday, February 10, 2020, after passengers have been confirmed as Coronavirus-free from authorities.
When the large vessel returned to New Jersey to end its 11-day southern Caribbean cruise, four Chinese nationals disembarked the ship and were sick. Even though they did not have the symptoms for Coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) took them to a nearby hospital where they underwent tests to screen for the virus. Thankfully, it has been confirmed they tested negative and don’t have the virus.
Anthem of the Seas was originally scheduled to depart the port Friday afternoon but it was delayed twice, with an updated departure scheduled for Monday, February 10, 2020. Royal Caribbean wanted to keep the ship in port until the test results were conclusively known for peace of mind for thousands of guests for the following sailing.
More good news is that the cruise line has apparently worked hard through the night and guests can actually embark the vessel earlier than anticipated. Embarkation starts today, Sunday, from 3-7 p.m. and guests can enjoy their time onboard until the ship sets sail on Monday as planned.
Embarkations on Monday are also open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. With the itinerary much shorter than originally planned, the Quantum-class ship will sail to Bermuda rather than the Bahamas. Royal Caribbean stated “you may be wondering why our itinerary changed from a Bahamas cruise to a Bermuda cruise. With a Monday afternoon departure, we wouldn’t arrive into Nassau until around 3:00 PM and would need to depart later that evening to make our way back to Cape Liberty – not a great experience. Given that our goal is to provide you with the best vacation possible, we made the decision to sail to Bermuda, where you’ll have more than a day and a half in port to explore. Plus, the weather forecast is looking favorable in Bermuda during our visit.”
For those passengers who still want to enjoy their cruise vacation out of Cape Liberty the cruise line is offering compensation as follows:
- A 50% refund, which will be added to the Onboard Account as a refundable onboard credit.
- 50% future cruise credit.
- If purchased an internet or beverage package, unlimited dining package, or pre-paid gratuities, guests receive a prorated refund as a credit for the 3 days the cruise was shortened, which will be posted to the Onboard Account.
- Any pre-purchased Royal Caribbean International shore excursions for the impacted ports will also be refunded to the Onboard Account.
- Crown & Anchor Society members will receive loyalty points for the 8-night cruise purchased, not the shortened cruise.
Those who have changed their mind and do not want to take their cruise will receive a full refund. Royal Caribbean is making it easy for everyone who may make that decision, and just not showing up at the pier will let the cruise line know the refund should be made.
Coronavirus Coverage: Passenger Coronavirus Count on Cruise Ship Increases Again
Strict health measures related to the Coronavirus also remain in effect with any nationals from China, Hong Kong, or Macau denied boarding. This also is the same for anyone who has been in close contact with those nationals or traveled to those areas.
The Coronavirus, which started from Wuhan, located in Hubei province, China, has already infected more than 37,000 and killed 813, and at this time the epidemic continues to spread. Many cruise lines are taking precautions with passenger health screenings, port changes, and other adjustments to ensure the safety of their passengers and crew members.