Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas was denied her scheduled call at St. Lucia on December 16, 2021 and instead had a day at sea due to some confirmed COVID-19 cases on board. The ship has continued with her voyage as normal.
Explorer of the Seas Denied at St. Lucia
There is no doubt that cruise ships are operating with COVID cases on board in these new times, including the Explorer of the Seas cruise ship. The vessel was denied a scheduled call at St. Lucia on December 16 and the vessel had a day at sea instead.
According to guests onboard the sailing, the captain confirmed over the PA system that some crew members had tested positive for COVID-19 and were immediately put into isolation. Royal Caribbean has swiftly dealt with the positive crew members and protocols have stopped any spread.
With the new reality that the cruise industry is now in, there is no surprise that there are cases on board, but the cruise line protocols are working to make sure all other passengers and crew are well protected.
It seems St. Lucia is more worried about the cases on Explorer of the Seas and refused the ship’s entry as a precaution and to protect its citizens. Authorities in St. Lucia have announced that it will increase surveillance at its ports due to the Omicron variant. So far, no other cruise ships have been denied entry.
Royal Caribbean can safely operate as usual despite cases on board. Even the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is tracking multiple ships with cases and no port of call issues.
There are currently eleven Royal Caribbean cruise ships with a “yellow status.” This status means the CDC is investigating the ship, or an investigation has been completed, and the vessel is still under observation. There are also three ships in the fleet that are in “orange status,” meaning that there are not yet enough cases on board to warrant a CDC investigation.
Explorer of the Seas continued with her seven-day voyage, which started on December 12 from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Following the cancelled visit to St. Lucia, the Royal Caribbean vessel is also calling at Barbados and St. Kitts. The ship will return home on December 19, 2021.
This news comes as Royal Caribbean has tightened its mask policy, with guests now required to wear masks indoors, including in vaccinated areas. It comes due to the growing Omicron variant and increased cases of COVID-19 worldwide.