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A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about the Diamond Princess. The cruise ship was being quarantined in Yokohama Bay because a passenger who disembarked earlier in the cruise had developed the coronavirus. A lot has changed in these past few weeks!
Update on Diamond Princess Cruise Ship
The Diamond Princess remained under quarantine in the bay. The quarantine was due to expire tomorrow. However, the number of people on board with the coronavirus has soared to 542! This is the largest concentration of the virus outside of China. In total, there were 3711 passengers and crew members on board.
The U.S. government decided to remove the U.S. citizens who were on board and fly them back to the U.S. Of that group, 14 out of 328 tested positive for the coronavirus (so far). Sick passengers are being treated at the National Quarantine Center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. The other passengers are being quarantined at military bases in California and Texas.
MS Westerdam Issues
The Diamond Princess is not the only cruise ship having issues because of the coronavirus. Holland America’s MS Westerdam had a difficult time finding a port to accept the ship, even though it had no known cases of coronavirus.
The ship finally docked in Cambodia. But, shortly after docking, a passenger reported feeling ill. The 83-year-old passenger tested positive for the coronavirus.
Now, some passengers are off the cruise ship but are stuck in hotels in Cambodia awaiting test results. Other passengers are still on the ship. I would not be surprised if more passengers from the ship test positive for the coronavirus.
What Does This Mean for Cruise Ships That Depart from the U.S.?
While cruises departing from the U.S. are screening passengers for recent visits to China, for the most part it’s been business as usual. However, all of the recent news has got to be bad publicity for the cruise industry here.
Personally, I am glad that I am not cruising for spring break. I’ve been sick on a cruise ship a few times, and since then I take steps to reduce my chances of getting sick. I just wouldn’t want to worry about another possible illness on vacation. René from Renés Points says he’s not booking another cruise for the rest of this year. My family does have a cruise scheduled for next year’s spring break, so I am curious to see if the coronavirus comes back every year like the flu.
Disney Cruise Line has not yet released its itineraries for Summer 2021. The big rumor is that the itineraries will be announced at the end of this week and go on sale next week. I predict that the release will be delayed. I know I’m not the only one who doesn’t feel in the mood to book a cruise with all the unfortunate cruise ship news happening right now. We should know in a few days if my prediction is correct.
Has your opinion of cruising changed because of the recent news reports of sickness on cruise ships? Do you think cruise itineraries outside of Asia will suffer because of the bad publicity?
Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.