With over a dozen cruises under my belt, it was only a matter of time before my luck ran out. On our Southern Caribbean cruise last week on Voyager of the Seas, my sister (who was my cabin mate) was put under a mandatory quarantine! My family and I have never been quarantined on a cruise ship until now. Here is how it went down:
Timeline of Events
My sister and I landed in Puerto Rico three days before our cruise embarkation. We both felt well the entire time and filled out the online pre-cruise health questionnaire honestly.
We boarded the cruise on Sunday. On Monday morning, my sister started to feel sick.
She had a ship excursion reserved for that morning in St. Thomas. So, she informed the Shore Excursion group of her situation. They instructed her to stay in our cabin and await a phone call from the ship’s medical facility.
Not too long after, the medical facility called our cabin and asked for her to come down to Deck 1 for an evaluation. She did not have a fever, and she tested negative for Covid. So, that was good.
The team instructed her to quarantine in our cabin for the next 24 hours, and they would check in on her later.
Fortunately, my sister started feeling better quickly. As she had no symptoms later that day, she was released from quarantine the next morning. Unfortunately, she had already missed her early morning excursion for the following day. But, she was still able to leave the ship and explore the port on her own.
I was not required to be evaluated or quarantined since I didn’t have any symptoms. I did hang out with my sister in the room to watch a few movies after my excursion. (A Man Called Otto and 5000 Blankets are really good movies BTW!)
“Benefits” of Being Quarantined on a Cruise Ship
Of course, it’s a major bummer to be sick and quarantined on vacation. But, we’re happy with how Royal Caribbean responded.
Our bed sheets were changed every day, and our room attendant cleaned our room last on his rounds so as not to spread germs to other cabins.
My sister received a refund for the two ship excursions that she missed. She also received a refund for her soda package.
Guest Services gave my sister free room service during her quarantine period (normally, it’s a $7.95 charge). They also gave her three free on-demand movie rentals.
She was not charged for her visit to the medical facility. At the end of the cruise, my sister received a letter that said Royal Caribbean is giving her a future cruise credit equal to the amount of the pro-rated cost of one day of the cruise.
Thank goodness we were staying in a larger cabin with a balcony and not a small inside cabin. I can’t imagine anyone being happy spending 24 consecutive hours in an inside cabin.. I’ll post more details on our cabin in a future post.
Cruise lines take sickness very seriously due to potential Covid or norovirus outbreaks. We are lucky that my sister’s illness was short-lived and that she didn’t give it to me. 😬
Of course, if she hadn’t reported her symptoms to anyone, she would not have had to quarantine. But then she also would not have received a refund for her two excursions.
Two of my future cruises this year on in inside cabins. I normally don’t book inside cabins anymore due to the possibility of quarantining. But, these two specific cruises were free because of status matching. I’m seriously contemplating paying a bit extra to upgrade to a balcony cabin.
Have you or a family member been quarantined on a cruise ship? How was your experience?
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.