Precautions were taken. And still some 10% of guests aboard the first cruise to the Caribbean since March have tested positive for coronavirus, according to a reporter on the ship. SeaDream Yacht Club's SeaDream 1 set out for a seven-night cruise to St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada on Saturday only after all 53 guests tested negative twice. A passenger then tested positive on Wednesday, reports BuzzFeed. The ship subsequently docked in Barbados, its winter home base, where government health authorities began testing close contacts of the passenger. Travel reporter Gene Sloan, who is on board to cover the voyage for the Points Guy website, says the captain later announced five people within the passenger's party were positive. A sixth person was awaiting confirmation of diagnosis with results from a second test, expected Friday.
The cruise line said Thursday that the ship had docked after positive tests, without giving the number of cases. "Our main priority is the health and safety of our crew, guests, and the communities we visit," a rep said. All 66 crew members have tested negative and final results for all passengers are expected Friday. Everyone on board with the exception of essential crew has been in quarantine since Wednesday. Sloan says no passengers wore masks on the ship until they were ordered to do so on Monday. The cruise wasn't subject to US regulations as it didn't pass through US waters. Under new CDC guidance, cruise lines must launch "simulated voyages" with all necessary requirements in place before they're allowed to sail with paying customers, per CNN. Royal Caribbean says thousands of prospective volunteers have already reached out. (Read more cruise ships stories.)