Some passengers could be allowed to leave quarantined cruise ship soon

Nov 13, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Many of the passengers who have been quarantined on a SeaDream Yacht Club vessel in the Caribbean this week due to a COVID outbreak will be allowed to get off the ship on Saturday, the vessel’s captain announced early Friday.

In a shipwide address over the intercom system, SeaDream 1 captain Torbjorn Lund said authorities in Barbados, where the ship currently is docked, had cleared passengers who had repeatedly tested negative for COVID-19 over the past few days to depart the vessel on Saturday for flights back to their home countries.

In a follow-up announcement not long after, Lund suggested that a few passengers who had tested negative might even leave the vessel on Friday.

For more cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG’s new cruise newsletter.

The announcement came in the wake of a second round of testing that showed that all but seven passengers on board were negative for COVID-19.

The seven passengers who have tested positive for COVID-19 will remain under quarantine in Barbados. In his second announcement on Friday, Lund suggested that all the passengers who have tested positive had been or soon would be removed from the ship, presumably to a land-based facility.

Five of the seven passengers who have tested positive are part of a family that was traveling together as a group and staying in the same cabins. The other two passengers who have tested positive are a husband-and-wife couple staying in the same cabin.

Related: What it’s like on the first cruise vessel to restart Caribbean trips

SeaDream Yacht Club’s SeaDream 1 anchored in the Grenadines on Monday. (Photo by Gene Sloan/The Points Guy)

All but one of the seven cases were discovered in an initial round of testing. The only additional case to be discovered during the second round of testing was part of the couple. The husband tested positive during the first round of testing, and his wife tested positive during the second round of testing. This was not unexpected as they were sharing the same cabin.   

SeaDream 1 arrived in Barbados around 10:45 p.m. local time on Wednesday after cutting short a seven-night voyage to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada, due to what at the time was a single positive COVID test. Health authorities from Barbados boarded it shortly thereafter.

Barbados is the vessel’s home base for the winter season.

There are 53 passengers on the vessel, which is a small, yacht-like ship that normally sails with 112 passengers. There are 66 crew on board.

Related: What safety protocols were like at boarding

All passengers and nonessential crew have been quarantined in their cabins since the first COVID case was discovered early Wednesday.

The list of passengers on SeaDream 1, which just resumed Caribbean sailings on Saturday out of Barbados, includes me. I’ve been on board since Saturday covering this week’s voyage — a watershed moment for the cruise industry.

The sailing was the first by any cruise line in the Caribbean since the coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic in March. The Caribbean is the world’s biggest cruise destination, accounting for at least a third of all cruises taken in a normal year, and the cruise industry has been eyeing a restart in the region for many months.

I was traveling on the ship as a guest of the cruise line.

Featured image by Gene Sloan/The Points Guy

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.