Passengers isolated over coronavirus fears as cruise ship docked near New York
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.
Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information. It originally published Feb. 7.
One of the world’s biggest cruise ships, Royal Caribbean‘s Anthem of the Seas, arrived at a New York City-area port early Friday with about a dozen passengers in isolation over fears of the new coronavirus from China, according to New York’s WABC-TV.
The news outlet said some of the passengers, all Chinese nationals, had displayed flu-like symptoms in recent days.
New Jersey officials later said 27 passengers on Anthem of the Seas were screened for coronavirus after the ship’s arrival, and four were taken to a nearby hospital.
The 16-deck-high vessel, which is docked in Bayonne, New Jersey, had just returned from an 11-night voyage to the Caribbean that began on Jan. 27.
In a late morning statement, Royal Caribbean said none of the four passengers taken to the hospital showed any clinical signs or symptoms of coronavirus while they were onboard the ship. But, in what the line called “an abundance of caution,” the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now will test the four passengers for coronavirus.
“One had tested positive onboard for Influenza A,” the line said in the statement. “Our records indicate the guests had not been in China since Jan. 26 — 14 days ago.”
Local officials allowed the rest of the passengers on Anthem of the Seas to leave the vessel. The ship can hold up to 4,905 passengers and sails with a crew of 1,500.
In a tweet around 9 a.m., Bayonne mayor Jimmy Davis suggested health officials weren’t overly concerned about the situation.
“I was advised [the CDC] considers this “Below Low Risk” situation,” Davis said in the tweet. “All other passengers released [with] no action needed.”
Anthem of the Seas had been scheduled to depart Friday afternoon on a new, eight-night voyage to Port Canaveral, Florida, and the Bahamas. But Royal Caribbean said the departure had been delayed until Saturday afternoon. The delay will give the CDC time to finish its testing on the four passengers who were taken to a nearby hospital.
“We have … been cleared by authorities to depart on our next cruise as usual,” the line said. “However, to reassure concerned guests, we will delay our departure until tomorrow, when we expect to receive conclusive test results from CDC.”
In a letter sent to passengers on the delayed sailing, Royal Caribbean said they would receive a prorated refund for the missed day in the form of an onboard credit. The letter said the vessel’s itinerary would need to be adjusted due to the delayed departure.
Passengers who wish to cancel the cruise will face standard cancellation penalties, the line has said today in Twitter responses to concerned passengers. The line is emphasizing on Twitter that the ship will undergo “enhanced sanitation in the cruise terminal and on board, as part of our ongoing illness prevention efforts.”
The ship’s just-ended voyage took it to San Juan, Puerto Rico; Philipsburg, St. Martin; St. John’s, Antigua; Castries, St. Lucia; and Basseterre, St. Kitts.
The coronavirus scare on Anthem of the Seas comes just days after the quarantine of a Princess Cruises ship in Japan due to a coronavirus outbreak. As of late Thursday, more than 60 people on the vessel, Diamond Princess, had tested positive for the illness.
Princess said late Thursday the quarantine of Diamond Princess would continue through Feb. 19, barring unforeseen developments. The ship initially was carrying 2,666 passengers and 1,045 crew, but some have been removed for medical treatment.
We’ll continue to update this developing story. For more TPG news, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Feature image of Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas. Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.
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.
- Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- 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