Coronavirus: MSC cruise ship rejected from two Caribbean ports as crew member falls ill

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CRUISES have been hard hit by the outbreak of Coronavirus and yesterday MSC Meraviglia was rejected from two Caribbean ports amid fears that a crew member on board the MSC Cruises ship was sick.
Cruise ship MSC Meraviglia was turned away from two ports in the Caribbean on Tuesday. The rejection came amid fears of the spread of coronavirus. The MSC Meraviglia was denied permission to dock in Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Georgetown, Cayman Islands in the Caribbean.

Authorities were concerned the sickness was a result of coronavirus.

However, the cruise line claims his illness is down to common seasonal flu and insist no cases of coronavirus have been reported on any MSC ships.

MSC is “extremely disappointed” with the double rejection.

The ship is now sailing onward to Cozumel, Mexico, the next scheduled port of call.

The Jamaican Ministry of Health released a statement yesterday.

It stated: “A cruise line with over 4,500 passengers and over 1,600 crew members was today (Tuesday, February 25, 2020) denied access to the port of call in Ocho Rios, St. Ann.

“The vessel arrived at approximately 8:30 a.m. and upon inspection by the Port Health Officials, it was discovered that a crew member was placed in isolation on board.

“The crew member had a cough, fever and associated muscle pains with a travel history to a country of interest relating to the COVID-19.”

Dwayne Seymour, health minister of the Cayman Islands, also released a statement.

He said: “In an abundance of caution, in order to provide protection to the health and safety of the residents of the Cayman Islands, the government has denied permission for the cruise ship to call on Grand Cayman as previously scheduled.”

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MSC have said that the sick crew member and all passengers onboard the Meraviglia had passed a health screening before boarding the ship at the weekend.

The cruise ship departed Miami on Sunday and was scheduled to complete a 15-day cruise of Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Mexico, Bahamas, Belize and Honduras, returning to Miami on March 8, according to an itinerary.

MSC said in a statement sent to Express.co.uk today: “MSC Cruises is extremely disappointed that Jamaican authorities yesterday delayed a decision for many hours to give our ship the necessary clearance to disembark guests, despite us having provided detailed medical records to the local health and national authorities ahead of its arrival as per normal protocol.

“Similarly, the decision taken overnight by the Grand Cayman authorities to refuse disembarkation at Georgetown was made without even reviewing the ship’s medical records, which show one single case of common seasonal flu (type A influenza) affecting one crew member with a travel history clearly showing no passages through territories either affected by COVID-19 (Coronavirus) or subject to any international health restrictions. In both instances, the ship was effectively turned away simply based on fears.

“MSC Meraviglia is currently at sea on her way to Cozumel, Mexico, her next scheduled port of call.

After All-Nighter, Carnival Glory Patched and Cruising

Carnival Glory Repaired

The Carnival Glory has sailed on her Christmas cruise from New Orleans after an all-night effort to repair damage to the ship following a collision in Cozumel with the Carnival Legend on Friday.

Crews worked through the night to enclose the aft dining room which took the brunt of the damage, removing damage and welding in new steel to cover the opening. 

Carnival Glory

The 2003-built ship departed a day late on her itinerary, but passengers were able to board on Dec. 22 as scheduled. The itinerary called for a sea day on Dec. 23 followed by calls in Cozumel, Costa Maya, Mahogany Bay before two more sea days and a conclusion in New Orleans on Sunday, Dec. 29.

Carnival honored refunds for guests that opted not to join the sailing. For passengers embarking, they received one day pro-rated refund and a $100 onboard credit per stateroom.

Azamara unveils details of Cuba cruise

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Azamara Quest due to start cruise’s from Cuba.

Azamara Club Cruises will make an overnight stay in Havana on its March 21 departure of the Azamara Quest from Miami, taking advantage of newly granted permission by the Cuban government.

The 12-day cruise will also call in Key West, Tampa and Cozumel and spend two nights in New Orleans.

The cruise opened for booking on Dec. 9, with prices starting at $2,799 per person.

Azamara said that in time, it looks to add more ports of call in Cuba into several of its itineraries.