COVID-19 Outbreak on Norwegian Dawn – NCL Stays Mum – Cruise Law News

As of yesterday, there have been a minimum of around 120 guests who tested positive for COVID-19 aboard the Norwegian Dawn, according to a trusted, long-term reader of Cruise Law News on the ship who wishes to remain anonymous.

The NCL cruise ship left New York (Cape Liberty Bayonne NJ) on April 28th for travel to  ports in Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada), Reykjavik (Iceland), Belfast (Northern Ireland), Dublin (Ireland),  IJmuiden (Netherlands),  Bruges (Belgium), and Le Havre (France) with the end of the cruise in Southampton (England}.

The NCL ship was denied access to Brugge, Belgium, following which the ship spent the day at sea enroute to LeHavre.

LeHavre was then cancelled today as well.  The ship continued west in the English Channel before turning around to head to Southampton.

The guest on board the ship stated that “We are staying at sea until we disembark in Southampton tomorrow, even those that tested positive will be allowed to disembark. The ship did a test today. Many more people have tested positive although the numbers have not been disclosed.”

Meanwhile, the Miami Herald reported on an outbreak on the Carnival Horizon according to a passenger who stated that around 100 guests tested positive for COVID-19. The Herald’s article is titled “Cruise bookings smash records. Passengers accepting COVID-19 likely will be aboard.”

The Carnival Spirit had over 100 guests infected with COVID-19 last week, as we reported – COVID-19 Outbreak Aboard Carnival Spirit – Carnival Cruise Line Refuses to Disclose Number of Infected Guests and Crew. Cruise guests on the Carnival cruise ship estimated the outbreak to involve “more than 100 people” and as many as 200.

Meanwhile, Carnival expressed pleasure that there have consistently over 100 infected guests on the last many sailings on its ships.

“Overall, we are very pleased with the public response to and support for our protocols, which has allowed us to be the first major U.S. cruise line to return its full fleet back to operation,” Chris Chiames, Carnival’s chief spokesman, said in an email to the Miami Herald. “Our ships are full and onboard spending patterns indicate that our guests are just as happy to be back on board as we are to have them.” The article states that cruise lines are “reporting record reservations for voyages, despite COVID-19 infecting the large majority of ships now sailing.”

Carnival, as usual, did not disclose the number of guests infected during the cruises.

“Through the ongoing pandemic, cruise lines never have shared publicly their respective figures on coronavirus infections among passengers and crew on individual ships, leaving passengers to discuss that and their experiences with the virus on social media.”

A passenger was quoted in the article stating:

“I don’t think that people really understand what they’re getting into when they’re going on a cruise. I didn’t understand what I was getting into,” she said, noting she was extremely ill with COVID-19 and left alone in an isolated cabin with no one checking on her. “I really, really hate to say it, Carnival has been my ship that I’ve cruised with for a long time, but I wish I had had a more positive experience when I was sick. “I definitely learned that COVID is still out there,” Chatham said. “I have no one to blame but myself. Everyone else wasn’t masking. It felt back to normal.”

Last week, we reported that at least five Carnival Corporation-owned and Princess Cruises-operated ships each with over a hundred positive cases of COVID-19.  Princess Cruises, recently had COVID-19 outbreaks with over 100 COVID-19 cases involving passengers on each of at least five cruise ships in its fleet of cruise ships, including the Ruby Princess, Grand Princess, Caribbean Princess, Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess.

Like NCL, Carnival Corporation-owned ships (Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess and HAL) are all notorious in not revealing the number of infected guests or crew members. The Miami Herald added that: “Norwegian Cruise Line, another big global cruise line based in Miami, did not respond to a reporter’s request for comment.”

Unfortunately, unlike reporting on norovirus cases on cruise ships when a U.S. itinerary is involved, where the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will state the precise number of positive cases amongst both the guests and crew members, the CDC will not disclose the number of COVID-19 cases to the public. That leaves the cruise lines’ lack of transparency further keeping the public in the dark.

After missing the last two ports, the Norwegian Dawn is now approaching Southampton. We are awaiting further word from the passenger we know on the NCL ship regarding the current number of infected passengers. NCL of course will not disclose any information. Passengers will have to gather such information from word of mouth or from postings on social media.

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Images: MarineTraffic – Norwegian Dawn position (screengrab); Norwegian Dawn – Stephan Bleister at de.wikipedia – commons / wikimedia.

May 14, 2022 Update:

“Belgium denied us entry because of “COVID profile” per Captain’s comments. Captain said it was an NCL decision to skip France.  Voluntary onboard Covid testing yesterday for flights home today produced more positives.

When the first people tested positive, NCL moved them down to Deck 4 but then the number became so large they kept everyone isolated in their own cabins. Room service is being provided to the isolated passengers without the normal $9.95 charge.

The crew has been very professional. Our only issue is that they have not told us how many people onboard are positive. If one of the medical staff did not tell me about the original 120, we would have never been informed. I’m also surprised they did not mandate masks for all  passengers after the first test three days ago.

We have just docked at Southampton. The positives will be the last to disembark. The ship sent around a letter suggesting the DoubleTree Hotel at Heathrow for those waiting to test negative so they can fly home. The ship is also offering a 50% refund on this cruise toward a future cruise for the three missed ports. Dublin was also cancelled due to rough seas since we were anchored out and had to tender ashore.

Although the ship did not mandate masks, they did leave N95 masks in each storeroom for voluntary use. It would have been much simpler to announce that there was a Covid breakout onboard and mandate masks for all passengers. After all, the test yesterday was voluntary. Those that did not avail themselves could have unknowingly been positive while walking around the ship maskless.

The crew wore masks everyday of the cruise.”

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