The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating the recent outbreak of the Covid-19 virus on the Carnival cruise ship that docked in Seattle after a two-week trip.
Carnival Spirit, which sailed through the Panama Canal, left Miami on April 17 and arrived in Seattle on May 3, according to a statement from the cruise line. Carnival said the ship was carrying 2,124 guests and 930 crew members.
The CDC says it is not allowed to share the number of passengers and crew members who have been isolated or tested positive for the virus. But the ship was classified as Orange Status according to the agency’s Covid-19 cruise ship threshold, indicating that 0.3% or more of all passengers and/or crew members tested positive, according to CDC guidelines.
The agency said the ship’s color status helps the CDC determine the scope of the investigation.
The Carnival Spirit is one of 62 cruise ships currently sailing in orange mode, the CDC said in a statement to CNN.
Both the cruise line and the CDC said there were no serious findings or serious health problems among those who tested positive, and Carnival said most guests were asymptomatic.
“Our health and safety protocols exceeded CDC guidelines and were followed closely, including vaccination requirements and pre-cruise testing for all guests. Our crew is also vaccinated and wearing masks,” Carnival said in a statement to CNN.
“Our protocols are designed to be reviewed as needed and additional in-flight procedures have been implemented,” the statement added. “In addition, all guests who were scheduled to continue on the ship’s next cruise to Alaska have been tested, and any guests and travel companions who have tested positive for the virus have been disembarked.”
The ship left Seattle for Alaska later on May 3, according to a Carnival statement.
The statement added that the CDC is working with the cruise line as well as state and local health agencies “to enact existing Covid-19 agreements and protocols.”
Some passengers aboard the Carnival Spirit have alleged that crew members mishandled the Covid-19 outbreak on the ship.
Darren Sivertson, of Las Vegas, Nevada, told CNN that he boarded the ship on April 17 from Miami and was informed by April 26 that there was an outbreak of Covid-19 on the ship.
After he tested positive for the virus, Sivertson said he was promised to move to an isolated room, but ended up being forced to stay in the same room as his roommate.
When he called the medical center for an update, Sivertson said, the center had already closed before the scheduled closing time, and no one was picking up the phone.
When Siefertson’s cabin companion went to guest services to ask what they should do, he was told there were no more isolation cabins available, and he would have to stay in the same room with Siefertson.
The ship’s guests also complained that room service takes “hours to deliver food to those in quarantine,” Sivertson said.
“There were times when we ordered our food at 1 p.m. and it didn’t show up until 7 p.m.,” Walter Babbage, who was on the flight with his wife, told CNN. Both Babbage and his wife tested positive for Covid-19 while on the ship and were quarantined in an isolated cabin.
“There were also a few times we didn’t get our full orders. We’d have to call a few times to trace our food. We were totally dependent on them,” Babbage said.
Sivertson also complained that a few days after the test result, sewage began to smell in his cabin and two other cabins near him.
“You can’t even call to ask someone to fix the problem because no one is going to pick up the phone and we can’t leave our room, so I had to stay in this room that smells of a toilet. Carnival said they managed the situation, but that’s not true. They were very confused.”
Both Sivertson and Babbage told CNN they felt the cruise line was “overwhelmed.”
“I don’t think they expected this level of issues and when they got to a certain level they didn’t know what to do,” Babbage said.