Carnival cruise ship pulls into Seattle with COVID outbreak

SEATTLE (AP) — Passengers on the Carnival cruise ship Spirit that docked May 3 in Seattle say more than 100 people aboard the ship tested positive for COVID-19 and the crew was overwhelmed.

Multiple passengers said they were quarantined at Seattle-area hotels after testing positive or being exposed to someone with COVID-19. Carnival Cruise Line would not confirm how many people tested positive but said there were a number of positive cases, Seattle KING5 TV reported.

Darren Sieferston, a passenger on the cruise from Miami to Seattle, was in quarantine after testing positive. He said the crew’s response was chaotic.

“They didn’t have enough staff to handle the emergency that was happening, period,” said Sieferston. “They were overwhelmed and they didn’t have a backup course in how to handle about 200 people affected with COVID. We all suffered.”

Passengers told KING5 they waited hours for meals, weren’t properly isolated and couldn’t get ahold of medical staff.

“We couldn’t call anybody. ... Basically, we sat in the room, you call and it would ring, ring, ring and ring all day long” said Sieferston.

The ship unloaded in Seattle on May 3 and headed to Alaska. The Spirit, with capacity for almost 2,700 passengers, arrived in Juneau last Saturday.

“The Carnival Spirit team managed a number of COVID cases during its Panama Canal journey that departed Miami on April 17 and arrived in Seattle on May 3. There were no serious health issues, and while some guests showed minor symptoms, most were asymptomatic,” said Matt Lupoli, a senior public relations manager for Carnival Cruise Lines, in an email.

“In addition, all guests who were scheduled to continue on with the ship’s next cruise to Alaska were tested and any guests who tested positive were disembarked.”

The company’s website says passengers are required to be fully vaccinated and tested before a trip. Some exemptions are accommodated with proper testing.


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