PORT EVERGLADES, FLA. (WSVN) - The Carnival Freedom and the Odyssey of the Seas, two cruise ships with Florida ties that recently reported cases of COVID-19 on board, returned to port this weekend.
7News cameras captured the Carnival Freedom docked at PortMiami, Sunday afternoon.
A passenger said there was confusion on board regarding the outbreak.
“Initially the crews refused to tell us anything,” said passenger Ashley Peterson. “We heard news reports from the news in Curaçao that there was COVID on the ship. It wasn’t until the next day, when we were denied entry into Bonaire, that the captain did say that there was a small number of COVID cases. The passengers that we know that had COVID were basically posting on Facebook that they were COVID positive.”
The Freedom was denied entry at two scheduled ports during its voyage.
Peterson said she was vaccinated and got her booster shot as well. She said she felt like she was floating around in a Petri dish and doesn’t think she would go on another cruise after the experience.
Carnival Cruise Line confirmed several positive cases but did not specify a number.
“They did everything they could to go out of their way to make sure we still had a fun trip,” said a passenger.
It was a similar story at Port Everglades, where Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas returned with 55 confirmed coronavirus cases. It was the third Florida-based cruise ship with COVID cases over the past week.
“We’ve had all of our shots and our booster shots, so we were pretty confident that we were going to be OK,” said a passenger.
Others said this is sadly the reality of cruising during a pandemic.
“They’re doing everything that they can do, and they did a fabulous job,” said a passenger.
Crew members on both ships who tested positive will remain isolated on board. Returning out-of-town passengers who tested positive are required to quarantine at a nearby hotel.
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