14 on Royal Caribbean cruise ship test positive for COVID-19
One of the world’s largest cruise ships — Allure of the Seas — will soon be based in Port Canaveral.

Oasis of the Seas is anchored in The Bahamas with crew isolated in cabins.

The Miami Herald is reporting Sunday morning that the Royal Caribbean International cruise ship Oasis of the Seas that returned to port in Miami earlier this month had at least 14 crew members who tested positive for the coronavirus, based on an audio recording the newspaper reviewed.

There had not previously been any reports on Royal Caribbean crew stricken with COVID-19 on that ship. The Herald reported that PortMiami records show the Oasis docked at the Miami  port the morning of March 24 and unloaded passengers. It left port later that day and is currently anchored in The Bahamas with the crew isolated in cabins there, according to The Herald.

The newspaper cited an audio recording on which the ship’s captain states, “At the moment, we have 14 that have test positive for COVID-19 onboard the Oasis of the Seas out of all we have tested.”

The company confirmed the substance of the report with a statement, sent to Florida Politics and The Herald, which read, “The health and well-being of our crew is our foremost priority. Crewmembers who exhibited symptoms were evaluated by our medical staff and remain under close supervision. In accordance with our health and safety protocols, our crew have been asked to self-isolate in cabins while we await confirmation of initial results from public health authorities.”

As with most cruise lines, Miami-based Royal Caribbean announced March 13 it was suspending cruise operations. However, several ships already were underway at that time the suspension kicked in. The company states that it expects to return to service on May 12 from most ports. Because of announced port closures, the company expects to return to service for Alaska, Canada and New England sailings July 1.

On March 8, the U.S. State Department advised Americans to not take cruises

On March 13, most cruise lines announced they would suspend cruise operations, though numerous ships were at sea, and many of those ships have subsequently encountered both COVID-19 outbreaks and difficulties returning to port anywhere.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected].


  • Ruth

    March 29, 2020 at 7:29 pm

    They let crew members off on March 24 not guests. Those crew members left on flights out to their homelands.

  • Kim Herremans

    April 11, 2020 at 1:57 pm

    I believe we contracted Covid 19 while sailing on the Allure of the Seas. We got off the Allure of the Seas in Ft Lauderdale just days after New Years 2020. Both my husband and I came down with Covid 19 symptoms just 4 days later after disembarking. We both went to urgent care with severe symptoms like difficulty breathing, cough, fatigue, low grade fever, etc. We had never experienced anything like this before. Doc gave us each zpak and recommended Tylenol only for fevers. Both tested for flu but were negative. This all before official Covid 19 was announced and before testing began. I recall staff on ship watching and reminding us to use their Purcell stands everywhere. They barked at people going into dining rooms to use hand sanitizers. Hand sanitizer stands were everywhere. Our room attendant told us they had employees in quarantine who were sick. And many covering others shifts and duties. We were alarmed when we learned this. We also did not go to port for our last port of call. We were told rough seas but I saw another cruise ship in port as we sailed by. No way is this a coincidence. We have no way to find out if other passengers had this too. BTW. Many international passengers on this too.

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