“Our reality is that there will be people that test positive”
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Nassau Cruise Port Chief Executive Officer Mike Maura Jr said yesterday that occasional reports of COVID-19 cases onboard cruise ships would likely not be detrimental to the industry’s rebound.
Speaking to Eyewitness News, Maura noted that with the industry having been among the hardest hit by the pandemic, there is an inherent need to be proactive.
His comments came yesterday following news that six passengers, two of them unvaccinated minors, onboard a Royal Caribbean International (RCI) ship docked in Freeport, Grand Bahama, had tested positive for COVID-19.
RCI’s Adventure of the Seas departed from Nassau on Saturday and is expected to return to the capital today. It is one of the cruise lines that has recently begun homeporting from The Bahamas. The ship’s seven-night getaway stops at its private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay; Cozumel, Mexico; and Grand Bahama.
According to a USA Today report, Royal Caribbean offers end-of-cruise testing as a courtesy to guests that need to show proof of a negative test to return home.
This is not the first incidence of COVID cases on the Adventure of the Seas as two passengers back in June tested positive onboard the cruise line. Both were under 16 and unvaccinated.
Maura said: “This is not the first time nor will it be the last time that there are COVID-positive cases on these ships and in hotel rooms. Our reality is that there will be people that test positive.”
He noted that what is important is the ability to react appropriately when these cases emerge.
“The fact is they can isolate, quarantine and in rare case hospitalize a person onboard the ship until they can get them to a hospital in the US,” said Maura.
“I don’t think it’s going to be detrimental. This is the world we are in. It’s all about the reaction and the appropriate response.”
With the industry having been shut down for more than a year due to the pandemic, Maura noted that the industry has the greatest incentive to continuously review its protocols.
“At the end of the day, it is the pandemic that hit the cruise industry harder than any other and there is just an inherent need in their industry to be more proactive than reactive,” he said.