Cruise passengers claim Carnival mishandled COVID outbreak

SEATTLE — Passengers boarded the Carnival Spirit cruise ship in Miami. From there, they set sail for the Panama Canal, before sailing north to Seattle and Alaska. Among those making the trek was Darren Siefertson from Las Vegas.

“I’ve been on seven cruises since August, and of course COVID is a concern,” said Siefertson. “But unfortunately, this ship was so unprepared and so mismanaged, many of us suffered greatly.”

Siefertson says he spent six days quarantining in his room on board after testing positive for COVID-19. His roommate and travel companion stayed in the room with him all that time despite their negative test result.

Karin Ross, also aboard the Spirit, shared a similar story. Her roommate tested positive as well and they remained in the same room. According to Karin, when she also asked to be tested, the medical center told her that was unnecessary.

“I’m in a room with somebody who has COVID and you’re not interested in testing me?,” said Ross. “I’m not a medical person, but it really seems wrong to let me run around that boat for 24 hours while rooming with someone who has COVID.”

Carnival Cruises management would not respond to the specific accusations made. They replied with this email, confirming COVID cases were documented, but refusing to say how many:

“The Carnival Spirit team managed a number of COVID cases during its Panama Canal journey from Florida to Seattle. There were no serious health issues, but we did have guests show minor symptoms or test positive. We encourage our guests to purchase travel insurance, and we believe that close to half the guests purchased travel insurance for unexpected travel disruptions related to COVID. Normally, guests are responsible for quarantine costs, but because so many of our guests were far from home, we made the hotel arrangements and have offered to share the cost of their lodging while they remain in Seattle to complete their five-day quarantine.”

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