Two passengers aboard the Celebrity Millennium cruise ship – which carried only vaccinated crew and passengers as the industry aims to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic lockdown – tested positive for COVID-19 at the end of the cruise, the company said Thursday.
Both were asymptomatic and were sharing the same stateroom.
The Celebrity Millennium cruise, which is operated by Royal Caribbean, issued a statement announcing the diagnoses.
The tests came back positive during end-of-cruise testing, which is completed 72-hours before returning to the United States.
“The individuals are asymptomatic and currently in isolation and being monitored by our medical team,” Celebrity’s statement read. “We are conducting contact tracing, expediting testing for all close contacts and closely monitoring the situation.”
“Celebrity Millennium is sailing with fully vaccinated crew and guests and following comprehensive protocols that align with our destination partners and exceed CDC guidelines to protect the health and safety of our guests,” a Celebrity spokesperson said Thursday. “All guests on Celebrity Millennium were required to show proof of vaccination as well as a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours before sailing from St. Maarten this past Saturday. This situation demonstrates that our rigorous health and safety protocols work to protect our crew, guests and the communities we visit.”
The Millennium was the first cruise ship to return to service in North America since the coronavirus pandemic shut down the industry last year.
“The buffets are handled very well and instead of the passengers utilizing the utensils and serving themselves, the crew wearing gloves were serving the passengers,” Stewart Chiron, “The Cruise Guy,” said to NewsNation’s Brian Entin.
Other Royal Caribbean cruises have not set sail yet, but will not require their passengers to be vaccinated. They will instead mandate all passengers be tested for COVID-19.
The vessel is currently docked in Curaço and the passengers who tested positive remain on board in isolation. The ship will return to St. Maarten this Saturday to disembark.