Six passengers on Royal Caribbean International’s Adventure of the Seas cruise ship and one on Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Equinox ship have tested positive for COVID-19.
The Adventure of the Seas passengers tested positive on Thursday, six days into the week-long, round-trip cruise from Nassau, The Bahamas, during routine testing to comply with the U.S. government’s rule requiring negative results to enter the country. The Celebrity Equinox passenger reported to the ship’s medical center Friday with COVID-like symptoms and tested positive Friday, six days into the ship’s first cruise from the U.S. in 15 months, a week-long, round-trip cruise from Port Everglades.
Both cruise lines are owned by the same parent company, Royal Caribbean Group.
The Adventure of the Seas is carrying around 1,000 passengers and 900 crew members on board, and the positive passengers were being flown back to the U.S. on Friday from Freeport, The Bahamas, a company spokesperson said. Four of the positive passengers are vaccinated and are traveling separately. Two of the positive passengers are unvaccinated and traveling together.
The Celebrity Equinox passenger who tested positive is fully vaccinated, said spokesperson Jonathon Fishman in an email.
Both ships require passengers 16 years old or older to be vaccinated. Sierra-Caro declined to comment on the percentage of Adventure of the Seas passengers who are vaccinated. Fishman did not immediately respond to request for comment about how many passengers are on board and how many are vaccinated.
Passengers boarded the Adventure of the Seas in Nassau on Saturday. It visited Cozumel, Mexico, and the company’s private island in The Bahamas before arriving in Freeport on Friday. The 1,000 passengers on board represent about 35% of the ship’s capacity.
Passengers boarded the Celebrity Equinox in Port Everglades on Sunday. The ship visited St. Maarten and St. Thomas and was on its way to Nassau, The Bahamas, Friday evening.
Adventure of the Seas and Celebrity Equinox are not the only cruise ships with COVID-19 on board. One in three ocean cruise ships operating in U.S. waters or planning to come into U.S. waters soon have reported a COVID-19 case on board in the last seven days, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nine of the 21 ships that have reported COVID-19 cases have passengers on board.
Last month, two children under 16 years old tested positive for COVID-19 on the Adventure of the Seas cruise ship and were flown back to the U.S. The company requires all passengers test negative for COVID-19 before boarding the ship.
Florida is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases as many people eligible for the vaccine have still not been vaccinated.
On Wednesday, Florida recorded its fourth highest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began 16 months ago, reporting 17,589 new cases to the CDC. Statewide, 57 percent of Florida’s total population had received at least one dose of the vaccine, the CDC said Wednesday, in line with the U.S. average.