Hours after Barbados became host to a cruise ship that was turned away by another destination because of positive COVID-19 cases on board, another vessel has extended its time in this island’s waters.
Passengers on the will spend New Year’s Eve docked here, following an announcement by its captain on Wednesday that it would be making an adjustment to its itinerary, to await additional crew, resulting in the extension of its time in Bridgetown.
The Queen Mary 2, which was on a 28-day round-trip itinerary, arrived in Barbados on Tuesday and was scheduled to leave for Dominica the following day. Also on the itinerary were St Maarten and New York on December 30 and January 3, respectively.
However, in a letter to guests, the captain announced that as a precautionary measure, the vessel would be extending its stay in Barbados for additional “manning” until the evening of January 2, following which it would head straight back to the UK.
“Having spoken to the relevant authorities and to our head offices in Miami and in Southampton about our long onward itinerary, we have concluded that as a precautionary measure, we will need to take on additional manning in essential roles onboard before we continue our voyage back to the UK. Given the current international travel situation, this will take a few days so we will remain here in Barbados until the new crew members can join,” the correspondence read in part.
According to some reports, when the vessel first arrived in New York on December 10, there were about 10 confirmed COVID-19 cases, which amounted to roughly 0.7 per cent of the ship’s capacity, and guests were being isolated. There were just over 1,470 passengers on board.
The Queen Mary 2 is coming on the heels of Barbados welcoming Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas on Christmas Eve, after the ship, which had some 48 COVID-19 positive cases, was reportedly denied entry to the port in St Lucia.
Earlier that week, Odyssey of the Seas was denied entry at Curacao and Aruba after dozens of COVID-19 cases were discovered onboard.
Barbados became host to several cruise ships and thousands of passengers in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic prompted several countries to close their ports of entry.
Several ships have been denied entry at several ports in the Caribbean and Mexico since cruising restarted.
With some ports tightening entry requirements for passengers, more cruise lines are either cancelling cruises or making adjustments to their itineraries.