On Wednesday, Royal Caribbean returned to port in Singapore and cancelled its cruise originally scheduled for Thursday, December 10 when a passenger tested positive for COVID-19 after becoming ill onboard and visited Quantum of the Seas' onboard medical center. Today, Singapore's Ministry of Health confirmed that the suspected case—an 83-year- old male Singaporean passenger—does not have COVID, following additional tests at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID).
The voyage was the line's first sailing in months and was cut short. According to Royal Caribbean, guests on the sailing will be compensated for the missed day at sea.
Upon the passenger testing positive, Quantum of the Seas returned to the Marina Bay Cruise Centre with 1,680 passengers and 1,148 crew. Protocols, such as ceasing all on-board leisure activities, asking passengers to remain in their rooms, the immediate isolation of close contacts, and extensive contact tracing using TraceTogether1 were activated.
Passengers and crew were also asked to remain on board until contact tracing was completed, and disembarkation began at 7.30 p.m., less than 12 hours after the ship had returned to the terminal. Genting Cruise Lines’ World Dream—which arrived later at the same terminal—supported the safety operations by embarking its passengers earlier. This was to prevent intermingling between passengers and crew from the two ships.
Genting Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean International were allowed to resume pilot cruises with no ports of call in November and December, respectively, after meeting requirements under the government’s mandatory "CruiseSafe" certification program. Apart from the emergency protocols, which were put into action yesterday, precautionary measures include mandatory COVID-19 testing, reduced sailing capacity and strict safe distancing.
Singapore’s pilot for safe cruises will continue as planned, following the swift and robust response to the suspected COVID-19 case on board Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas yesterday, according to the Singapore Tourism Board.