SeaDream Yacht Club announced today in a press statement on its website that it's decided to cancel all sailings for the remainder of 2020 after seven passengers tested positive for COVID-19 on SeaDream I's first cruise of the Caribbean season.
The small-ship yachting line said in its press statement that "multiple negative PCR tests were required before the guests boarded, but this was not sufficient to prevent COVID-19 onboard."
Previously, it was known that those seven guests had tested positive for COVID-19 including one party of five (traveling in a group of six people) and two people who were not part of that same group; however, in the Tuesday press statement, SeaDream revealed that two crew members have also tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
"SeaDream successfully operated more than 20 sailings during the pandemic [elsewhere across the globe] without any cases and further improvements were made to protocols before the Barbados season," the statement said. "The company will now spend time to evaluate and see if it is possible to operate and have a high degree of certainty of not getting COVID."
That said, while the line was widely praised for its multiple testing policy, earlier in the cruise (prior to the announcement of positive COVID-19 cases onboard), Gene Sloan, cruise reporter for The Points Guy, wrote in a story posted on November 10 that initially, as the cruise began, the line didn't require guests to wear masks, and not a single one did.
Sloan's article noted: "The consensus among passengers on board was that the COVID testing regime was so rigorous that mask-wearing was redundant." He added that on Monday night, the ship's activity director announced that the line was tightening its rules and that all passengers would be required to wear masks when moving throughout the ship. Sloan reported that crew were wearing masks.
SeaDream I's first Caribbean voyage was one of a series of voyages planned this winter for the ship roundtrip from Barbados with calls at St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada.
Late last week, the situation on SeaDream was cited publicly by a U.S. Senator and a U.S. Congresswoman as reasons why the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should reinstitute the "No Sail Order." Currently, the CDC has a "Conditional Sailing Order" in place, which would permit lines to restart pending cruise line adoption/completion of trial cruises, testing of safety/health protocols and other steps.