SeaDream Yacht Club's Guests Return to U.S.; Political Fallout Occurs

SeaDream I and II
Guests have disembarked SeaDream I in Barbados, and most have flown home to the U.S. or other countries. (Photo by SeaDream Yacht Club)

Positive COVID-19 cases on SeaDream Yacht Club’s SeaDream I in the southern Caribbean last week, have, in part, prompted two U.S. Congressional officials from California and Connecticut to ask the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reinstate the “No Sail Order” and ban cruises from U.S. ports.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Rep. Doris Matsui jointly urged the CDC on Friday to reinstitute the “No Sail Order" for cruise ships from U.S. ports. 

After one SeaDream passenger tested positive on the ship, the vessel returned to Barbados with passengers isolated in their cabins. Additional testing commenced, Barbados officials worked with the ship's crew and the following voyage scheduled to depart last Saturday was cancelled. Ultimately, seven passengers on the ship tested positive—five of of those were part of a group of six traveling together; the other two people were traveling separately. All other passengers and all crew tested negative.

“Despite these efforts and good intentions, the virus was still able to infect multiple people on the ship, with the possibility of more confirmed cases emerging as passengers and crew are retested,” the letter by Sen. Blumenthal and Rep. Matsui read. “Unfortunately, this troubling development is not surprising and reaffirms the need to exercise extreme caution before sending passengers and crew back out to sea on cruises.”

According to a report in USA Today, passengers who tested negative were permitted to disembark in Barbados over the weekend. Guests who tested positive were taken to an isolation facility ashore.

Passengers onboard that sailing included Sue Bryant, a reporter who writes for U.K. publications and Cruise Critic; she tested negative. USA Today reports that Bryant was later told by crew members that six people (including the group of five that tested positive) took a private jet flight home to the U.S.; one person in that party had tested negative. 

At the time of the incident, SeaDream I had a crew of 66 who were serving more than 50 passengers onboard, most from the U.S. 

While the next cruise was cancelled, SeaDream has not responded to Travel Agent’s request for an update and whether any additional cruises will be cancelled. We will post that here when it is received. 

Related Stories

One-on-One With Brad Tolkin on Cruising, Travel Advisors & More

ASTA: What a Biden Administration Could Mean for Travel Industry

Coral Expeditions Releases Expanded 2021 Kimberley Schedule

Cruise Chatter: Cruise Leaders Talk Restart at Vision Conference