Reports: COVID-19 Sickens Several Passengers During a Princess Cruise

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Several passengers onboard the Princess Sapphire May 24-31st from Anchorage (Whittier), Alaska to Vancouver shared with FrequentFloaters that during the sailing, some 90-100 guests contracted COVID-19.

a body of water with mountains in the background

Princess Sapphire in Alaska in May 2023

Passengers started feeling ill and went to the medical center onboard, where they were given a COVID test. Those who tested positive were quarantined in their staterooms and not allowed to leave the ship at ports of call.

On the last day of the cruise, an estimated “90-100 sick guests” were directed to the main theater. They were told to wait and that they’d be the last ones to disembark the ship.

No announcement of the COVID outbreak was made onboard, nor was any warning given to passengers to wear a mask if possible to reduce the risk of exposure.

The CDC has updated guidance for maritime cruise ships regarding COVID-19 and it is very detailed. The reported outbreak has not been published on the CDC “Outbreak Updates for International Cruise Ships” page.

We reached out to Princess Cruises Public Relations department for comment regarding remarks from the sickened guests onboard and were told “[the] information is not accurate.”

a deck with a life preserver on it
Princess Sapphire in Alaska in May 2023

Beyond the reports above, I would like to know how many crew, if any, tested positive after the May 24th sailing and what impact it may or may not have had on the successive sailings by the Princess Sapphire since the 31st of May. The cruise line has chosen not to share any further information with us regarding the event nor respond to further inquiries beyond the one line statement. – René

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Advertiser Disclosure: Frequent Floaters is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers. Compensation may impact how and where card products appear on the site. This site does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities.

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René de Lambert
René de Lamberthttp://www.FrequentFloaters.com
René de Lambert has been a travel blogger for over 10 years covering the travel industry - including cruising.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Might be time to think about a healthy lifestyle. Obese were at much greater risk to Covid severe complications.

    • @RealTalk – If you are implying that all cruisers are obese, there are exercise facilities on every ship I have ever sailed as well as jogging tracks. Plus there are very healthy choices on ships for those who choose them.

  2. Who cares, people get sick everywhere. Sounds like the cruise line did what they needed to, maybe even more then needed.

    • Agree. Also the link provided is for CDC’s VSP, which tracks GASTROINTESTINAL illness outbreaks – of which COVID-19 is not.

      “The Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) requires cruise ships to log and report the number of passengers and crew who say they have symptoms of GASTROINTESTINAL illness. Learn more about illnesses and outbreaks reported to VSP and find information about outbreaks of GASTROINTESTINAL illness on cruise ships.”

  3. Princess seems to have had the worst “luck” of any of the major cruise lines when it comes to COVID outbreaks. There have become so many data points of COVID outbreaks on their ships that I’m starting to wonder if there’s something specific about Princess ships, more particularly the Grand Class ships, as they seem to have had the most frequent and largest outbreaks starting with Diamond Princess at the start of the global pandemic.

  4. It seems that only Princess is being mentioned publicly when passengers come down with COVID. The fact is that passengers on other cruise lines do as well……however, this is rarely publicized. If all facts were known, I’m guessing most major cruise lines would be pretty equal in the number of cases.

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