The cruise sector could see some pressure Monday after a Covid-19 outbreak on a Royal Caribbean Cruise (RCL) - Get Royal Caribbean Group Report ship that returned to port in Miami on Saturday with 48 guests and crew testing positive.
The Symphony of the Seas set sail on December 11 with 6,091 passengers, 95% of whom were fully vaccinated. The cruise line required all passengers 12 and over to be fully vaccinated against Covid and that they submit a negative test taken in the two days before boarding.
Of the people that tested positive, 98% were fully vaccinated.
The ship made stops in St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and at the company's private island before returning to Miami Saturday, seven days after setting sail.
Royal Caribbean initially said that there were 44 positive cases before updating the total with four additional positive cases that were identified at the end of the voyage.
"The guests were quarantined on board and assisted upon the ship’s arrival on Dec. 18," the company said Monday.
Royal Caribbean tightened its mask rules as of Dec. 17. Instead of allowing vaccinated passengers to remove their masks in areas designated vaccinated only inside the ship, it now requires all passengers to wear masks in all indoor areas except when actively eating or drinking.
Other Voyages Also Affected By Covid
Royal Caribbean also notified passengers from two other trips (one that departed on December 4 and another that departed December 18) that a passenger that sailed on that same ship earlier this month tested positive for the omicron variant.
"This guest did not report symptoms to our onboard medical teams as outlined in our health protocols," the cruise line said in a copy of an email obtained by USA Today. "Their post cruise test results were subsequently confirmed as the omicron variant."
Royal Caribbean shares took a bath premarket Monday, also bringing down shares of fellow cruise lines Norwegian Cruise (NCLH) - Get Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Report and Carnival Corp. (CCL) - Get Carnival Corporation Report.