A crew member onboard Royal Caribbean’s Celebrity Infinity cruise ship has died, and two others were evacuated from the Oasis of the Seas for medical reasons. With nearly all travel at a standstill, the company has suspended sailings due to the coronavirus pandemic.
All guests have disembarked the ships, but crew members have stayed onboard.
As of Friday, the Oasis of the Seas was sitting off of Broward County’s shores in Florida. The Infinity has been waiting off the west coast of Florida.
Royal Caribbean is the parent company of Celebrity Cruises, and spokesperson Jonathon Fishman confirmed a fatality onboard the ship. According to USA Today, Royal Caribbean recently said that passengers on the Infinity were showing flu-like symptoms.
There has been no confirmation if there is a link between the illnesses and the coronavirus.
Royal Caribbean did not release further information on the two crew members evacuated off Oasis of the Seas, except to say that it was for “medical reasons.”
The Miami Herald is reporting that most crew members on the Celebrity Infinity have been under lockdown in their staterooms for the last week. On Thursday, an announcement was made to advise them of the death of their fellow crew member.
Some of the crew members on the ships say they have been confined to guest cabins for 24 hours a day and receive very little information from leadership. One employee on the Oasis of the Seas says they “don’t know how long we are here, who they are testing, where we are going.”
Royal Caribbean Cruises and Celebrity Cruises have suspended all sailings around the world until at least May 11. The Miami-based company originally wanted to begin sailing again in mid-April, but the “global public health circumstances” have caused the extension.
Initially, Disney Cruise Line suspended all new departures through April 12, but they have since extended it to April 28. Carnival Cruise Line has also suspended operations, but they have gone deeper into the year with some sailings canceled through the rest of 2020.
As the coronavirus pandemic has worsened, Canada has suspended the entire cruise season until July 1, 2020. That is for all cruise lines, and it has affected the usual summer sailings to Alaska and the surrounding areas.
Before this past Saturday, crew members on the Celebrity Infinity said there were no noticeable signs of panic, and they had no word of confirmed cases of COVID-19 onboard. No personal information has been released on the crew member who died on the ship.