We’ve just returned from the first cruise to leave the UK since the lockdown back in March. Even with the countless protocols to keep us Covid free, the virus still managed to find its way onboard, even with two tests before boarding, which is double what the CDC requires to restart cruising in the USA.
Does this highlight the issue of whether or not tests are an effective method of stopping Covid? Just this week on Strictly Come Dancing the same thing happened, even with the countless tests and daily monitoring, it still managed to find a way in and with more cases than were found on our ship.
If it is unstoppable then it’s a question of how it is handled once a case is found that matters and SeaDream Yacht Club did an outstanding job in that regard. Having testing facilities onboard is vital and SeaDream has three state of the art Abbot ID rapid testing machines onboard so that all crew and passengers can be tested quickly. When the first case was discovered, we were asked to return to our staterooms within a matter of seconds. The outbreak protocols and testing of all crew and passengers were then swiftly put into motion, and it all ran like clockwork.
Luckily the virus spread only to one other couple and two crew members. We were still given the famous SeaDream treatment, albeit from the comfort of our suites, with the same fabulous food being delivered three times a day. We were very impressed with how the outbreak was handled. We were all monitored daily with temperature and oxygen level checks and after a few more negative covid tests, we were permitted to fly home.
The experience on the flight home was just the opposite. Packed airport buses, gatherings of maskless passengers at the foot of the aircraft with little adherence to social distancing etiquette, and long queues for the loos. We actually felt safer on a ship with a Covid outbreak than we did on our 7 hour flight home. The fact it still hasn’t spread, almost a week after leaving (we have tested negative again since landing), is a testament to the great job SeaDream Yacht Club did to protect their passengers and crew.