Coronavirus Scares Continue to Dog Cruise Industry

A coronavirus outbreak aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which started in February, has killed at least half-a-dozen people. As a result some Caribbean ports, such as Jamaica and Cayman Islands, have closed their ports to certain cruise ships on fears that the ships were carrying sick passengers and crew.

Now, Carnival is rerouting a ship away from these destinations, apparently in order to avoid the prospect of having yet another cruise ship denied port. 

Carnival Cruise Line announced that it was rerouting the Carnival Freedom away from Jamaica and Grand Cayman, two countries that have denied port to cruise ships over the past several days. 

In a statement, posted on, the company said:

“We are implementing some itinerary changes on voyages scheduled to call on Grand Cayman and Jamaica this week.  A number of Caribbean destinations continue to work through their policies with regards to cruise ship visits.  And while we are following all U.S. CDC and World Health Organization screening protocols and guidelines, we want to avoid any possibility of a visit to a destination where there is uncertainty or we risk being turned away.  

To be clear, there is no health situation on board to trigger this concern, but we are making this change to avoid even the possibility of a disruption.  We understand some guests will be disappointed and trust they will understand that this decision is being made to protect their vacation and maximize their experience with us.”