After the coronavirus pandemic caused the abrupt disruption of the cruise industry in March over 100,000 cruise ship crew members were left stranded aboard the ships on which they work. Countries closed their borders and turned cruise ships away, fearing that the ships may be carrying passengers sick with the virus. Now, four months after the pandemic broke out in the United States, thousands of crewmembers are still stranded aboard cruise ships worldwide.
WPBF.com reports that approximately 300 crew members are currently stuck aboard the Grand Celebration at the Port of Palm Beach. The workers are unable to go home because of Centers for Disease Control guidelines relating to when crewmembers will be allowed to disembark and repatriate to their home countries.
“Unless you got a slip from the CDC. You can’t get on an airplane. Some of the country's borders are still closed," said Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line employee Anita Mitchell. Apparently the company has had difficulty obtaining the CDC clearances even though there has not been a reported outbreak of coronavirus aboard the ship.
Currently there is no indication when the crew members will be allowed to disembark and return home. The CDC has placed a no-sail order on the industry, extending through the end of September.
The Grand Celebration takes travelers on two day excursions to the Bahamas.