The Jewel of the Seas continues its voyage across the Altantic to Miami, after it sailed earlier this week from Gilbraltar. The ship is scheduled to arrive this Sunday (November 14th) and will then sail on a five-day Western Caribbean cruise on November 15th.
At the end of last month, the Jewel of the Seas ended its sailing season from Limassol, Cyprus where it completed a total of 17 seven-night cruises to the Greek Isles, calling at Piraeus, Rhodes, Crete, Mykonos, Santorini, and back to Limassol. The ship has encountered an ongoing problem with ship employees and guests testing positive for COVID-19 during these cruises.
On November 1st, we reported that thirteen people (nine guests and four crew members) tested positive for the virus. This is in addition to the fifty passengers on this cruise ship who tested positive in the prior thirty day period, as we reported on October 23, 2021.
The latest testing of crew members aboard the Jewel of the Seas resulted in at least six* ship employees testing positive for COVID-19. These infected crew members were then isolated in the “red zone” onboard the ship, for a fourteen day quarantine.
Four crew members tested positive after PCR tests. In addition, yesterday, the crew underwent the beginning of TERABio breathing tests for further analysis and testing of COVID-19. The results of the testing showed two additional crew members positive for COVID-19. A ship medical secretary and and a member of the ship’s marine administration both tested positive.
The TERABio tests continue today. I suspect that there will be additional crew members who test positive for the virus with this testing which are continung now.
The ship’s captain announced over the ship’s PA system to all of the Jewel of the Seas crew members that during the transatlantic voyage to the U.S., certain areas of the ship would be closed and certain crew activities would be cancelled due to new COVID-19 cases. The captain also sent a message to the crew stating that:
- “Due to C+ cases onboard we will need to shut down a few areas as a precaution:
- For now the Pools and Jacuzzi’s together with the Sports Court and finally the Crew Gym will not be available.
- If you wish to utilize the gym, then only the guest gym will be available, and while in the gym the mask will have to be worn at all times together with keeping the Physical distance.
- Please I urge you all to do your part in keeping the ship safe and healthy.
- Remember to wear you mask! And to wear it properly!
- Keep the Physical distance (also while enjoying your meals in the Windjammer).
- Wash and sanitize your hands frequently.
- Please share this information with your teams!”
It remains likely that when the Jewel arrives in Miami, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will place either an orange or yellow color designation for the ship given the fact that there are crew on the ship who are under quarantine for COVID-19.
Currently there are 1,020 crew and temporary contractors onboard the ship (there. There are no guests. Upon arrival in Miami, it is expected that approximately 300 crew members will be transferred to some other Royal Caribbean cruise ships, with around 800 crew members remaining on the Jewel.
This additional information comes from a trusted, knowlegeable and reliable crew member on the Jewel of the Seas who wishes to remain anonymous and remain employed by Royal Caribbean.
Two days ago, there was a Code BRAVO announcement on this ship after smoke came from a lower deck, caused by a chemical reaction. The crew member informed us that “There were no flames. The compartment was isolated and cooled down by spraying water over the surrounding walls. There was nothing serious.” Cruise blogger CruiseMiss initially reported the incident on her Facebook page.
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*/November 12, 2021 Update: The TERABio breathing tests revealed a total of four additional crew members now positive with COIVD-19, bringing total number of crew members to eight: one medical secretary, one marine administrative assistant, one security guard and one facility cleaner.