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Cruise Ship Forced To Return Early After Passenger Tests Positive For COVID-19

(Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

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The first cruise ship set to sail the Caribbean since the start of the pandemic has already hit rocky waters – a passenger aboard the vessel tested positive for the coronavirus, sending other passengers back to their rooms.

The Captain of SeaDream 1 announced Wednesday to passengers that a fellow passenger tested positive for the coronavirus and asked all guests to return back to their rooms, according to a Wednesday post by Gene Sloan, a cruise writer for The Points Guy.

IZMIR, TURKEY - OCTOBER 02: In this aerial view from a drone, five luxury cruise ships are seen being broken down for scrap metal at the Aliaga ship recycling port on October 02, 2020 in Izmir, Turkey. With the global coronavirus pandemic pushing the multi-billion dollar cruise industry into crisis, some cruise operators have been forced to cut losses and retire ships earlier than planned. The cruise industry has been one of the hardest hit industries with public confidence in cruise holidays plummeting after a series of outbreaks occurred on cruise liners as the pandemic spread. The crisis however has bolstered the years intake of ships at the Aliaga ship recycling port with business up thirty percent on the previous year. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

IZMIR, TURKEY – OCTOBER 02: In this aerial view from a drone, five luxury cruise ships are seen being broken down for scrap metal at the Aliaga ship recycling port on October 02, 2020 in Izmir, Turkey.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

The small “yacht” like ship has 53 passengers and 66 crew aboard, per Sloan’s post. Sloan said SeaDream required passengers to go through COVID-19 testing before boarding the ship to “create a COVID-free ‘bubble’… where the odds that even a single passenger was carrying the new coronavirus on board was extremely low.” (RELATED: Luxury Cruise Ships Scrapped As Coronavirus Batters The Industry)

Sloan noted the passengers had to test negative several days in advance of boarding and again on the day of boarding. The ship planned on a third round of tests Wednesday when a passenger went to the ship’s doctor and reported feeling sick, Sloan said.

The ship traveled to Saint Vincent, Canouan Island, Tobago Cays, and Union Island in the Grenadines and was scheduled to end Nov. 14. However, the trip ended early and returned to Barbados, according to NBC News.

Cruise ships took a hard hit when the pandemic began after one ship, The Diamond Princess, quarantined its passengers for nearly two weeks after an outbreak of the coronavirus.