Seattle — Passengers aboard a Carnival cruise ship that docked Tuesday in Seattle say more than 100 people on the ship tested positive for COVID-19.
Multiple passengers are still quarantining in hotels across the Seattle area, and some say the ship was overwhelmed.
“As soon as I tested positive, they told us to pack up everything in our room and wait to be escorted to isolation,” said Karlene Babij, a cruise passenger.
Walter and Karlene Babij live in Texas but are currently quarantining in a hotel in Lynnwood, Wa. Before that, they were forced to quarantine on the Spirit ship for 11 days of their 16-day Panama Canal sail from Miami to Seattle.
“It happened very suddenly,” Walter Babij said, adding he and Karlene waited hours for meals and were not properly isolated. “I could reach the galley door from my door without stepping into the hallway, and at times they left it open, and people traipsed in and traipsed out.”
A passenger sent reporters a photo of a list with the names of those who tested positive for COVID-19. She said it was posted in plain sight near the elevator.
“With my name at the top and [Walter’s] name was second,” Karlene said. “So they listed everybody’s name who had COVID.”
Another passenger, Karin Ross, is now back home in Florida. She said her roommate tested positive on the ship, but she was never asked to get tested.
“I said, don’t you want to test me, and the guest services person called down to the medical center, talked to the doctor, and they said absolutely not,” Ross said.
“I think that they were unprepared,” Walter said. “I think they were understaffed. I think that they were overwhelmed. I don’t think they had clear guidance as how to handle this.”
In a statement, a Carnival cruise line spokesperson said in part:
“All health and safety protocols were closely followed, including vaccination requirements and pre-cruise testing of all guests … and additional measures were implemented during the voyage, including mask requirements for guests.”
The ship de-boarded Tuesday and is already on its next voyage to Alaska.
Carnival wouldn’t say if additional protection would be taken for that trip. While they did confirm a number of positive cases on the previous voyage, they would not say how many people had tested positive.