The U.S. Coast Guard and the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention were holding the Regal Princess offshore at Port Everglades in Fort
Lauderdale on Sunday while it reviewed crew history and tested two
crew members who recently worked aboard the Grand Princess.
The CDC later lifted its no-sail order and cleared the way for the Regal
Princess to dock in Fort Lauderdale. However, Princess Cruises had
decided to cancel the voyage when it was detained because Princess was
unsure when it would be able to obtain sampling kits and test results
for the crew members.
The ship was scheduled to do a turnaround at Port Everglades on Sunday
morning and depart in the evening.
Princess Cruises said that the CDC had requested information
about two crew members who previously served on Grand Princess and transferred
to the Regal Princess more than two weeks ago. The Grand Princess has been circling
international waters off San Francisco Bay because 21 people aboard (19
crew and two guests) have Covid-19 coronavirus. That ship has been given permission by
authorities to head to the Port of Oakland and start disembarking on Monday.
“Neither of these [Regal Princess] crew members are exhibiting respiratory
symptoms consistent with Covid-19 and are well beyond CDC's advised 14-day
incubation period for the illness,” the company said in an emailed statement.
“Therefore, based on U.S. CDC's published Covid-19 guidance, these crew members
should not pose any risks to the health and welfare of anyone aboard Regal
“We share in our guests’ disappointment in the canceled
cruise and are sorry that we could not communicate sooner given the lack of
information,” the company said.
Guests who are currently on the ship waiting to disembark can submit for
reimbursement of any unexpected expenses such as air change fees. That will be
decided on a case-by-case basis.
Passengers on the March 8 sailing will receive a full refund
of their cruise fare and any other prepaid items purchased through Princess.
Those who booked hotels independently will get up to $300 for one-night hotel
costs in Fort Lauderdale.