the Celebrity summit cruise ship was not allowed to make its scheduled stopover at Nassau, Bahamas Friday January 7. It comes as the cruise line says authorities have turned down the ship due to an “emergency decision by local health officials.” Celebrity Cruises has sent a letter to guests on the current navigation to inform them of the cancellation.
Celebrity Apex Spends Day At Sea After Nassau Cancellation
This is another last minute port cancellation for a cruise ship sailing the Caribbean and Bahamas. This time it’s Celebrity summit who has been refused entry to the Bahamas due to changes made by that country to its entry requirements for cruise ships. The ship will spend a day at sea instead of spending the day ashore in Nassau.
The letter sent to the guests on the current navigation of Captain Panagiotis Skylogiannis, “Currently, the Bahamas have changed their entry requirements for cruise ship tours due to the COVID-19 Omicron variant. Following this emergency decision by the health authorities, we will replace our planned stopover in Nassau with a relaxing day at sea. We will now continue to sail to our final destination in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for a disembarkation in Port. Everglades this Saturday as expected.“
The health requirements the cruise line talks about are unclear at this point. The Bahamas recently updated their testing requirements, but these are only in place for visitors staying longer than 48 hours.
Celebrity summit sails with a full vaccination warrant for passengers and crew. Passengers must also test negative before the cruise. Celebrity Cruises has not made any official statement as to whether there were any active cases of COVID-19 on board.
Also Read: Does CDC’s Cruise Ship Color Chart Still Have a Purpose?
The Edge-class ship is on a 5-day round-trip Bahamian cruise from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, which departed on January 3. The ship has spent a day at sea and a day in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, and will slowly make her way back to Fort Lauderdale where she is expected to arrive on Saturday, January 8.
Passengers who have booked shore excursions through the cruise line will receive a full refund to their onboard account. Customers with outside arrangements will need to contact their tour operators independently, although Celebrity says they will help by providing phone lines.
Worrisome trend or beginning of the end?
Many will see another port-of-call cancellation a worrying development for the industry. In fact, just last week, MSC cruises have been refused from their private island. And several ships have been denied entry to a multitude of ports of call in recent weeks.
Royal Caribbean, which is the parent company of Celebrity Cruises, released a statement last week that the problems we are seeing now have a big effect in the short term, but are unlikely to have much of an effect in the long term.
Richard Fain, CEO of Royal Caribbean: âOmicron is having a big short-term impact on everyone, but many observers see this as a major step towards making COVID-19 endemic rather than epidemic. We don’t like to see even a single case, but our experience is a fraction of the comparable statistics of virtually any other comparable place or industry.“
“We are constantly learning and adapting as Omicron appears to be ushering in a new phase in the fight against COVID-19. We expect these factors to have a negative impact in the short term, but we are optimistic that they will lead us to a more widespread but less severe health environment. “
So while cancellations certainly affect guests’ cruise vacations, according to Royal Caribbean, this problem is unlikely to persist. The next trip for Celebrity summit, which departs Jan. 8, will be a 7-day cruise to Belize, Mexico, and another scheduled stopover in Nassau.
Hopefully by then we will know what those updated health protocols have kept the ship from calling in the Bahamas this week.