On Thursday, December 30, 2021, the Disney Fantasy docked at St. Thomas where guests learned they would not be permitted ashore due to an ‘abundance of caution’ as a result of both an increase in COVID-19 cases on in St Thomas, and a small number of fully vaccinated cast & crew members and passengers which is reported as less than 1% of those on board which are in isolation for COVID-19.
According to a firsthand report, the Carnival Magic is docked next to the Fantasy in St Thomas and passengers are disembarking without issue.
Captain Jason reported over the ship intercom there are passengers in quarantine. It has been reported to us by another guest onboard that there are less than 1% of crew and passengers (all vaccinated) isolated with COVID-19.
We also learned, guests will receive a 20% future cruise and $200 dollar onboard credit.
Around 9:30 AM local time, the Disney Fantasy departed St. Thomas to spend the day at sea.
The Disney Fantasy is on a 7-night Eastern Caribbean Cruise, and scheduled to return to Port Canaveral on Sunday. According to the reported AIS data from MarineTraffic.com, the stop at Castaway Cay is still scheduled for Saturday. This was also reported to guests by Captain Jason.
A Disney spokesperson issued the following statement on today’s itinerary modification.
“The Disney Fantasy did not call on St. Thomas today due to both an increase in COVID-19 cases on the island and a small number of fully vaccinated Crew Members and Guests – less than 1% of those on board – in isolation for COVID-19. Those affected by these breakthrough cases are either asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, and we are following CDC protocols for managing cases on board. We continue to operate with multiple layers of health and safety protocols in place, such as requiring vaccinations, PCR tests at the port prior to embarkation for all guests, testing of our Crew multiple times per week, enhanced cleaning protocols and a requirement that masks be worn in all indoor spaces.”
There is a conflicting report from The Virgin Islands Daily News which shared a statement from Health Commissioner Justa Encarnacion. Cruise ships with active COVID cases over the 1% threshold are not allowed to stay in the St Thomas.
“We are assessing the percent positivity on each ship and adhering to the contractual agreement for passengers and crew members,” Encarnacion said. “If it falls within our agreed upon critical level, which they all have, we do not approve disembarking of passengers unless there is a life-threatening emergency.”
When asked by The Daily News if positive cases on St. Thomas factored into the decision for the Disney Fantasy to leave, Encarnacion said it did not.
The current surge in cases around the world is affecting how destinations view even a small number of cases. This week alone, there have been multiple destinations denying ships across the various cruise ship brands. For example, on Wednesday, MSC was denied at entry at Ocean Cay, Bahamas.