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.
This is a good thing! Why should we gain more cases just because tourists have an entitled need to travel? St. Thomas cannot handle the over abundance of Covid cases and anyone cursing at this time should take into consideration that communities have the right to deny outsiders access. Good job St. Thomas!
For what it is worth, St. Thomas did not make the decision, Disney did.
An update has been made to this article with a conflicting report published in The Virgin Islands Daily News.
20% future cruise credit and a $200 onboard credit? That’s crazy. No port is ever guaranteed. That’s in the contract. We’ve missed ports due to weather and would never have imagined expecting some form of compensation for that.
That’s what we got when we weren’t able to go to Castaway Cay. It’s business sense to get you back on the ship in the future for stuff you “missed” . Discount now=profit later. Really no different than Old Navy’s promo where you buy stuff and get ‘old navy cash’ to spend a few weeks down the road.
We’ve missed plenty of ports – never offered or expected compensation. It’s literally in the contract that no port is ever guaranteed.
There were hundreds of people sitting on the marble floor for hours in a small space… I think they were just trying to recover some ground due to many other shortfalls on the cruise.
I am a TA, and I just booked my first cruise for March. I personally dont want the jab, but after having covid 3x now, I’m willing to get one just for the sake of getting back on the water. Well, today I was at my parents with my son, and he said ” mommy and daddy are going on a boat (he’s 4). My dad about lost his S**T when he heard this. He starting spitting out a bunch of nonsense how there are troops occupying a major hotel here in Dallas for the “fallout” when it happens ( Im thinking, why is the govt taking a hotel over near downtown that’s $200+ per night?). Also talking about how pilots are mysteriously dying as well as a Disney cruise ship denied entry back into the US cause the whole ship was infected and people were dying!!! This blog has helped me disprove it.
The part about a DCL ship ship denied is a new one to me. Must have been an extreme stretch of the St. Thomas, USVI story.