Passenger Says Carnival Cruise With COVID-19 Outbreak Was Like a 'Petri Dish'

Ashley Peterson says COVID-19 was finally confirmed when they were denied entry into a Caribbean port. At least six cruise ships have recently suffered COVID-19 outbreaks.

With the Omicron variant spreading and numbers on the rise, a handful of cruise ships have been turned away from docks just like the early days of the pandemic. 

One passenger says she felt like she was trapped inside a petri dish after setting sail on a ship with a COVID-19 outbreak.

“I felt like it was definitely a super spreader event,” Ashley Peterson said.

Peterson set sail aboard the Carnival Freedom, which was bound for the Caribbean. Footage shows lively passengers, some not wearing masks, excited for their dream vacation. 

But two days into the cruise, Peterson says passengers suspected a COVID-19 outbreak when crew members started isolating.

One photo shows a worker dressed in a hazmat suit, and Peterson says a hallway was closed off for quarantining.

She says COVID-19 was finally confirmed when they were denied entry into a Caribbean port. 

“That was the first time they would admit that there was COVID on the ship,” Peterson said.

Carnival said in a statement that “a small number on board were isolated due to a positive COVID test.”

It wasn't the only cruise ship hit by the virus.

At least six cruise ships have suffered COVID-19 outbreaks, which led to thousands of passengers being banned from touring certain popular destinations.

Travel vlogger Austin Hamaway believes he has COVID-19 symptoms, including a sore throat, after cruising on the MSC Seashore, which has reported at least 28 cases.

Hamaway says as soon as they boarded their cruise to Mexico, he had concerns.

“The dining room was very crowded. All the tables and the elevators are very crowded. They were jam packed. I was a little shocked by how crowded everywhere was,” Hamaway said.

The cruise line says they were booked far below capacity. 

On a Holland America cruise, passengers were banned from touring Puerto Vallarta after the cruise line says a small number of its employees tested positive.

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