In a statement, Royal Caribbean revealed that 48 passengers on their Symphony of The Seas ship have tested positive for Covid-19. The Symphony just landed back in Miami on Saturday after the seven-day Caribbean sail.

Royal Caribbean spokesperson Lyan Sierra-Caro said that the positive cases represented 0.78% of the 6,091 passengers and crew onboard the ship. Sierra-Caro added that there had been 44 positive cases, but four “close contacts” were identified as positive at the end of the voyage, bringing the total to 48.

Royal Caribbean has Covid-19 guidelines in place, including requiring all passengers 12 and older to be fully vaccinated and to test negative to board the Symphony of the Seas. They also added that 98% of the people who tested positive were fully vaccinated.

Along with this outbreak, the cruise line has also notified passengers that someone from a Dec. 4 trip on the same ship has tested positive for Covid, and it was identified as a case of the Omicron variant.

According to the email sent to passengers, the Dec. 4 guest “did not report symptoms to our onboard medical teams as outlined in our health protocols.”

On the most recent cruise with 48 cases, Sierra-Cao wrote that they contained the spread by “immediately identifying close contacts after a guest tested positive.”

Some passengers on the Symphony claimed like Covid protocols were not as strictly enforced as Sierra-Cao said. One passenger, Connor O’Dell from Orlando, said his fiance’s high-risk aunt tested positive, but that doctors did not give her an in-depth enough physical exam when she first got a bad cough.

“We all knew the risks of going on the ship,” O’Dell said, “the problem is that were promised a set of protocols (or) adequate medical staffing and they were not adhered to.

O’Dell’s partner, James Johnson, said that no one else in their group was checked by the cruise line staff, even after five others tested positive. Johnson also reported that Royal Caribbean staff seemed “overwhelmed,” and would change instructions frequently.

As Omicron cases spread, the cruise industry’s leading organization, Cruise Lines International Association, released a statement placing health and safety as their “highest priority.” They note that the protocols in place were “designed with variants in mind.”

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