Two passengers aboard the Celebrity Millennium cruise ship – which carried only vaccinated crew and passengers as the industry aims to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic lockdown – tested positive for COVID-19 at the end of the cruise, the company said Thursday.
Both were asymptomatic and were sharing the same stateroom.
Contact tracing efforts were underway, Celebrity said in a statement, and anyone who came into contact with the duo was expected to receive expedited testing.
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"Celebrity Millennium is sailing with fully vaccinated crew and guests and following comprehensive protocols that align with our destination partners and exceed CDC guidelines to protect the health and safety of our guests," a Celebrity spokesperson said Thursday. "All guests on Celebrity Millennium were required to show proof of vaccination as well as a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours before sailing from St. Maarten this past Saturday. This situation demonstrates that our rigorous health and safety protocols work to protect our crew, guests and the communities we visit."
The Millennium was the first cruise ship to return to service in North America since the coronavirus pandemic shut down the industry last year.
The overhauled ship returned to service based out of St. Maarten on June 5 – equipped with $500 million in upgrades and state-of-the-art new features, including air filters, redesigned rooms, new restaurants and designer boutiques.
Rooms started at $1,999 per person. The company said the vessel’s entire crew was vaccinated, and proof of vaccination was required for guests over 12 years old.
The company’s "Healthy at Sea Protocols" can be viewed at CelebrityCruises.com
Its first U.S.-based cruise ship to return to service will be the Celebrity Edge, set to depart Florida’s Port Everglades on June 26, according to MarketWatch.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing recipients from contracting the virus.
Still, some vaccinated people become infected anyway. They are less likely of getting seriously ill than unvaccinated people, according to the CDC.