Cruise ships were notorious hotspots of COVID-19 outbreaks before they were officially closed down. Since the crisis began, the Miami Herald has collected data showing there have been over 2,700 confirmed COVID-19 cases contracted on ocean cruise ships, along with 74 total deaths. Of the entire cruise ship fleet, 22 percent have had at least one COVID-19 case before they docked and closed.
Cruise ships were hotbeds for coronavirus outbreaks for a number of reasons, primarily due to the high density of passengers confined in relatively small spaces. Despite numerous reports and warnings from global health experts, cruise companies took a relatively longer time to officially close down – a fact that may have contributed to more cases and more deaths.
Carnival, along with other large cruise companies, are aiming to re-establish their trips incrementally over the coming months. All trips from every company have been closed through July, with measured approaches to returning to business beginning at the end of summer. Some of the larger cruise businesses may be able to weather the economic storm, however smaller and mid-tier companies are facing disastrous economic consequences to remaining closed over the summer.