Business

Maura: Bookings remain strong despite COVID-19 cruise cases

‘The cruise industry has been far more vigilant and has taken steps no other industry has taken’

Despite the worrisome news that almost 50 passengers tested positive aboard a Royal Caribbean International (RCI) cruise ship, Chief Executive Officer of Nassau Cruise Port Limited (NCP) Mike Maura Jr. told Guardian Business yesterday that NCP’s cruise ship booking numbers remain strong, contending cruise ships are “as safe as any other place that we all are gathering”.

Maura explained that the cruise industry has done more than any other industry to prepare for a return back to business, while ensuring the safety of traveling passengers.

“The cruise industry has been far more vigilant and has taken steps no other industry has taken, specific to numerous testing requirements prior to passengers boarding the ship and requirements that persons of the appropriate age are fully vaccinated in order to board the ship,” Maura said.

“The fact that there were cases on board the cruise ship is not surprising to me because it’s also not surprising to me that we would have people staying in hotels that would also have contracted the virus.”

According to a Reuters article on RCI’s positive COVID-19 passengers, 48 people on the Symphony of the Seas ship were found to have the virus, “fueling concerns that the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus could put a damper on a recovery in the cruise industry”.

The article added that the cruise ship had 6,091 guests and crew aboard for a week-long journey that ended in Miami. It is understood that the ship visited RCI’s private island in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay, but not Nassau.

Maura said COVID-19 will continue to be something humankind will have to contend with, much like the flu. He said, though, that people in general and the traveling public in particular are taking much more precautions to guard against the spread of COVID-19.

“The good news is that while the virus will continue to spread, and while it will continue to mutate, the world’s population continues to get vaccinated and many of the world’s population has proceeded to get booster shots,” said Maura.

“The virus will continue to mutate and there will be other variants that appear as the months come and as the virus continues to mutate. It’s not going away. It will never go away. 

“The fact is, I think most of the traveling public has taken the necessary precautions and have gotten vaccinated and gotten their booster shots.”

He said people traveling by both air and sea have had to change the way they do things “and that’s the way we are living now”.

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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