Carvalho: Covid19 stigmatised cruise ships

File Photo
File Photo

The bad experiences and publicity that came out of the cruise-ship industry during covid19 have led some people, including employees, to stigmatise cruise ships as dangerous, said CEO of Carvalho’s Cruise Services Ltd Charles Carvalho.

He said after the Diamond Princess cruise ship outbreak in February 2020, when 712 people were infected, resulting in 13 deaths, countries handled cruise ships poorly.

“Cruise lines were debarred from going to various destinations because of covid19,” Carvalho said. “They had to anchor offshore with crew members on board. That was the ill, because some crew members committed suicide because they were marooned on the ship."

A lot of crew members were traumatised and did not want to go back out to ships as a result, he said, so cruise lines are now having a very difficult time bringing experienced crew members back on board.

"It has dampened their spirit.”

However, he said a cruise ship is the best place to be if you are travelling and come across a person who is suspected of having the virus.

“If a person is suspected of having covid19, they can remain in their room and be quarantined in a cabin,” he said. “But if you are in an airline cabin and you are a suspected covid19 case, there is no place that you can quarantine.

“Cruise lines have doctors on staff. All cruise ships have infirmaries with hospital beds and medicine.”

He added that Trinidad and Tobago had lost an opportunity in turning away cruise ships during the pandemic as part of its closed-border policy. Had the government opened the port and provided food, fuel, and other necessities to marooned ships, he said, TT would have a booming manufacturing sector.

He added that his business is struggling, as the industry is now reopening and his business still has to manage expenses.


"Carvalho: Covid19 stigmatised cruise ships"

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