Almost three weeks have passed since Grand Turk has had a cruise ship visit, and it’s all thanks to a nasty outbreak of norovirus in the cruise center.
As stated in an earlier article of mine, “A recent surge in norovirus-like illnesses have been reported on cruise ships that have recently called in the island nation of Grand Turk. Guests on the recent cruises have reported symptoms only after calling in Grand Turk. Carnival Cruise Lines, which operates the Grand Turk Cruise Center, has decided to close the port in order to investigate the cause of the bug and fully eradicate it.” At this time, it seems that sanitation and eradication of the bug has not yet been completed.
In a statement from a Holland America Line spokesperson, Holland describes the situation: “In early March, there was an increase in reported cases of gastroenteritis among cruise ship guests following their visit to Grand Turk. Affected passengers were sailing aboard the ships of multiple cruise lines. Although not confirmed, we are investigating whether there may be a link with consumption of food and beverages while guests were ashore in Grand Turk.”
In an abundance of caution, various cruise line’s have decided to alter ship’s itineraries so as not to call in Grand Turk. Holland America Line has cancelled the Eurodam’s April 1st call and the Nieuw Amsterdam’s April 2nd call. Both ships will skip Grand Turk and sail directly to the next itinerary day’s port of call, San Juan, Puerto Rico, arriving five hours earlier at 8:00 a.m. Tax refunds will be provided in the form of a shipboard credit for guests. All pre-booked shore tours will be fully refunded.
Carnival Cruise Lines has also cancelled the Carnival Breeze’s April 1st call, which will be replaced with a call in Nassau, Bahamas. The Carnival Victory’s April 4th call will be replaced with a call in Freeport, Bahamas. The Carnival Liberty’s April 4th call has also been cancelled and will instead remain in San Juan until 10pm on April 3rd. Princess Cruises has also cancelled the April 5th call of the Ruby Princess, which will call in Nassau, Bahamas instead.
At this time, there is no information on future calls at Grand Turk.
Photos: Mike Faust