| USA TODAY
A passenger traveling on AIDA Cruises‘ AIDAblu was not allowed to reembark after disobeying cruise line protocol on an excursion — a consequence that is to be implemented when cruising returns stateside, too, for passengers who don’t follow new restrictions.
On Tuesday, during a shoreside excursion that was organized by the Carnival Corp. subsidiary in Catania, Italy, a passenger left his group, which violates the cruise line’s rules for “protection and mitigation against COVID-19.”
AIDAblu departed from Civitavecchia, Italy, on Saturday for the line’s first sailing since the pandemic began.
“Our highest responsibility and top priorities are compliance, environmental protection and the health, safety and well-being of our guests, crew, shoreside employees, and the people and communities our ships visit,” AIDA said in a statement provided by Carnival Corp. spokesperson Roger Frizzell. “Therefore, the guest was refused further travel on board AIDAblu. AIDA Cruises supported the guest in organizing his trip home.”
Shore excursions are open to all passengers on AIDA ships who wish to disembark but to ensure the safety of passengers, crew and shoreside communities, strict protocols have been implemented that passengers are made aware of prior to setting sail and again before the excursion starts.
Carnival Corp. has said it will look to its cruise lines that are already sailing in Europe, including AIDA and Costa Cruises, as they continue planning for their return in U.S. waters, Frizzell told USA TODAY.
“We plan to leverage the experience and learnings from both Costa Cruises and AIDA, as well as ongoing input from our science and medical experts as part of the process,” Frizzell said.
And Cruise Lines International Association announced in September that it would implement a set of protocols across all member ships impacted by the “no-sail” order that include shore excursion protocol: Any shore excursions are to meet cruise lines’ strict protocols. Passengers who do not comply with those rules on excursions will not be allowed to reboard.
This isn’t the first time a cruise line has blocked a passenger from getting back on a ship after violating precautions to protect against coronavirus.
In August, MSC Cruises cracked down on passengers who broke newly implemented COVID-19 health and safety protocol. The cruise line barred a family from getting back on board the MSC Grandiosa after an excursion in Naples, Italy, during which MSC Cruises says they broke from the “social bubble” put in place to avoid the spread of coronavirus.
Cruising is still on pause in U.S. waters in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “no-sail” order and the industry’s operational pause, which are both set to expire at the end of the month, though Carnival Corp. lines including flagship Carnival Cruise Line and Princess Cruises, have extended their own sailing suspensions beyond Oct. 31.
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