Carnival Freedom docks at Port Miami after coronavirus cases prevent stops at Bonaire, Aruba

Carnival Freedom was denied entry at Bonaire and Aruba after reporting coronavirus cases.

The Carnival Freedom returned to Miami on Sunday after a group of passengers tested positive for the coronavirus prompting changes to the voyage’s schedule.

The cruise ship departed Miami on Dec. 18. After delays during the stop in Curacao on Dec. 21, the scheduled stops on Dec. 22 in Bonaire and Dec. 23 in Aruba were canceled.

On Dec. 24, the cruise ship stopped in the Dominican Republic. Ashley Peterson used Twitter to vent about her experience on the ship.

“People have spent thousands of dollars on this cruise and picked this cruise for the ports. Now on an 8 day cruise we will have only gone to 1 place on a delayed schedule,” Peterson wrote.

Passengers received an apologetic letter from the cruise ship’s captain gifting them with a $100 credit per room and a free game of Bingo. Peterson did not believe that was enough compensation.

From cruise ships to flights, the omicron variant is having an effect on South Florida.

“The rapid spread of the Omicron variant impacts how destinations are responding to even a small number of cases,” the ship’s captain wrote in the Dec. 22 letter.

There were 2,497 passengers and 1,112 crew members on the ship. Jim Skorupski said no one disclosed how many people tested positive for the virus, and there were plenty of rumors.

“We have heard varying stories. We have heard five. We have heard 12. We heard 25,” Skorupski said after getting off the ship.

The cruise line reported sending updates to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas and Odyssey of the Seas also recently had passengers test positive for the coronavirus.

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About the Authors:

Parker Branton joined Local 10 News in January 2019 as a reporter. He was born and raised in Rome, Georgia, but now loves living on the sunny beaches of South Florida.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.