Passengers on Alaska-bound Carnival cruise ship say COVID outbreak overwhelmed crew as they docked in Seattle

SEATTLE — Passengers on the Carnival cruise ship Spirit that docked Tuesday in Seattle say more than 100 people aboard the ship tested positive for COVID-19 and the crew was overwhelmed.

Multiple people said they were in quarantine at Seattle-area hotels after testing positive or being exposed to someone with COVID-19. Carnival Cruise Line would not confirm how many people tested positive but said there were a number of positive cases, KING5 reported.

Darren Sieferston, a passenger on the cruise from Miami to Seattle, was in quarantine after testing positive. He said the crew’s response was chaotic.

“They didn’t have enough staff to handle the emergency that was happening, period,” said Sieferston. “They were overwhelmed and they didn’t have a backup course in how to handle about 200 people affected with COVID. We all suffered.”

Passengers told KING5 they waited hours for meals, weren’t properly isolated and couldn’t get ahold of medical staff.

“We couldn’t call anybody. ...Basically, we sat in the room, you call and it would ring, ring, ring and ring all day long” said Sieferston.

The ship de-boarded Tuesday and is already on its next voyage to Alaska. Carnival wouldn’t comment if additional protection would be taken for that trip.

Carnival said there were no serious health issues. The company’s website says guest are required to be fully vaccinated and tested before a trip. Some exemptions are accommodated with proper testing.