A cruise ship headed for the Mexican Riviera set sail from the Port of Long Beach on Saturday. It is the first cruise ship to depart from California in 17 months.
It will stop in the Mexican ports of Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlan before returning to Long Beach. In the statement, the Carnival Panorama is on a seven-day voyage. The 1060-foot Carnival Panorama debuted in 2019. Passenger Bob Lechtreck said he and his wife were on the inaugural sailing on December 11, 2019. The cruise industry was hard-hit by the pandemic after passengers and crew members tested positive for COVID-19 because of which some ships were turned away from ports. The industry has battled the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over health requirements for resuming sailing in US waters. Passengers must be vaccinated, but the company will allow “a small number of exemptions” for those unable to get the vaccine, including children under 12 who are not yet eligible. Those who are unvaccinated will have to follow additional precautions, according to Carnival’s COVID-19 guest protocols.
The ship headed back to Galveston, Texas, Friday after stopping in Mexico. The positive cases were among 26 crew members and one passenger on the Carnival Vista, which was carrying over 1,400 crew and nearly 3,000 passengers, the Belize Tourism Board.