Coast Guard Tells Cruises to Prepare to Care for Sick Guests for an ‘Indefinite Period’

A memo by the US Coast Guard, first reported by the Miami Herald, is instructing cruise ships with more than 50 people aboard to “increase their medical capabilities, personnel, and equipment in order to care for individuals with ILIs (influenza-like illnesses) for an indefinite period of time.” The memo also advises that ships flagged in The Bahamas should seek assistance from that government first, before coming to the United States. It should be noted that most cruise lines are flagged to foreign governments to avoid US labor law requirements.

Effectively, this means that those passengers still on board ships may have an extended period onboard before they will be permitted back into the US.

By some estimates, there are more than 8,000 passengers still at sea – with the majority of those aboard ships owned by Carnival Cruise Lines. The MS Zandam (a Carnival owned ship) has been at sea for 15 days and has had 4 deaths attributed to Coronavirus. The ship has been denied docking in several countries. It is currently en route to Florida, but there is no official word if they will be permitted to disembark.

Pete Werner

I'm an Orlando local I'm the owner of the DIS ( and as well as the host of the DIS Unplugged podcast. I have a special place in my heart for Disney Vacation Club and Disney Cruise Line :)

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One thought on “Coast Guard Tells Cruises to Prepare to Care for Sick Guests for an ‘Indefinite Period’

  • (From The Best Care Possible: A Physician’s Quest to Transform Care Through the End of Life (Avery, 2012)). Someone once asked anthropologist Margaret Mead what she considered to be the first evidence of civilization. She answered: a human thigh bone with a healed fracture found in an archaeological site 15,000 years old. Why not tools for hunting or religious artifacts or primitive forms of communal self-governance?

    Mead points out that for a person to survive a broken femur the individual had to have been cared for long enough for that bone to heal. Others must have provided shelter, protection, food and drink over an extended period of time for this kind of healing to be possible.

    We are failing this first test of civilization if we leave these people stranded

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