In another sign of wealth absolutely not correlating with intelligence, multiple cruise ships are swimming in COVID-19, as outbreaks among passengers and crew have ships of fools unable to disembark at their destinations.

To be embarking on a cruise ship vacation in the Year of Our Lord 2021 seems the equivalent of watching the holiday film A Christmas Story and deciding, “Hey, let’s place our tongues on flag poles in below-freezing weather and see if they really stick!” Yet legions of Americans, despite the lessons of 2020 that cruise ships are massive coronavirus transmission vectors, have decided to set a course for adventure anyway. And — oh golly you are not going to believe this — a CNN report on KGO details how several cruise ships cannot let passengers disembark because they’ve had severe COVID-19 outbreaks among passengers and crew.

According to Reuters, the CDC is investigating 68 cruise ships for having “met its threshold for an investigation” into the volume of their COVID-19 outbreaks, as the Omicron surge spikes cases on those ships. Passengers and crew are generally all fully vaccinated, so this may be not be as terrible as March and April 2020, when tens of thousands of passengers and crew were stranded on board for multiple weeks. But the CNN report cites four particularly concerning examples.

  • Holland America Line Koningsdam - A total of 1,035 passengers and 874 crew are stranded onboard this line, according to NBC News, as the Mexican state of Jalisco would not allow them to disembark at Puerto Vallarta because of an outbreak of positive cases on board.
  • Carnival Freedom - A boat whose name seems tailor-made to welcome the Trumper Covidiot, this boat was turned away from port in the Caribbean, and has since returned to Miami and allowed passengers to leave. "It was horrible," passenger Leah Murray said of the outbreak-tinged experience. "They didn't inform us of hardly anything.”
  • Royal Caribbean Odyssey of the Seas - This craft was denied entry into Curacao and Aruba over Christmas, but passengers were allowed to disembark at Fort Lauderdale and go home on Sunday. Passengers got off, muttering to the press that “It was the worst Christmas.”

Carnival spokesperson AnneMarie Mathews told CNN that the Omicron surge "may shape how some destination authorities view even a small number of cases, even when they are being managed with our vigorous protocols." And those smaller destination nations are surely doing the right thing by denying  the tourists entrance. "Some destinations have limited medical resources and are focused on managing their own local response to the variant," she added.

San Francisco right now is dealing with our highest case numbers of the year, so for the time being, we hope to host as few of these ships as possible.

Related: Passengers From Grand Princess Mexico Cruise Sue Company for Negligence [SFist]

Image: @fredrickfilix93 via Unsplash