Here’s what I posted on Reddit. It’s long but thorough.
I was on a B2B starting with the December 19th sailing. That cruise was amazing. And honestly if I hadn't taken that cruise, I probably would've never thought twice about what happened on the December 26th sailing. I had something to compare it to. There were covid issues at the end of the first sailing with crew being quarantined and wait staff starting to be shuffled on the boat. Grease and the Aqua show ran fine in week 1. By the second sailing Grease had completely shut down, the Aqua show had a fraction of the performers from the week before...and based on my conversations with crew that I had befriended, I knew that that covid was running through the crew. At that point, I was on alert...I knew there was a massive shift between the two weeks.
I never said there were 300 positive passengers. I said "no doubt there are more than 300 positive passengers" and that was in response to someone else who had said they heard there were 300 positive passengers. That was not an official count but my opinion based on my observations from what I had seen and heard and talked about (via online channels) with other people in covid quarantine. I stand by what I said, if someone told me there were 1000 positive cases on the ship I wouldn't be surprised in the least. But that won't happen because people are NOW testing positive after they've disembarked and people like me they don't test so the numbers you see won't be accurate but they'll make everyone "feel good" about the cruise.
The amount of coughing and hacking I heard on the ship was very concerning. Mask or not. People do not report their symptoms and get tested. The testing and CDC numbers are only good if passengers voluntarily report their symptoms and test. Crew is tested twice a week which is why their numbers are pretty solid. But if there are 200 positive crew out of 1500...how many do you think of the 4000 passengers?
Several FB user sat on their decks and watched and counted in real time more than 100 Crew that were transferred to the Vision of the Seas. This was AFTER 50 people had been transferred a couple days before. That was at least 150 people so when you think about "300" it becomes more realistic. There is video of the transfer out there on Twitter I believe. Could be the FB group for the sailing.
I was on a COVID floor (6) and the entire hall was full of covid positive people. 1-4 people in each room. Probably 75-80 rooms I was guessing. There was also confirmation that floor 3 and floor 9 were being used for isolation and quarantine. This was only by day 4 of the cruise.
Groups of people were marched down our hallway several times a day by the Hazmat Crew. New residents in Covid Row.
We specifically asked for covid count numbers and were denied. When we were getting tested there was a constant stream of people and crew with symptoms coming in and testing. Many were positive. Second day (we tested negative and then positive so were there two days) same thing. Another passenger was there testing (positive) and said he was there a different time and saw at least 6 crew test positive.
My issue is with the testing and how/what gets reported. They didn't even bother to test me. Even though I was quarantined with a positive case for 4 days. They said I would be tested if she was positive but they never did so the official numbers that come out won't include me. This happened to almost everyone I've talked to that was quarantined with a close contact.
My second issue was with the terrible communication. I'm not even that upset about COVID. I knew and understood the risk. It was the lack of communication and protocols. Our hallways were full of rotting garbage for days...until the last day. No one gave us any indication or help with what to do when we got off. We still don't have clear communication - a letter. And I had to book a hotel myself and find alternate transportation home - and pay for it all. They're "supposed" to reimburse us but I don't feel confident. I'm still holding out hope that they do the right thing but I've had to fight them at every turn for every single thing. They just haven't been very helpful or accommodating. I still haven't seen what they've charged me on my account...I was charged $175 for my DD initial medical "exam" that they require if your test is negative (even though she tested positive the next day). They're supposed to pay the fees.
I found out today from another parent that they didn't even contact them and my daughter was in Adventure Ocean with them. So no contact tracing...or ineffective contact tracing. I honestly think they ran out of tests.
When we booked they have these guarantees to get you home, people were given private flights home. I was told "no" and that was it. Basically I was on my own after that.
RCCL was very good at covering it up for the non positive passengers. They always had positive messages from the CD and it was still peppy. That's their job. But what was happening below decks was not pretty. If you weren't in it, you wouldn't know it was going on. This is hearsay, but someone who was positive told me they heard the doctor say they need to quarantine this whole ship now (either yesterday or the day before that) - which clearly didn't happen. The covid was out of control but they hid it well.
So please understand the frustration. We get whisked off to a room without our stuff for hours, covid positive and we have no information or help for 4 days, we are in the middle of the ocean with no contact with family, no way to even try to book what we need to book because the internet is slow. I am shelling out several thousand dollars while sitting in a hotel in Orlando just ....waiting. Nothing from RCCL. I still have cruises booked with RCCL....I haven't cancelled yet but this customer service was a failure. Feel free to ask my any specific questions or clarify anything. I'll be brutally honest.