Two people test positive for COVID-19 aboard first cruise out of North America

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The first cruise ship sailing out of North America in 15 months is almost complete.

Two days before passengers were set to disembark, Celebrity Cruises announced two of its passengers on board who were sharing a room tested positive for COVID-19.

The ship, whose crew and passengers were all fully vaccinated, says both are asymptomatic and isolating from others.

For Jacksonville couple Karah and Paul Mosteller, this cruise was their honeymoon and a great one at that.

We were able to Facetime the newlyweds on their last night on the ship.

Karah explained, “It’s been really fun, it’s been great. We’ve had a good time and we’ve really just done everything we wanted.”

But she says to get on board was no easy task.

“We had to go to the Orlando airport to get a rapid 30-minute PCR test, which was insane. That was the crazy part and then we had to fill out electronic health information forms to send into the government of Saint Martin to get approved to come here and upload our vaccination cards and everything.”

Paul added that the crew checked their vaccination cards several times before allowing them to board.

On Thursday, when news broke that two of its passengers tested positive for the coronavirus, the Mostellers said not much changed.

“Actually the captain just came on a couple minutes ago saying they finished all the tests and no one else has tested positive, just those two people.”

The Mostellers tell Action News Jax they and others on board went into it knowing what could happen.

“Everybody knew, even with the precautions, the virus still exists, and nobody was really concerned about it. Everyone just wanted to get on the boat and go cruising.”

And despite having limited capacity on board and crew members wearing masks, they say it felt like a normal vacation.