Letter from Mein Schiff 2 crew member: The outbreak started after guests didn’t follow health and safety rules

Jan 18, 2022

The spread of COVID-19 aboard Mein Schiff 2 has forced TUI Cruises to cancel the upcoming Caribbean voyage. The last-minute cancellation comes as the number of positive cases among the crew has increased exponentially, especially within the service staff, which makes it impossible to maintain daily operations for guests. All passengers will disembark the ship today and tomorrow in Bridgetown, Barbados and will be sent home on charter flights back to Germany.

A crew member aboard Mein Schiff 2 has told Crew Center that the cancellation and the rise of COVID cases comes as no surprise, after the misconduct of guests during the previous sailings. The crew member said that number of guests didn’t follow TUI Cruises' health and safety protocols, therefore the captain needed to make several announcements on the PA system advising them to follow the rules. The crew member reported large group gatherings on the open decks without face masks, no social distance in the corridors or in the public areas was observed by the passengers. 

We have a crowd control department but they can't do it by themself, due to the fact that so many guests didn’t follow simple guidelines. There was always announcements that they should wear masks in close space and in open deck areas where social distance can't be made. However, even after all these announcements number of guests didn’t follow the protocols. A lot of guests are spending time on the pool deck where it is not possible to hold distance and nobody is wearing masks. In restaurants and bars they don't wear masks when they sit,” the crew member said.

The first COVID cases aboard Mein Schiff 2 were reported during the New Year’s when hundreds of guests without masks gathered on the open deck to celebrate, the crew member said. Back then Around 15 positive crew were sent to a hotel quarantine in La Romana, as part of efforts to contain the virus. However, it was already too late for that and the numbers aboard have increased sharply in the pas few days.

“Apparently the company has a good strong "health" system that supposedly works well, it does not and nobody, except the crew, respects this system. Guest bearly wear masks, there is little to no social distance at all.

On New Year’s Eve, the pool deck was full of people without masks and social distance. That's why after new year we start to have Covid cases. It was well contained and we continued to sail. And then 3 days ago all hell broke loose the crew started getting infected very fast, it was mostly crew from restaurant galley and bar. Some of them got lucky they were sent to hotels and everything is fine. 

But then the numbers increased rapidly there was not enough crew to work and the remaining crew had to work double shifts to cover everything up, which we can’t with 1700 guests and half of the restaurant department positive. Now some crew are in isolation in guest cabins and others are in crew cabins. The captain wanted to continue and finish the cruise, however, this was impossible and luckily yesterday he announced that we will stop. Now people are getting more and more infected, not enough crew to bring the food for isolation because we still have guests that are supposed to disembark today and tomorrow.” the crew member said.