The ship carried ~400 passengers and 220 crew on a 2-night cruise to Freeport Bahamas (Grand Bahama Island) that departed from Florida on Saturday. Grand Classica is resuming her normal schedule of 3 weekly roundtrips between Palm Beach and Freeport.
Bahamas Paradise is following the CDC's guidelines to protect its crew and guests from the virus as much as possible.
Before entering the port, tourists are tested for COVID at a mobile testing facility. Those being tested remain in their vehicles. Vaccinated passengers are tested for antigens, the unvaccinated are tested for COVID. The results are sent to the guest’s cell phone within 10-15 minutes.
Unvaccinated passengers must present negative results of a PCR test taken within 3 days prior the departure date.
The testing is covered by travelers’ health insurance, and for those who lack insurance, by a state program. Only one person tested positive so far. That was on Monday, July 26, and he was not allowed into the port or onboard the ship.
Once onboard, passengers are advised to practice social distancing and stay 6 feet away from anyone not in their party, as well as to wear a mask when close to other people. Guests are not required to wear a mask while on the open deck.
Grand Classica started sailing from the Port of Palm Beach back in 2018.
This past weekend, the 1680-passenger ship made her first trip in 16 months from Port Palm Beach to Freeport.
Unvaccinated guests are not isolated from other passengers but the ship has a procedure to isolate anyone who develops symptoms.
The company received CDC approval to conduct a test voyage in June, which it did.
The cruise follows the most recent court ruling siding with Governor Ron DeSantis in his fight against the CDC’s mandatory vaccination rules and No-Sail Orders for cruise ships.