Diamond Princess COVID-19 Q&A
Updated February 11, 2020
- What is novel coronavirus?
A: According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses found in both animals and humans. Some infect people and are known to cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe respiratory conditions.
A “novel” coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. The current novel coronavirus, now called COVID-19, had not been previously detected before first reported in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.For more information, please visit The World Health Organization for more information about coronavirus.
- How does coronavirus spread?
A: According to the World Health Organization, coronavirus can be transmitted from person to person, usually after close contact with an infected patient, for example, in a household, workplace or health care center. For more information, please visit The World Health Organization for more information about coronavirus.
- What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
A: According to the World Health Organization, common signs include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. For more information, please visit The World Health Organization for more information about coronavirus.
- What are the best ways to prevent coronavirus infection?
A: According to the World Health Organization, the simplest and most effective way to prevent illness is to take extra care to practice healthy habits, such as frequent hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. The WHO also recommends avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness, such as coughing and sneezing.
For more information, please visit The World Health Organization for more information about coronavirus.
Diamond Princess - Response and Actions
- What happens if there is another new case on board?
A: Any new guests or crew members that have a positive preliminary test result will be disembarked from the ship and transferred to a shoreside medical facility under the care of the Japanese Ministry of Health.
- Are the crew members under quarantine?
A: Crew members who have been cleared after an initial health screening by the Japanese Ministry of Health are fulfilling their duties as required. Additional crew testing by health officials is ongoing. When not working, crew members are requested to be in their staterooms.
- What are the protocols for guest-facing crew?
A: We are continuing to work with our public health colleagues and have put together a series of protocols around food delivery, collection and cleaning throughout the ship.
- Are the guests quarantined on the ship or in their staterooms?
A: Guests are quarantined to their staterooms. Food and beverages are being distributed three times a day to guest rooms via a daily menu. In addition, we are providing many in-room activities and entertainment options. The current guidance from the Japanese Ministry of Health is that the ship will be alongside for 14 days (until February 19).
- Will guests remain in their rooms for the full length of the quarantine (14 days) or will they be allowed to freely move about the ship at a certain point?
A: The Japanese Ministry of Health has instructed that guests are to remain in their staterooms for the duration of the quarantine. However, health authorities are allowing guests to have daily outdoors fresh air breaks on open decks.
- How are you taking care of the crew?
A: The health and safety of our crew is as important to us as that of our guests. In order to assist our crew during this time, we have activated a wide variety of services including:
Dedicated channels for the Diamond crew to communicate directly with shoreside leaders 24 hours per day.
Direct phone and video chat with counselors as well as spiritual and faith-based resources available in seven languages 24 hours per day to provide comfort and support.
- Are you providing masks to guests and crew members?
A: Yes, to protect their health and well-being the crew is using N95 face masks that have been provisioned to the ship in Yokohama. Additionally, crew have been provided Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
- Can COVID-19 be spread through the ship’s ventilation system?
A: The HVAC (heating ventilation air-conditioning) filtration system on our ships is comparable to those used by land-based hotels, resorts and casinos.
According to a letter recently sent to cruise ship passengers and crew members onboard cruise ships by Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director at the U.S. CDC, there is no current evidence to suggest that the virus spreads through air-handling systems. Staying in your room and limiting contact with other people are the best ways to minimize exposure.
- Are there any special precautions related to food handling and preparation?
A: Our ships always seek to comply with the highest public health standards. We have worked with our public health team to put in place additional procedures to account for the change in onboard operations.
- Have you done special training for crew members to help sanitize the ship?
A: Our crew is highly trained in safety and public health standards. In addition, we are implementing processes developed in coordination with public health officials to support the elevated requirements of this situation.
- Have you increased hygiene and sanitation protocols since the screening has been completed and guests have tested positive?
A: Yes. While our routine sanitation protocols are robust and more stringent than land-based hotels and resorts, in an abundance of caution, we have increased our sanitation protocols on board. We’ve also installed an additional 200 hand sanitizer stations on the ship.
- How will you sanitize the ship once the quarantine is lifted and the guests have disembarked?
A: Once the quarantine is lifted, the ship will be taken to a special service dock, where it will receive a rigorous Level 3 cleaning and disinfection, like hospital operating rooms, to fully sanitize all stateroom and public venues.
- Are you doing anything to make the onboard experience for the guests more pleasant?
A: Yes, our guest services and entertainment teams, support by our shoreside colleagues, have activated eight new live TV channels. Within 24 hours an additional 80 title (movies, TV series, concerts) were added to the stateroom entertainment system in a variety of languages. Additionally, the team continues to deliver games, trivia and puzzles to guests to keep them occupied while in their staterooms.
- What kind of compensation will be offered to the guests on Diamond Princess?
A: Considering these extraordinary circumstances, all guests will receive a full refund of cruise expenses. This includes:
- All guest expenses from cruise fare, to roundtrip Princess EZair, pre- or post-cruise plus hotels, transfers, pre-paid shore excursions, gratuities and other items, and taxes, fees and port expenses will be refunded to the original form of payment.
- For guests who purchased air, transfers, or pre- or post-cruise hotels independently, Princess will also refund reasonable independent expenses.
- All reasonable onboard folio charges will be covered during the quarantine period. Though guests may receive receipts for charges and gratuities for tracking and inventory purposes, these will not be charged to guests.
- Each guest will receive a 100% Future Cruise Credit equal to the cruise fare paid for this voyage. The credit may be applied to any future Princess cruise booked by February 28, 2021, or any existing booking not yet paid in full and is non-refundable and non-transferable. It is our sincere hope that the refund and credit will help ease at least some of the stress that guests have experienced.
- Have you canceled any future Diamond Princess voyages?
A: For a full list of affected cruises, see our Itinerary Modifications and Cancellations page.