NEW ORLEANS, La. (WGNO) – An estimated 300 crew members on board the Carnival “Valor” stepped off the ship in New Orleans tonight (April 8), but did not walk past the dock.
According to a Carnival spokesman, the crew immediately got on buses bound for the airport, where Carnival had chartered planes for the crew to be flown home to their native countries.
At his daily news conference, Governor John Bel Edwards said he wanted to be dispel a “rumor” about the ship and it’s crew. Apparently the Governor was referencing a rumor that possibly Covid 19-infected crew members would be free to roam New Orleans.
Instead, the Governor said that state officials had worked with Carnival officials, the Port of New Orleans, and the Coast Guard to allow crew members who are not infected to leave the Valor, while an unknown number of ill patients would remain on board.
Here’s more from a statement released by Carnival Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line has begun debarking healthy crew members who are not essential to the operation of the ship so they can return home to their family, including crew from the Carnival Valor in New Orleans.
Crew members who are debarking the vessel have been cleared to fly by our medical team, the airline transporting them, and by immigration authorities. They will be taken from the Carnival Valor directly to the airport via chartered busses. Busses will not be filled to capacity and the first two rows of the bus will be empty provide the driver proper social distance. Water and boxed meals will be provided on board. As a general precautionary practice, arrangements have been made to thoroughly clean the bus after each use.
All crew members have had their temperature taken daily while on board over this past month, and will so again during debarkation when they are signing off. They have also been provided masks to wear on their flight home, consistent with the recent advice of the CDC and can choose to wear them during the debarkation process and travel to the airport as well.
All Carnival Cruise Line’s 27 ships have been docked at homeports or anchored at sea since mid-March with no guests on board, only crew members.
by: WGNO Web Desk, Susan Roesgen