After 17 months off, a cruise ship set sail from the Port of Long Beach and headed for the Mexican Riviera on Saturday, making the first cruise ship to depart from California after a pause on its operations.

According to ABC News, Carnival Corporation shared in a statement that the cruise ship Carnival Panorama is on a seven-day voyage and would make its stops in the ports of Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlan in Mexico before it would return to Long Beach. 

The 1,060-foot cruise ship Carnival Panorama started to offer its services to tourists in those destinations in 2019.

California Cruise Industry: Back to Business

One of the passengers, Bob Lechtreck, said he and his wife were on the inaugural sailing of the cruise ship back on Dec. 11, 2019. In a text to the Press-Telegram, Lechtreck noted that he was so excited that he would be one of the passengers of the Panorama in its inaugural return to service. 

"It's been way too long since we've sailed, and we couldn't be happier returning to our favorite activity," Lechtreck added.

The cruise industry was hard-hit by the ongoing pandemic, with some of its passengers and crew members tested positive for COVID-19. Some ships were even turned away from ports. The cruise industry has been battling the health requirements set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in order to resume sailing in U.S. waters.

The company, Carnival Corporation, said its operational protocols already exceed the recommendations set by the CDC. Based on the CDC recommendations, the cruise ship must have all employees vaccinated and require all passengers to show a negative COVID-19 test.

Passengers must also be vaccinated, but the company would allow "a small number of exemptions" for those individuals who would be unable to get the vaccine. It includes children under 12 who are not yet eligible for vaccinations.

Based on the Carnival's COVID-19 guest protocol, those who were not vaccinated would have to follow additional precautions.

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Latest COVID-19 Cases on Cruise Ship

Twenty-seven individuals tested positive for COVID-19 last week on a Carnival cruise just before the ship made a stop in Belize City, Belize. The ship set sail and headed back to Galveston, Texas on Friday after making a stop in Mexico.

Belize Tourism Board released a statement, saying that the positive results were from 26 crew members and one passenger on the Carnival Vista. The cruise ship was carrying over 1,400 crew and almost 3,000 passengers, Market Watch reported.

All 27 individuals who tested positive were vaccinated, and only had mild or no symptoms, and were already in isolation based on the statement. The tourism board stated that 99.98 percent of the ship's crew was vaccinated, and 96.5 percent of its passengers had been inoculated.

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This article is owned by Latin Post

Written by: Jess Smith

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