Coronavirus on first cruise
The first Caribbean cruise to launch after the CDC's no-sail order lifted has already seen its first positive coronavirus test, just days after it departed Barbados. The captain of the SeaDream Yacht Club's SeaDream 1 announced Wednesday that a passenger on the ship had tested positive, according to The Points Guy reporter Gene Sloan, who was aboard the cruise. All 53 passengers, including 37 Americans, and non-essential crew were directed back to their cabins to isolate as the ship was steered back to Barbados. All passengers on the SeaDream were required to test negative within days of boarding, then again as soon as they got on the ship. They also underwent a pulse oxidation test, sanitized themselves and their luggage and provided "several pages of medical-related forms," according to The Points Guy.
New York Daily News
Key West curtails ships
Key West, Fla., residents have voted to limit the size of cruise ships and number of passengers that can visit the popular, quirky island. Voters passed referendums that limit total cruise ship visitors to 1,500 per day; prohibit ships with a capacity of 1,300 or more from disembarking; and give priority to cruise lines with the best environmental and health records. "This is a commanding victory and a big win for the people of Key West," Arlo Haskell, of the Key West Committee for Cleaner, Safer Ships, told the Key West Citizen. The committee's Facebook page explained its mission: "The referenda are about what we want Key West to be in the future. Smaller ships will foster long-term economic growth by protecting the lucrative overnight sector of our tourist industry, strengthening the appeal of our diverse, locally owned hotels, restaurants and retail businesses."
Lifetime national park entry for veterans
As of Veterans Day last week, U.S. veterans and Gold Star families now have lifetime access to America's national parks, wildlife refuges and other public federal lands, according to a news release by the National Park Service. The program waives standard entry fees to about 2,000 public locations, many of which have historical connections to the U.S. military. Veterans can claim a free America the Beautiful Pass by presenting a valid Department of Defense Identification Card, Veteran Health Identification Card, Veteran ID card or a Veteran-designated state ID. The pass typically costs $80 per year. The National Park Service already offers free annual passes to active-duty military and their dependent family members.
Biden in wax
Madame Tussauds Orlando, featuring lifelike wax figures of well-known personalities, will add a Joe Biden to its collection. But it might take a while. "It's tradition for Madame Tussauds to honor each United States president with a figure," Tussauds said in a statement Monday. "Each of our figures takes a team of 20 artists four to six months to create, and COVID-19 has had an impact on production timelines; however, we will be creating a wax figure for our 46th president-elect, Joe Biden." The Orlando location of Tussauds is currently home to figures of both Donald Trump and Barack Obama in an Oval Office-inspired set. Location or locations for a Biden figure have not been disclosed.