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Carnival offers cruise ships as temporary hospitals

Cruise ships from Carnival Corp. & plc are being offered for use as temporary hospitals amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the world’s largest cruise company announced on Thursday.

Miami-based Carnival’s brands include Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises Australia.

The announcement is a welcomed contrast to previous news accounts about sinking share prices and passengers on Princess being quarantined after the coronavirus outbreak. Miami’s trio of major cruise companies—Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean—have all stopped cruises for a month at the request of President Trump.

Shares of Carnival (NYSE: CCL) were trading up 7 percent to nearly $10 in mid-afternoon trading on Thursday after the announcement.

The cruise industry is likely to be part of the federal aid program for an array of travel and hospitality businesses. A key reason for federal support is the cruise industry supports over 421,000 American jobs and contributes nearly $53 billion to the U.S. economy, according to the Cruise Lines International Association.

Cruise ships are capable of being quickly provisioned to serve as hospitals with up to 1,000 hospital rooms that can treat patients suffering from less critical, non-COVID-19 conditions, Carnival said. Staterooms can be quickly converted to install and connect remote patient monitoring devices over the ship’s high-speed network—providing cardiac, respiratory, oxygen saturation and video monitoring capabilities. The rooms also have bathroom facilities, private balconies with access to sun and fresh air, as well as isolation capabilities, as needed.

Ships can provide up to seven intensive care units in the ship’s medical center, equipped with central cardiac monitoring, ventilators and other key medical devices and capabilities, Carnival said.

There has been major concern about whether the U.S. will run out of ICUs if the virus keeps spreading.

The cruise ships would be berthed at a pier near the community in need and operated by the ship’s crew, with all maritime operations, food and beverage, and cleaning services provided by crew members on the ship, Carnival said. Medical services would be provided by governments or hospitals.

As part of the temporary hospital offer, interested parties would be asked to cover only the essential costs of the ship’s operations while in port, Carnival said.

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky

Editor-in-Chief

BIOGRAPHY

Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.