This was not smooth sailing.
A family was kicked off the very first Mediterranean cruise to hit the high seas after Italy's pandemic lockdown, reportedly for defying the ship's new safety protocol amid the coronavirus health crisis.
The unnamed family was not allowed to re-board MSC Cruises’ Grandiosa on Tuesday after breaking their “social bubble” and leaving their ship-sponsored shore excursion in Naples, Italy, a spokesperson for the cruise line told Fox News.
The MSC Cruises rep explained that the passengers were denied boarding because they had separated from the organized group trip to go exploring on their own, therefore posing a possible risk to others on the ocean liner amid the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19.
"In line with our health and safety protocol, developed to ensure health and wellbeing of our guests, crew and the communities we visit, we had to deny re-embarkation to a family who broke from their shore excursion yesterday while visiting Naples, Italy," the MSC Cruises spokesperson said on Wednesday. "This family broke from the 'social bubble' created for them and all other guests, and therefore could not be permitted to re-board the ship."
The MSC Grandiosa departed Genoa on Sunday night for a seven-night cruise of the western Mediterranean, with port calls in Civitavecchia, Naples, Palermo and Valetta, Malta.
During shore outings, guests must stay within their MSC excursion group “as an added level of protection, so that their experience ashore follows the same high standards of health and safety as on board,” the cruise line said in a statement.
For example, guests who visited Rome on Monday explored the Eternal City with respect for social distancing and traveled on sanitized transfers. The Grandiosa passengers were accompanied by tour guides and drivers who also followed “strict health and safety measures.”
The Grandiosa's current voyage is being touted as the first major Mediterranean cruise to set sail following Italy’s lengthy lockdown, the Associated Press reports.
At present, the Grandiosa is only operating at 70 percent capacity, and passengers were required to take health tests before boarding the ship over the weekend.
In addition, MSC is limiting guests to the residents of Europe's 26-nation Schengen visa-free travel zone.
Fox News’ Michael Hollan and the Associated Press contributed to this report.