The coronavirus has invaded all aspects of life – from the way we get our essentials to traveling.
For those who began their journey in the midst of the pandemic, the disruptions have been dangerous and even deadly.
Cruise ships are used for an all-inclusive escape to exotic places all over the world, but recently they’ve turned into a prison where contamination runs rampant.
Last month, Proud American Traveler reported on the nightmare experienced by passengers aboard the Princess Diamond.
Healthy individuals were forced to quarantine with infected patients, resulting in an unbelievable turn of events where over 700 people contracted the coronavirus.
It seemed the fiasco was so awful that it couldn’t be repeated. But here we are again with a similar situation.
On March 13, “all cruise operations from U.S. ports have been suspended in a decision made responding to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus,” reports Travel Pulse.
These valiant efforts to protect American citizens on land have forced nearly 20 ships to be stranded at sea in search for a safe place to port.
According to CNN, there are about 5.4% of Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA) fleet still roaming the waters.
Several of the ships at sea have passengers aboard who are looking for any way to return home.
While it is frightening to think of being on vacation and then being denied a trip home, the fears are understandable considering some of the passengers have been experiencing coronavirus symptoms.
How did passengers get in this mess to begin with you may ask?
With the coronavirus’ rapid spread around the globe, many travelers cancelled their cruise vacations, leaving the industry to drastically cut prices to keep business afloat.
And some people just can’t say no to a good deal, even if it means risking their lives, as Proud American Traveler has previously reported.
The ship MS Zaandam of Holland America Line was turned down by several ports after they confirmed 73 guests and 116 crew members were “experiencing influenza-like symptoms,” and four people have already died, as Travel Pulse revealed.
All the healthy guests were transferred to a different ship, the Rotterdam, and both ships made their way to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to port.
Protocols were in place to contain the virus once stateside, but the repercussions of these actions will not be seen right away.
The other ships that were forced to wander the seas looking for a way to return home included:
Arcadia of P&O Cruises UK, Coral Princess and Pacific Princess of Princess Cruises, Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2 of Cunard, MSC Magnifica of MSC Cruises, Celebrity Eclipse of Celebrity Cruises, and Columbus and Vasco de Gama of Cruise & Maritime Voyages.
And multiple people aboard the ships Costa Magica and Costa Favolosa have confirmed cases of coronavirus.
Traveling by cruise ship has its pros, such as easy access to amenities and visiting more than one destination.
However, cruise ships also have a higher risk of health dangers with hundreds or thousands of people crammed together in very close quarters.
Not to mention the health risks at the abundant buffets!
There are ways to mitigate risk, but with the aggressive nature of the coronavirus, it’s best to utilize safer forms of vacationing – assuming you aren’t ordered to stay at home by your government officials.