FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A Princess Cruises ship, with confirmed coronavirus cases on board, is on its way to Fort Lauderdale.
It was supposed to dock Saturday at Port Everglades but port officials and the Unified Command said that is not happening.
“We’re still in that discussion phase and we’re not there to determine if there’s a no or a yes as to whether or not they will be coming in,” said Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony, who is part of the Unified Command.
Princess Cruises said they are seeking approvals and working with local officials so passengers can disembark at the port.
“It makes you, a little, I guess it heightens your level of worry, that we’re going to have trouble docking,” said Julie Sprague-McRae who is on the ship with her husband.
The cruise line said in response to a small cluster of respiratory illness cases on board the Coral Princess, they sent 13 COVID-19 test samples for analysis. The results came back with 12 positive cases, seven guests and five crew members.
Sprague-McRae said she hopes something gets done quickly so they can get ashore before it gets worse.
“Our needs are going to get greater and it’s really imperative that we get to Fort Lauderdale. And again the same consideration is provided this ship as a humanitarian gesture,” she said referencing the Zaandam which was allowed to dock with passengers who had the coronavirus.
Coral Princess set sail on March 5 from Santiago, Chile on a South America voyage which was scheduled to end in Buenos Aires on March 19.
On March 12, Princess Cruises announced a 60-day pause in operations in response to the global spread of coronavirus.
Coral Princess had planned to disembark in Buenos Aires on March 19 and March 20 as originally scheduled.
The company said this was the first available opportunity for disembarkation and a location from where guests had air travel booked. However, due to ongoing port closures and changing regulations, the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency would not let passengers disembark, including those that had confirmed outbound flights.
The cruise line said guests are self-isolating in their rooms and all meals are being delivered by room service. Face masks are also being distributed to guests.
When not working, crew members also remain in their rooms. There are 1,898 people on board including 1,020 guests and 878 crew members.
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