Cruise ships stuck at sea with coronavirus patients

Cruise ship at sea
Posted at 4:48 PM, May 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-01 19:54:53-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Three cruise ships are stuck waiting for the pandemic to end, with dozens of people with coronavirus on board, according to the Port of San Diego.

Friday the Disney Wonder and Celebrity Millennium docked at B Street Pier to get supplies and fuel. No one was allowed off the ship.

The Millennium will leave Friday and the Wonder will depart Saturday. Out off the coast, the Celebrity Eclipse has been circling, with no destination.

Port Authority Public Information Officer Brianne Page said the ships come and go every few days depending on their needs.

According to Marine Traffic, a website that tracks maritime movement, the ships have been anchoring off shore across from the Silver Strand.

According to Page the Wonder has 46 coronavirus patients. The Eclipse has 63 and the Millennium has zero.

The CDC's No Sail Order is in effect until at least July 24th, or "the Secretary of Health and Human Services’ declares that COVID-19 no longer constitutes a public health emergency, or the CDC Director rescinds or modifies the order based on specific public health or other considerations."

Page said the ships initially sent about 20% of their crew home.

The Millennium still has 541 crew members on board. The Wonder has 740, and the Eclipse has the most, 977.

The Royal Carribbean International cruise line, who owns the Celebrity ships, sent 10News this statement:

We have already been able to help many of our crew members return safely home on commercial flights, charter flights and direct sailing to their home countries. We are working hard to repatriate everyone else who wants to return home as soon as governments allow. We very much appreciate their patience, understanding and good spirit.
Jonathon Fishman Manager, Corporate Reputation Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

This is just what San Diego is seeing. Around the world, thousands of cruise employees are stranded.

Up in Los Angeles Melinda Mann of Georgia has been stuck on a Holland America Cruise Ship with no passengers for 48 days.

"I can't live my life by being afraid and I can't live on this ship forever," she said.

Page said the port is working closely with health agencies to allow those who meet specific criteria to go home. "Additionally, since cruise operations won’t be resuming in the near future, the Port, U.S. Coast Guard, Centers for Disease Control, San Diego County Health & Human Services, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have been closely coordinating with Celebrity and Disney to disembark asymptomatic, non-essential crew members aboard the Eclipse, Millennium, and Wonder. The agencies are ensuring that strict health protocols are in place – each crew member is required to complete a health questionnaire and temperature checks are performed prior to disembarking; and each crew member is provided with and required to wear a mask. Only crew members who don’t have fevers are being allowed to disembark. Additionally, in coordination with all the agencies, strict travel protocols are in place to minimize public exposure to COVID-19 – the crew members are immediately boarding and being transported via private motor coaches either to San Diego International Airport or Los Angeles International Airport to board non-commercial flights chartered by the cruise lines. The Port appreciates San Diegans’ patience, compassion and understanding as we continue to work with our cruise line partners during this challenging time."

10News reached out to Disney Cruise Line and has not heard back.