Home Health News Trapped cruise ship worker reveals 'horror' of coronavirus quarantine – New York Post

Trapped cruise ship worker reveals 'horror' of coronavirus quarantine – New York Post

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Hannah Lucy is one of the more than 90,000 crew members trapped on what the US Coast Guard reports is more than 100 cruise ships stuck at sea due to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “no sail order.” The situation amid the global coronavirus pandemic is dire on some vessels: Five crew members on the Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas and two on the Celebrity Infinity had to be medically evacuated last week, with a third crew member passing away. They were all later determined to have COVID-19 symptoms.

Lucy, a 31-year-old UK native, works in entertainment on the Serenade of the Seas, which is now anchored near the port of Barbados void of its usual 2,500 passengers, and housing about 780 of its 900-person crew. She takes The Post aboard a ship that’s floating aimlessly for the foreseeable future. 

I’ve been working in my position on ships coming up on four years now, always with Royal Caribbean. Crew members who work for the company would say #loyaltoroyal.

I love my job: it’s unique, and not one that really translates to anything similar on land. I’ve recently applied to be activities manager, which is the person that coordinates our team of entertainers and the activities onboard, and is second in command to the cruise director, who I hope to be one day.

Ships are not for everyone. It is a hard life: we work a lot, and long hours. But I love what we do. We travel the world, I make people laugh every day and I work and live with like-minded people who love each other.

The last cruise we had with guests was meant to be a 10-day cruise but it got shortened to five days due to worsening travel restrictions and port access. Guests were disembarked on the 17th of March, and we’ve been sailing without guests ever since. I don’t believe anyone has the coronavirus onboard. We are having temperature checks daily and are to report to medical if we are experiencing any suspect symptoms.

There was no quarantine with guests onboard. From the 17th until the 30th we were not in self-isolation but rather simply isolated on the ship as we were not going off into ports. So, essentially we were all together in our rather large house. Just before we went into self-isolation they had us social distancing, so making sure we were not too close to each other, or in groups of more than two people. But then on the 31st we all went into self-isolation in our own separate cabins.

‘I consider myself a strong, positive and bubbly person, but I broke … it’s almost like a horror film.’

If we weren’t already in our own cabins (like managers), we were moved to a guest cabin prior to going into lockdown, so that we would be more comfortable. Couples are being isolated together. We are currently on Day 10 of being quarantined in a guest cabin and meant to be quarantined for a total of 14 days. I wouldn’t say at any point I’ve been scared, just because we are in a bubble here with only the news to see what the outside world is experiencing, it’s almost like a horror film of some sort.

I can’t imagine what it is like on land.

There is basically a skeleton crew working on the ship, or crucial crew I should say, to make sure the ship is in working order. So there are people serving food and drinks, medical, engineers and so on. Before going into self-isolation, when not working, we spent most of our time sunbathing and using the pool and the gym, which was great. I myself was hosting activities to entertain the crew. Obviously, now that we are in cabin isolation we cannot use the facilities, but I hope that when the 14 days are up we will be able to again. We are taking each day as it comes because the world is constantly changing.

I’d say the worst part of all this was when we were first having to self-isolate, I did not deal with it very well. I consider myself a strong, positive and bubbly person, but I broke. You see, initially we were told we were going into self-isolation for 72 hours, then it got extended to 14 days. After the initial 76 hours I was moved to a guest cabin with a balcony. It’s definitely tough being isolated and it definitely affects your mental health as well as your body. I mean, the whole world is going through the same thing, apart from we have a sea view.

Since being quarantined in a guest cabin — about 20 feet by 8 feet, plus the balcony — I do probably what most people do at home. I watch series and films, read, call friends and family and others on the ship. It’s good to check in with people going through this, too, on the ship and at home. I’ve even spoken to people that I haven’t reconnected with in ages. My friends and I do makeup challenges some days. I walked up and down my room for one hour on one of the days . . . I haven’t since.

We have breakfast, lunch and dinner delivered to our room; they’re varied and usually come with a meat, fish and vegetable options. We get two bottles of water a day, desserts and salad. The meals are not bad, however bread and rice is a staple . . . which is great for my weight, but that’s something I’ll have to deal with after. I’m just gonna have to live in the gym after this. And don’t forget we have over 50 different nationalities to cater for, so sometimes you might get curry for breakfast and you just roll with it. We are used to lots of different foods.

We are currently being looked after by the company the best that they can in these completely strange and uncertain times. We get free Wi-Fi so we can keep in contact with loved ones, and as most flights commercially have stopped, they are working with each crew member’s country governments to organize charter flights home. We just had the first two days ago that picked up 66 Indonesians from our ship, plus some from another two ships, and flew them home. I being from the UK feel that I’ll be here until commercial flights open up again, although who knows.

I do know, though, that after this self-isolation, I plan to hug everyone and have a glass of wine.

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