PortandTerminal.com, February 24, 2020
“What the hell are you doing getting on a cruise ship? Do you not read the news?” Cruise passengers cross their fingers and hop onboard in California.
LONG BEACH, CA – Remember that cruise ship, Holland America Lines’ “Westerdam”, that 5 ports turned away over fears that passengers on board had the coronavirus? You remember, the one that was finally allowed to dock in Cambodia, its passengers disembark, only for the world to discover that the other 5 ports were right. There was someone on board with the virus.
Now it seems that the Westerdam’s passengers are finding it hard to book flights home and those already on flights can’t find countries to accept them. Why? Because airlines and other countries are rightly concerned that they may be infected with coronavirus. And who can blame them? Some of them probably are. The tests done in Cambodia were reportedly not as thorough as one might have hoped.
A plane full of Americans and Canadians from the Westerdam was stranded on a tarmac at an airport in Karachi, Pakistan, for several hours on Thursday after it was turned away from multiple countries due to fears of the coronavirus, according to Yahoo.
The plane was finally allowed to fly to Amsterdam — but no word on what has happened since then.
“En route the flight was unexpectedly instructed by Turkish officials to turn around midway through its journey,” Holland America told Yahoo in a statement. “The plane stopped for refueling at the airport in Karachi, Pakistan and then departed at 2:10 a.m. for Amsterdam, where we have received approval from the Dutch Government for landing.”
“We’re on a tarmac in Pakistan. Help.”Westerdam cruise ship passenger
Victor, a former Navy officer, and Karen Chrjapin, both retired in their late 60s and retired, were both on the flight.
The Chrjapin’s daughter Kelly said her parents sent her a text saying, “We’re on a tarmac in Pakistan. Help.”
“I have not been able to get anything back from them since,” Chrjapin told Yahoo. “I assume they had to turn their phones off and went wheels up. … Now the question is getting them out of Amsterdam. That’s a whole other kettle of fish,” she said.
Meanwhile, other Westerdam passengers are still stuck in Cambodia.
“We’re in this sort of surreal world,” Lydia Miller, 55, of Orcas Island, Washington, told Komo News. Miller and her husband are camped out at a hotel in the capital, Phnom Penh, waiting for word on how they might be able to return to the US “It’s a weird feeling to travel and go on a trip and you don’t know when you can come home.”
Meanwhile, in California…
Meanwhile, in California, Reuters is reporting that “Despite horror stories, California cruise passengers won’t let coronavirus spoil their fun”.
Reuters interviewed scores of cruise passengers who were boarding their vessel and asked them as politely as they could, something along the lines of “What the hell are you doing getting on a cruise ship? Do you not read the news?”
Apparently the cruise passengers have read the news and but are still willing to take their chances.
“What we’re planning on doing is washing our hands often, trying not to touch things and then touch our mouths, and just being aware of how we come into contact with people – the smart stuff,” the 55-year-old asset manager from Orange, California, said cheerfully. “We’re focusing on enjoying ourselves.”
“Hopefully we’ll be just fine,” said Shirley Sosin, 67, traveling with her friend, Bernadette Neve, 53, both of them registered nurses from Fresno.
Hopefully, Shirley and Bernadette will be just fine and have a great cruise. But at a certain point, you start to have to wonder who’s really at fault if they are not. Be sure to wash your hands, ladies. You know, the “smart stuff”.
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