WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- After several weeks of attempting to disembark in different countries, passengers are pleading Florida to allow them docking in its port.
- Florida governor is not in favor of the request, as the state is also overwhelmed with the health crisis.
- There are reportedly more than 300 Americans aboard in the cruise ships.
Almost a month ago, Andrea Anderson and her spouse embarked for a cruise voyage via the MS Zaandam in Buenos Aires. On what supposed to be a relaxing vacation trip, the couple didn’t realize that an upsurge of coronavirus outbreak is about to upset their cruise, as they were stuck at sea.
The ship has been sailing around in different countries for almost two weeks now, hoping to find a port where it can dock, but was unsuccessful.
As of date, the MS Zaandam cruise ship was disallowed by Argentina, Chile, and Peru, which already closed down their ports as a response to the coronavirus outbreak.
The ship is now headed to the United States, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, hoping that they would be accepted.
Anderson, from Maineville, Ohio, along with the other 1,400 plus guests, expressed their need to get off the ship, and they hope Florida will accept them.
Florida governor, Ron DeSantis, however, told Fox News on Monday that the state is short with resources and currently overwhelmed with problems amid a COVID-19 crisis.
Currently, two individuals have already died because of coronavirus, and two more people are dead for other reasons on the ship. Nine guests were also confirmed to be infected with COVID-19, while there around 179 individuals are reportedly showing symptoms similar to flu.
Although Florida’s governor was not in favor of allowing MS Zaandam to disembark, the decision is still up to the Broward County Commission, who has not yet come up with a resolution since Tuesday.
According to a spokesperson of the commission, they are still waiting for detailed and proper procedures for debarkation by the cruise ship, and they are also considering many factors.
The Rotterdam line, the sister ship of the Zaandam that took in asymptomatic passengers from the cruise, is set to arrive at Fort Lauderdale by Wednesday, which came as a shock to the city’s mayor, Dean Trantalis.
The mayor told Fox News on Monday that their community is trying to hold on, and more infection should no longer be allowed in Fort Lauderdale.
Reports suggest that no less than 300 Americans are aboard the ships.
Passengers say they follow strict protocols inside the cruise ship, restricted on their cabins, and receive meals through their doors.
Guests are also allowed 30 minutes daily to roam around the ship, but they are not allowed to touch anything and sit in anyplace. They’re also instructed to practice social distancing.
Owned by Carnival Corporation’s Holland America Line, the cruise ships left Buenos Aires, Argentina, on March 8 and supposed to end the cruise on March 21 in Chile.
In a statement, Holland America’s president, Orlando Ashford, called the numerous port rejections a “humanitarian crisis.”