‘You just feel hopeless’ - Couple stranded aboard cruise ship’s desperate plea to come home
- Credit: Lauren Carrick
A cruise ship performer has told of how the Covid-19 pandemic has left her - and hundreds of others - stranded in the middle of the ocean awaiting a return to native shores.
Lauren Carrick, 29 and of Taverham, currently spends 21 hours of the day holed-up inside a cabin aboard a cruise ship anchored just off the coast of the private island Coco Cay in the Bahamas - only permitted to leave the room for three allocated meal slots a day.
She and her partner, 27-year-old Joseph Harrison, are dancers aboard a cruise ship run by a company called Celebrity, which has been placed under strict lockdown amid the coronavirus outbreak. She relocated to Miami in October to begin preparations for the cruise and has been on board since the beginning of March.
While all the passengers have disembarked and returned home, the 900-strong crew remain stranded, alongside dozens of other ships in the same position.
The ship’s company is hoping to dock in the United States in the hope of sending crews home, but American Center of Disease Control and Prevention has to date not allowed any arrangements to be made.
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She said: “You go through so many emotions at the moment - you just feel hopeless. Celebrity seems to be doing everything it can to get us home but so far nothing has worked.
“Every time we have been given a light it goes out. We’ve been going from excited, to anxious, to frustrated and angry.”
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The crews have been given free wifi, allowing Miss Carrick to remain in contact with her family at home, but has also seen a number of proposed flights home cancelled.
She added: “It all happened so quickly - we found out the passengers were disembarking without any real warning and there were so many questions left unanswered. The requirements seem to change every day.
“Originally we thought we would be in isolation for 14 days so were all counting down and then that changed too. We just want to get home.
“We are a clean ship, there are no cases on board but it is just so frustrating to be stranded in the middle of the ocean.”
The pair have set up a petition online calling for crews of all British and Irish cruise ships to be safely returned home.