An outbreak of coronavirus on board the Queen Mary 2 has seen passengers confined to their cabins
Cunard’s famous Queen Mary 2 departed on December 13 from Southampton, destined for various Caribbean islands, via New York, with passengers paying close to £5,000 per person for this fabulous itinerary.
The cruise ship crossed the Atlantic headed for New York, but before they reached their destination, there were already positive Covid cases reported. Ten infected passengers reportedly left the ship in New York, but despite this, the infections spread rapidly among passengers and crew.
With many passengers now confined to their cabins, and told they could not leave, most passengers were not allowed to disembark once the cruise ship reached Barbados. Conditions apparently deteriorated sharply once a large number of the crew also started becoming sick.
Christine Martin, aged 66, and her 70-year-old optometrist husband, Richard, are from Angmering, West Sussex. In late December, despite being triple jabbed, the couple tested positive for Covid-19 during an onboard test.
The Martin’s paid a total of £9,860 for their luxury cruise trip, with Mrs Martin telling Mail Online, “We tested positive for Covid on Tuesday, December 28, and have been in isolation since. It’s been pretty miserable. We do have a balcony for fresh air, but nowhere at all to exercise”.
“It’s hard to know exactly how many people have tested positive as they haven’t told us”, she continued, “but friends who are still allowed to use the dining rooms tell us they are ghostly. The captain regularly speaks on the tannoy to passengers, but never makes any reference to us – the positive passengers – not even a Happy New Year. We feel like lepers”.
“Our food is served on paper plates stone cold. We do get clean linen but only on request. We have had one phone call from a doctor on December 29, other than that, we phone to ask about testing etc. No one has otherwise asked about our general well-being”, Mrs Martin explained.
Pointing out that they haven’t been too badly affected themselves, Mrs Martin said, “The vaccinations are doing their intended job, and we and the people we have had contact with have said we just feel like a summer cold. Indeed some people haven’t had any symptoms at all”.
Mrs Martin continued, “It all started when we arrived in New York from Southampton, and people started testing positive. We all had a routine test, and those with Covid weren’t allowed to disembark”.
She explained, “We were in New York for three days, then sailed onto the Caribbean with new American passengers on board. Our first stop was supposed to be Tortola, but we weren’t allowed to dock there, and this was the same at all cruise ports, until Barbados”.
Once the boat docked in Bridgetown, Barbados, it stayed docked for three days. This meant that its next three stops on the itinerary, at Roseau in Dominica, Philipsburg in the Dutch Antilles, and again in New York, were all scrapped.
With many passengers still isolating in their cabins, the Queen Mary 2 is now sailing back to Southampton. It is believed that new workers had to be brought onto the ship due to so many crew being quarantined.
“Only those passengers who had booked an organised trip could go ashore. By then Covid was becoming more of a problem to the degree that the Captain decided we could not go onto our last port of call, or back to New York”, elaborated Mrs Martin.
“The passengers who were to disembark in New York were flown back from Barbados, and of those disembarking at Southampton who wanted to fly back rather stay on the ship, as many as possible were flown back to the UK”, she continued.
Adding, “A lot of the problem has been the complete lack of information from the Bridge as to the extent of Covid on board, and in fact anything else. Of course, it goes without saying that Covid needs to be taken seriously, but the lack of information given is intolerable”.
A spokesperson for the cruise ship said, “Cunard has a comprehensive, approved, and audited set of enhanced protocols in place to protect the health and wellbeing of guests, crew, and the communities we visit and best manage against Covid-19”.
They continued, “This framework includes a requirement for all guests, as well as all crew (as a condition of employment) to be fully vaccinated, as well as testing before boarding our ships, and testing on board as required by certain ports of call”.
“Should any guest test positive for Covid-19 whilst on board, they and their close contacts will move to dedicated isolation cabins for their and other guests’ well-being. This will be for either the duration of the required isolation, or to the next port of call, or to the scheduled port of disembarkation”, they added.
Before concluding, “All guests in isolation can request room service, from the full dining room and in-stateroom menus at any time, and have the support of ship’s crew throughout”, as reported by dailymail.co.uk.