SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — In March 2020, the Grand Princess cruise ship docked off the coast of Northern California after an outbreak of COVID-19.
Veteran cruisers Ted and Ann Bowman watched the plight of passengers and crew with a mixture of horror and relief. The Amador County couple were on the same boat just before the outbreak.
“We thanked our lucky stars for being able to come out of the ship unscathed,” said Ted Bowman.
Two years later, masked, vaxxed and boosted, they decided it was safe to cruise again and took off on their 40th voyage with Princess Cruises. On March 27, they embark in San Francisco. Four days later, the cruise had arrived in Hawaii, but Ted Bowman was feeling ill.
“They said, ‘You’ve tested positive for COVID. We need you to pack your things. We move you to an isolated room,” recalls Ted Bowman.
He was moved to another bridge and was joined there by Ann Bowman when she finally tested positive. They said their isolation was miserable. They said the wait to order and receive food deliveries was hours.
They also said there was no communication from the medical staff.
“I was very depressed. I wasn’t sleeping well. I just felt there was no way to deal with someone who had been traveling with a cruise line for 22 years,” Ted Bowman said.
They said they felt abandoned. It also became clear to them that more and more people were being added to the isolation.
“We believe there were 200 or more people on that bridge,” Ann Bowman said.
Princess Cruises has not confirmed the number of people who tested positive. They sent FOX40 a statement dated April 11 when the Hawaii cruise returned, saying in part:
“During the cruise, some positive cases of COVID-19 among our guests and crew members were identified,” Princess Cruises said.
Reports from late March show the same ship had the same problem two weeks earlier. Crew members and passengers tested positive on the Ruby Princess voyage from San Francisco to the Panama Canal, and within hours of returning to San Francisco the ship took off for the 15-day voyage to Hawaii – the voyage of the Bowman.
They would like to know this story before boarding.
“With our risk factor being what it is, especially with Ann having asthma. We probably would have refused,” Ted Bowman said.
According to their website, Princess Cruises requires passengers to be fully vaccinated with a negative PCR test.
The Ruby Princess Ship is currently at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s orange level, which means there have been enough reported cases for the CDC to investigate. Four other Princess cruise ships are also in the orange.
“I think Princess was premature in coming back to cruise. The environment was clearly not safe, and they let us on the ship anyway,” Ted Bowman said.
According to the Princess Cruises statement, the same day the Bowmans docked in San Francisco, their ship was scheduled to sail alongside Ensenada.
FOX40 has asked Princess Cruises for a statement, which can be read in full below. We also asked several questions to clarify the situation, two of which were answered.
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (April 11, 2022) – Ruby Princess returned to San Francisco this morning after a 15-day Hawaiian cruise.
As with all Princess itineraries, this cruise is operated as a highly vaccinated cruise, as defined by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Vaccination rates for guests and crew were 100%.
During the cruise, positive cases of COVID-19 among our guests and crew members were identified. All cases were asymptomatic or only mildly symptomatic. Guests and crew who have tested positive have been isolated while being monitored and cared for by our onboard medical team.
Established protocols are working. When cases are identified due to onboard testing, cruise ship protocols help maximize onboard containment with rapid response procedures designed to protect all other guests and crew members as well as communities visited by cruise ship passengers. ships.
In conjunction with the CDC and the San Francisco Department of Public Health, guests who test positive and have not completed the isolation period will return home via private transportation or be accommodated ashore at coordinated hotels in advance for isolation purposes.
Ruby Princess is due to leave this afternoon for a 5 day cruise to San Diego and Ensenada.
- How many confirmed COVID-19 passenger cases were reported on board for the cruise from San Francisco to Hawaii on 3/27-4/11?
- How many confirmed staff COVID-19 cases were reported on board for the San Francisco to Hawaii cruise 3/27-4/11?
- How many passengers have been quarantined due to close contacts or suspected cases?
- How many staff have been quarantined due to close contacts or suspected cases?
- It was reported that a Ruby Princess cruise to the Panama Canal returning on 3/27 had a cluster of COVID cases on board. Is it correct?
- It was also reported that the ship that experienced the cluster of COVID cases during the 3/12-3/27 voyage through the Panama Canal departed the same day for Hawaii. Is the ship with the cluster of COVID cases that returned from the Panama Canal on 3/27 the same ship that went to Hawaii from 3/27 to 4/11?
- If so, how much time elapsed between rides?
- If so, were people boarding the 3/27-4/11 cruise to Hawaii informed that there had been a cluster of cases on the same ship a few hours before they boarded?
- If so, were there identical crew members for both voyages?
- Did any crew members from the 3/12-3/27 trip to Panama test positive for COVID-19 during the 2/27-4/11 trip to Hawaii?
- What is the cleaning procedure when there have been confirmed cases of COVID-19 on board?
- Is the Ruby Princess ship that returned from Hawaii on April 11 currently on another voyage?
- If yes, where? and have there been any cases of COVID-19 reported on board?
- Are passengers informed when there have been positive cases of COVID-19 on board during their current journey?
- On a new voyage, are passengers informed if there were cases of COVID-19 on the same ship during the previous voyage?
- What is the procedure if passengers test positive or show symptoms of COVID-19 on board?
“Anyone reporting or showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be examined by on-board medical personnel and tested for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). COVID-19 cases will be assessed and treated either in their cabin or in a designated area of the medical center on a single occupancy ward. Positive cases will most likely be moved to a different cabin for the duration of the isolation,” Princess Cruises said.
- Are passengers informed of these procedures and what to expect if they become ill?
“Yes, all procedures are listed on our website https://www.princess.com/plan/cruise-with-confidence/cruise-health/frequently-asked-questions/us-cruises/,” Princess Cruises said. .
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