Jack Peake’s son, currently on a cruise ship anchored off the coast of Florida, has not set foot in nearly two months. With Canadian and American ports currently closed to ships, he and many other Canadian crew members scattered on ships around the world are still waiting to return.
According to Peake, crew members of her son’s ship, the Emerald Princess, have been informed that they are awaiting clearance from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Protection and the United States Coast Guard to allow them to d ” Land in or near a foreign US port and take return flights, but no timetable has been set.
“For us, it’s worrying now that they don’t seem to figure out how to take him home,” said Peake.
The CDC issued a “non-sailing order” for all cruise ships last month, which means that all cruise ship operations have been suspended from US ports of call. Earlier this month, the CDC said there were 100 cruise ships docked off the east, west and Gulf coasts with nearly 80,000 crew members on board, and 20 ships in port or at anchor. United States with known or suspected COVID-19 infections among the crew.
There are currently 11 cruise ships docked or anchored off the coast of Florida carrying Canadian crews. According to Peake, the crew on board the ships that his son was on board was quarantined and cleared of any infection.
The Canadian government has already helped repatriate hundreds of Canadian cruise lines, including more than 240 on board the Zaandam earlier this month and 129 Canadians from the Diamond Princess in February.
Global Affairs Canada told CTVNews.ca that the government is currently tracking approximately 84 cruise ships still at sea, carrying approximately 267 Canadian crew members. This encouraged Canadian crew members who had difficulty returning home to contact the nearest Canadian Embassy or World Affairs to request consular assistance.
“Canadian officials are providing ongoing consular assistance to Canadians on board and are working with cruise lines on their plans to bring the crew home,” spokesman Sylvain Leclerc said in an email.
“Cruise lines are currently working on solutions to dock and allow their crew members to disembark.”
Princess Cruises told CTVNews.ca in a statement that it was determined to bring the crew members home.
“For citizens of the United States and Canada, we continue to work with the United States Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) to resolve the current CDC No Sail Order where we are unable to disembark a crew (including US citizens) in the United States, “said the company.
He added that he had already repatriated thousands of employees from over 100 countries to date and that 33 crew members based in North America had been transferred to the Emerald Princess on the last day, where they will remain until ‘so that they can disembark.
Until last Thursday, Peake’s son was waiting on another ship, where he said the water was rationed, the food was served cold and the mood gradually became “uncomfortable”. He was transferred to the Emerald while the cruise line was working to group employees from the same region on the same ship to bring them to a port closer to their country of origin.
Meals have improved considerably since the change of ship, the water is no longer rationed and they have free internet access, which “really made a huge difference” for her son, said Peake. He has been in daily contact with him since his transfer to the Emerald and said he was much more optimistic, but still impatient to get home.
“The only good thing is that they finally understood that they deserved to eat well. “