Brit couple stuck on virus-hit California cruise have ‘no clue’ what’s going on’

A couple stranded on a coronavirus-hit cruise ship stuck off the California coast say they have "no clue" what's going on.

Patrick and Kim Maguire, from Gwent, Wales, have been confined to their cabins for more than two days after 21 people on board the Grand Princess ship tested positive.

The couple only ended up on the stricken ship as a replacement to their original holiday to Asia that was cancelled because of the outbreak, reports WalesOnline .

US officials have now directed the ship, which has 3,500 people on board, to a port in nearby Oakland after days of uncertainty.

Patrick, 56, described how they are coping being confined to a cabin.

Patrick said: "It's a little frustrating because there's no plan. That's no fault of Princess Cruises, the captain and crew have been amazing.


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"They are doing the best they can. But there is a little bit of cabin fever at the moment."

He said that passengers have been told they will all need to be tested for the virus, but that he and his wife feel "fine and well".

Passengers were told to return to their cabins on Thursday lunchtime where they've remained since. Patrick said breakfast has been left outside in the morning, they can call a number for hot drinks and they have a few limited choices for dinner.

Updates are provided over the tannoy around three or four times a day, Patrick explained.

He said: "We don't have a clue what's going to happen. They've put us in a holding pattern around 50 miles out, we can't see land.

"Because we are confined to our cabins we only have a little bit of contact."

The couple have set up a group chat on WhatsApp with a couple from Somerset and another couple from America onboard, who they have been speaking with.

Patrick and wife Kim only ended up the cruise when their original holiday, a trip to Cambodia, Singapore and Thailand, was cancelled due to the coronavirus.

He said: "We were offered a refund or a new holiday. We had already made arrangements for time off work so we booked another holiday.

"We thought we'd book somewhere a bit safer so we thought the USA. When we booked it I don't think were any cases in the US then. We thought we'd be alright on the other side of the world. This trip is part and parcel of our 30th wedding anniversary celebrations."

The couple boarded the ship in San Fransisco on February 21.

There is evidence the ship now idling off San Francisco was the breeding ground for a deadly cluster of almost 20 cases during an earlier voyage, the Press Association reported.

Nineteen of the 21 diagnosed on board the ship are crew members.

The Grand Princess is owned by Princess Cruises, and a spokesman said on Friday evening: "We are awaiting official specific plans for future positioning of the ship from relevant authorities.

"Princess Cruises will continue to closely follow the guidance of the CDC and other federal and state government authorities."

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