How Quarantined Cruise Passengers Are Celebrating Valentine's Day
What started out as a dream vacation on board a Princess Cruise bound for Japan quickly turned into a nightmare when the coronavirus broke out. The ship, which originally set sail on Jan. 20, was quickly quarantined by the Japanese government, meaning the more than 2,000 guests and 1,000 staff members were not allowed to disembark at all.
While you may think this decision would lead to pure chaos, it turns out we’ve all been underestimating humanity this whole time. Especially on Valentine’s Day.
Earlier this week, quarantined guests shared that the staff aboard the ship are trying to make the most of their difficult situation by planning an adorable Valentine’s Day dinner surprise.
“Day 9: We have our Valentine’s Day Dinner plans!” one guest on the ship shared via the twitter account, @quarantinedondiamondprincess.
As the tweet shows, the ship is offering guests a lunch offering that includes a choice of fish and chips, bangers and mash, and baked bell pepper with aromatic rice, bok choy and tomato sauce. For dinner, guests can choose between Cupid's avocado and shrimp salad along with Shrimp Valentine Japanese style, coq au vin with mashed potatoes and vegetables, or Bermuda onions and potato tart with caponata.
"It was sweet," passenger Matt Smith, who’s traveling with his wife, Katherine Codekas, told USA Today about the crew offerings. He additionally shared, the crew also cooked them a cute Valentine’s breakfast complete with chocolate croissants and even placed roses, chocolates, and a poem in their room.
"It was literally, 'I'd like to read you a poem: Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.' I read those lines once at a friend's wedding,” he said.
However, despite all the love passengers are still hoping to get off the shipped filled with dozens of people now carrying the coronavirus.
“On the ship, infections are getting very dense … it now provides a favorable environment for the virus to spread and I think it’s time for people to get off,” Shigeru Omi, an infectious disease prevention expert and former regional director for the World Health Organization, told The Guardian. “It is like we are seeing a very condensed version of what could happen in a local community.”
And as Kent Frasure, an American on board the cruise explained to The Guardian, the stay is no longer considered a vacation, but rather a test of human will.
“The hardest part is the unknown of what is going to happen and trying to stay busy,” Frasure said. “Boredom is a real thing, and it is getting more difficult to stave off, but so far so good.”
Thankfully, earlier this week the cruise line announced plans for “voluntary disembarkation of guests to complete their quarantine period at a shoreside facility.” It’s also offering all guests a full refund as well as a credit for a future cruise, though it’s hard to imagine any of the passengers taking them up on that offer for another sailing any time soon.