Prices Corner couple quarantined on cruise ship over coronavirus fears hoping to return home.


DJ McAneny

Prices Corner couple is hoping they'll be back on land sometime this week following a cruise from San Francisco to Hawaii, but a quarantine over concerns of novel coronavirus COVID-19 is keeping them on board their ship for at least one more day.

We're not going to get off until maybe tomorrow," said Gail Sanderson.

"The first people to go off are the sick people," added her husband, Frank. "That's going to take a while. That'll be today. Then they're going to offload the Californians. And then those of us who are U.S. citizens, but not living in California, will be disembarked and put on charter flights to our destination which, for us, is going to be Georgia

Their eventual destination is home in Delaware, but the Sandersons will spend another two weeks in quarantine at the Dobbins Air Reserve Base once in Georgia before returning home.

"We have to go through testing and 14 days of quarantine in Georgia," said Gail. "I love cruising. The weather was horrible this cruise, so I kind of hated the cruise from the beginning, but they've taken really good care of us. I mean, I have no regrets taking this cruise."

The Sandersons said all of the endless food, dancing, casinos, and fun has come to a close. Currently, they're confined to their rooms awaiting escort off the ship. They're been informed they're not allowed to leave the room to travel about the ship or have contact with anyone else outside of their room. Crew who deliver food are also forbidden from entering any room, instead knocking on the door to let them know food has arrived in the hallway. Gail said the crew is gone before they can open the door to pick it up.

"The available food has obviously dwindled," said Frank. "We were supposed to dock on Saturday, then the ship would've been re-provisioned. So they're trying to stretch what food they have left into meals for us, but they're feeding us three times a day with the best they can do."

Masks have also been distributed, and passengers were told to put them on before answering the door for any visitors.

Despite the trying conditions, the Sandersons said it's not so bad. The cruise company is providing free WiFi and telephone usage to quarantined passengers, and the Sandersons have an added bonus: they've got a balcony room, so they can get some fresh air and sunshine--and occasionally, pick up the conversations taking place nearby.

"We're fine," said Gail. "They've been taking care of us. They've been entertaining us on the TV--they added extra channels, extra movies. So, we're fine. No problem."

"We're fine," said Frank. "Some people can't handle it."

"Some people are really upset," added Gail. "Like the guy a couple doors down..."

"Shh," Frank interrupted.

"But, other than that, everybody's fine," she said.

On Sunday, the ship started allowing passengers deck-by-deck in the interior cabins without such luxuries as balconies the opportunity for trips outside to get some fresh air, reporter the Sandersons. They said yard privileges required passengers to wear masks and remain three feet from each other.

So what did the Sandersons miss most about Delaware while being quarantined?

Frank Sanderson: "Nothing."

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