The Queen Mary 2 Ocean Liner.
Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images
- Cruise passengers said they were forced to isolate in their cabins amid a COVID-19 outbreak onboard.
- The experience left some feeling “like lepers,” one passenger told MailOnline.
- The ship was due to cruise around the Caribbean but the cases meant it was forced to turn around.
Passengers on Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 cruise ship said they felt “like lepers,” after they were forced to isolate in their cabins during a COVID-19 outbreak onboard.
The passengers told their story to MailOnline.
The ship, which departed from Southampton, England, was meant to cruise to the Caribbean on a 22-day voyage. But on its first leg, officials reported that several passengers and crew members tested positive for COVID-19.
According to the outlet, the passengers who tested positive were ordered to leave the ship and isolate in New York City in line with Cunard’s policies.
The cases meant the cruise ship could not continue its journey to its next two scheduled destinations in Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands, and Basseterre, St Kitts.
The number of COVID-19 cases on the ship continued to rise, according to the outlet. But when Queen Mary 2 reached Barbados, most passengers were not able to disembark and many were reportedly forced to isolate in their rooms without leaving.
According to Christine Martine, a passenger interviewed by MailOnline, guests were fed “stone-cold” meals on paper plates.
“The captain regularly speaks on the tannoy to passengers but never makes any reference to us — the positive passengers — not even a Happy New Year. We feel like lepers,” Martine said.
The ship headed back straight back to Southampton, following its docking at Barbados, according to the outlet.
Cunard did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
The company issued a statement to MailOnline. It said: “Cunard/P&O Cruises has an approved framework of enhanced protocols in place to protect the health and wellbeing of guests, crew and the communities we visit and best manage against Covid-19.
“Similar to the protocols for all international travel, should a guest test positive for Covid-19 whilst on board, they and their close contacts will isolate for their and other guests’ wellbeing.”
It added that isolated guests can request room service, from the full dining room and in-stateroom menus, at any time and have the support of ship’s crew throughout.
Several positive COVID-19 cases have been reported on cruise ships since they resumed operations last year. As of Friday, 91 US cruise ships at sea had confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases on board, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Recently, the CDC warned that all travelers, fully vaccinated or not, should avoid going on cruise ships amid the spread of the Omicron variant.