As a substitute of touring Asia, a married couple from Greenburgh have been stranded at sea for 12 days.
Glenn Eisen and Barbara McNear are two of 1,455 visitors aboard Holland America’s MS Westerdam cruise ship, which departed from Hong Kong on Feb. 1, and has been barred from docking anyplace within the area as a consequence of issues over the coronavirus.
Their 14-day cruise was scheduled to go to Japan, the Philippines and Taiwan, however has been turned away from every.
The pair, who’ve lived in Hastings-on-Hudson since 2008 and take frequent cruises, wrote in emails that Westerdam’s captain has been “unacceptably silent” relating to their scenario. They stated they’d not obtained ample updates on when or the place they may lastly dock.
“We solely know what we learn within the press,” Eisen stated in an e mail to The Journal Information/lohud.
They stated that the lack of understanding, mixed with the unfold of presumably false info relating to whether or not somebody on the ship has coronavirus, have raised tensions on board.
“We’re each nicely, however I will not go as far as so as to add ‘and glad,'” McNear stated in an e mail.
Eisen, a former member of the Greenburgh Ethics Board and a tai chi teacher in Greenburgh, celebrated his 80th birthday early this week. He and his spouse determined to take a cruise on the South China Sea, a spot Eisen had visited in 1960 when he was within the Military.
However issues haven’t gone as deliberate.
As of early Wednesday, the Westerdam was heading towards Cambodia, the place Holland America officers say the ship will probably be allowed to dock on Thursday. McNear stated that passengers have been advised that Cambodian authorities will do a quick well being examination upon their arrival to make sure nobody on board is contaminated.
Holland America, in a press release on its web site Wednesday, stated, “All visitors on board are wholesome and regardless of misguided experiences there are not any recognized or suspected circumstances of coronavirus on board, nor have there ever been.”
The ship was scheduled to dock at a number of areas in Japan final week, however the Japanese authorities wouldn’t allow Westerdam to name into Japanese ports, Holland America stated in a Feb. 6 assertion.
The ship then sailed towards Laem Chabang, Thailand. Visitors have been advised on Feb. 10 that they’d be capable of disembark there and finally journey dwelling. Eisen and McNear stated they discovered that they’d not be capable of dock in Thailand by means of the Bangkok Post. Thailand’s public well being minister, Anutin Charnviakul, additionally shared on Fb that he prohibited the ship’s entry.
McNeal stated that the Westerdam’s captain advised visitors that Holland America was having discussions with the best ranges of a number of governments, together with america, Canada, England and the Netherlands, about “Westerdam’s attention-grabbing journey” and that they have been working to get visitors dwelling as quickly as doable.
Regardless of the uncertainties on board, Eisen and McNear praised the ship’s upbeat crew. They stated that there’s loads of meals and facilities to go round.
“We proceed to have full run of the ship and no indications of any well being issues [on board],” Eisen stated. “We do not know whether or not or to not begin packing or to ship out laundry.”
Holland America stated the road will prepare and pay for all flights dwelling and can provide a full refund for the cruise and a credit score towards a future cruise. Their subsequent scheduled cruise on Feb. 15 has already been canceled, and the cruise line is working to evaluate how port restrictions in Asia will influence cruises departing on Feb. 29 and onward.
Greenburgh City Supervisor Paul Feiner shared the couple’s story on quite a few city internet pages. encouraging residents to be understanding of these in the neighborhood who could also be affected by the coronavirus.
In accordance with Feiner, there’s a giant Chinese language inhabitants in Greenburgh, a few of which have household who’ve been affected by the coronavirus. He hopes to welcome the couple dwelling at a Feb. 26 city board assembly.
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