COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Passengers and crew on board a cruise ship with numerous cases of Coronavirus have docked in Oakland, California.
Families have been held in limbo off the coast for days, including one family from Colorado Springs.
Nineteen crew members and two passengers have tested positive for the coronavirus. Over the next few days, others on board will disembark from the Grand Princess.
"We're not feeling any symptoms. Maybe a little cabin fever," said Elizabeth Aleteanu.
Her family booked a trip to Hawaii for her birthday. They never expected this would happen.
"He was like, 'Should we do a balcony?' I was like, 'No, we're not going to be in the room. What's the point?' So we got a really small room."
Everything changed when the family was headed to their last stop in Baja California.
"We were on our way to Ensenada, Mexico. We put the TV on and realized the course had changed."
The family of four has since been held in limbo for days. Their small cabin has become a temporary home where meals are brought to the door and face masks are not optional.
"March 5 was the last time we were in public with other people. We had a brunch at the buffet with our family, and after that, we were pretty much told, 'Don’t come out of your cabin anymore,'" Aleteanu said.
Aleteanu, her husband, and two kids are all sharing a small cabin.
"The area where you sleep ... It’s like 10-by-20 and then there’s a small hallway where if you hold your elbows out like this it’ll touch your elbows on both sides.”
But the family says it's an adventure and they are making the most of it.
"I packed, like, UNo, cards, coloring, reading, homework for [the kids]. I brought books for myself. My husband has been on his cell phone. [The cruise] gave each of my kids a stuffed animal and one was a teddy bear. I’ve been dressing up that teddy bear with little scenes from the cruise.”
Over the next few days, passengers will be transferred to military bases in California, Texas and Georgia. They will be quarantined there for two weeks. International passengers will take charter flights to their home countries.
"I don't know what to expect, so I'm anxious, but I'm ready," Aleteanu said.
The U.S. Department of State issued a warning Sunday that “U.S. citizens, particularly travelers with underlying health conditions, should not travel by cruise ship.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Protection has noted an increased risk for infection from COVID-19 on cruise ships. Officials also warn those that do travel by cruise risk being quarantined by authorities in other countries.