Cruise ship at center of coronavirus scare caused by ‘miscommunication’ returns to Jaxport

Jacksonville, FL — The thousands of guests aboard the Jacksonville-based ship at the center of a health scare returned home Thursday.

Several of the passengers told Action News Jax’s Beth Rousseau they’re glad this situation was a miscommunication and not the coronavirus.

Passenger Tina Scott said, “We had a great time. We went to the Bahamas and had a fabulous time.”

Multiple cruisers explained that that fast-spreading coronavirus wasn’t on their minds until they noticed first responders flooding Jaxport and the area around the ship.

“We had seen a lot of emergency vehicles out here at the gate. We didn’t know what it was about,” described guest Teirsa Lane.

Action News Jax reported Saturday when Mayor Lenny Curry took to social media, tweeting that JFRD was called to the cruise terminal for a sick crew member after 2,500 passengers had disembarked.

In a later statement he said the patient was no longer being evaluated for the coronavirus.

Curry added that the response was based on information from the cruise ship personnel and the patient’s travel history.

Passenger Teresa Campbell said, “From what we were told, there was a crew member that had gotten sick and it was reported wrong. So, that was why for our delay – to make sure everything was good that way.”

A Carnival spokesperson told Action News Jax that it appeared to be a miscommunication, the crew member went to the hospital for routine observation, and it’s not a suspected covid-19 case.

Traveler David Scott said, “We took whatever precautions we could, but very minimal. The crew reacted very positively and very respectful to all the passengers.”

The cruisers said apart from the minor delay, it didn’t take away from their trip.

Campbell described, “As far as the virus, no I was not concerned. There’s hand sanitizer all over the ship. The crew members are constantly wiping things down, constantly cleaning.”

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention posted guidelines for ships managing suspected cases of the coronavirus. Click here to view.

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