Coronavirus: Hundreds of crew members stuck on cruise ship for 40 days off Florida coast

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. — As a cast member on the Sky Princess cruise ship, Dan Domenech’s work days are usually filled with fun and entertainment.

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“We got on board back in (March or February), and we did a couple of cruises in the Caribbean,” he said.

He was expecting to keep going and to keep performing, until COVID-19 changed everything.

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“They got all the passengers off. The crew was here on board, waiting on instruction for what was going to happen next,” he said.

That was 40 days ago, and the “next” for the nearly 1,300 crew members on board never came.

“The (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) is not letting us off the ship,” he said, adding that they’re docked in Port Everglades, waiting.

WFTV-TV reached out to the CDC, asking it to confirm if crew members are not allowed to leave, but it haven’t responded.

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Earlier in April, the CDC put all cruise ships under a no-sail order until further notice.

When asked why he hasn’t been allowed to be let off the ship yet, Domenech said he didn’t have an answer.

“Here they’ve complied with everything they’ve asked us to do,” he said. “We did a 14-day quarantine. We wear masks every time we leave our rooms. Anything from a runny nose to a scratchy throat gets recorded.”

Domenech said as far as he knows, no one is sick.

“If an American wants to get off (the ship), test them,” he said. “Do what you have to do. We’ve had our bags packed all week ready to go, ready for them to pull the trigger on this, so just let them get off the boat.”