Grand Princess: Supply shortages and ‘rotten’ food plague passengers on coronavirus-stricken ship as it prepares to dock

Passengers say they're going 'stir crazy' and want to get off the ship 

Danielle Zoellner
New York
Monday 09 March 2020 20:41
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Coronavirus: Grand Princess docking plan 'not fully formulated'

Grand Princess passengers have been left fighting over food on the 3,500 passenger cruise ship held off the coast of California due to a coronavirus outbreak.

Margaret Bartlett, 77 – a British woman on board the vessel – described her experience with BBC News and how the food was handed out was “rotten”.

“The food is rotten and terrible and we have to fight for it,” Ms Bartlett told the network. “It is not good enough.”

“We are going stir crazy stuck in the cabin,” she added. “It is a bit depressing when we saw land and it was sunny and we couldn’t get out.”

Her account mirrored that of other passengers who decided to keep the public updated about life on the ship through Twitter.

Mark Pace, a Florida man on board, has tweeted multiple updates per day about life on the ship. On Friday, he revealed it was already late into the evening and his cabin had yet to receive dinner.

“I hope that #GrandPrincess does better tomorrow evening. 11:30 and dinner had not been delivered,” he wrote.

Another passenger revealed food rationing was going on across the ship.

“Stuck in our room aboard the Grand Princess,” a passenger named Alan wrote on Saturday. “They are rationing food and now did not bring a meal tonight. They told me they are out of food for the night. All we had was a small salad for lunch, breakfast was a small bowl of fruit. Someone better decide what to do quickly.”

Food rationing was not the only problem passengers experienced.

Cell service and WiFi on the ship has been intermittent, posing a problem for passengers to get in touch with family members.

The ship, which is preparing to dock off the coast of Oakland on Monday, also has one passenger on board who needs to start her chemotherapy treatments.

Kari Kolstoe, 60, told CNN she was diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer 18 months ago and has already undergone four rounds of chemotherapy.

She took the trip with her husband, Paul, and the couple now fears her health will be impacted.

Once passengers are evacuated from the vessel, they are expected to get shuttled off to separate facilities for a 14-day quarantine.

Mrs Kolstoe just wanted the chance to get tested for the coronavirus quickly so she could return home for her treatments.

“I have rights, too,” Kari said. “And if I don’t have the coronavirus, I need to get that found out sooner rather than later because every day we argue about where we (the ship) are going and what the protocols are going to be, my cancer is growing.”

At least 21 people have the coronavirus from only 46 passengers were tested. One person died last week while on the ship.

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