'I'm really sick': CA cruise passengers quarantining in Florida after getting COVID during trip

A northern California woman is among those in quarantine, and says she doesn't know when she'll be able to come home.

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Wednesday, January 5, 2022
CA passengers quarantining in FL after getting COVID on cruise
A Napa woman is one of many stuck in Florida after a COVID-19 outbreak on a Norwegian Cruise Line ship forced passengers into quarantine.

NAPA, Calif. -- One week after the CDC warned people not to travel on cruises, we are starting to hear horror stories of those who caught COVID onboard. A northern California woman is now stuck quarantining in a Florida hotel room after an 11-day cruise.

"I think this is a very dangerous time to even consider doing any kind of cruise vacation. It might be a wonderful way for some people to travel but now is not the time, don't do it," says Sue Wagner.

Wagner, who now has COVID-19, is warning others about getting on any cruise ship as the coronavirus surge continues. Wagner just got off a Norwegian Cruise Line Caribbean cruise starting and ending in Port Canaveral, Florida.

She and others who had COVID-19 were taken on buses to at least one hotel Monday to quarantine.

"We were greeted by the hotel manager who said, 'I have a whole list of people here, I don't have enough rooms, and if anybody wants to stay here you're going to have to check in and pay for your own rooms,'" says Wagner.

She says at times people wore masks on board, but through much of the trip they did not.

Wagner thought she had a cold, but it worsened and she took a COVID test New Year's Day, which came back positive. She then quarantined for the remainder of the trip.

Wagner has already canceled her flight back to California and doesn't know when she'll get to go home.

Our sister station ABC7 News reached out to Norwegian Cruise Line, but did not get a response.

All 10 cruise ships based at Port Canaveral fall under the CDC's yellow status, which indicates recent COVID cases on board. Wagner was not told how many people on her cruise had coronavirus like her, but says she was part of a large group taken into a conference room when they arrived at the hotel to quarantine.

"I would guess, just from the number of people I saw at the hotel conference room, there was upwards of 50-60 people there," says Wagner. "I made the conscious decision to do this cruise knowing that this could be the outcome, but I think I was lulled into a false sense of safety thinking that with all the procedures and precautions that were on the ship I'd be okay, but it turns out that it really wasn't the case."