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Alameda woman shares her story after being stuck on cruise ship due to coronavirus


ALAMEDA, Calif. (KRON) — Finally back home and ready to share her story, Christina Kerby of Alameda was on a cruise vacation that got disrupted because of the coronavirus.

No port would take the ship in despite none of the 800 passengers having the deadly illness.

“It was still a trip of a lifetime,” Kerby said. “Just not the one I expected.”

Kerby made the best out of bad situation.

She and and her mom were on the Westerdam, a Holland America ship the South China Sea.

As the coronavirus spread, ports refused to let the ship dock.

Rumors and fear, she believes, made the ship a pariah.

“We were never in quarantine, we were going about life as usual,” she said. “Thank goodness that the one case did turn out to be a false positive.”

On board, she said people had fun. They danced and learned to make towel creatures.

After being denied several times, finally Cambodia took the ship in.

Then everyone on board got a health check.

And Christina got cleared to return home.

But uneasiness followed her and other passengers.

“Things like hairdressers ask is it safe for me to cut your hair, are you contagious? Should we cancel our plans because you’ve been on cruise ship,” she said.

She took some heat online, with people posting it was “dangerous and irresponsible” for her to go out.

Kerby would like to see more compassion from the community.

“People have offered free food or free babysitting,” she said. “I was never sick. It’s been wonderful to see that support.”

People who were sick exactly so it has been wonderful to see that support

Kerby has a big take away from her whole experience, one she learned from the prime minister of Cambodia.

“The fear of the coronavirus is worse than the disease itself,” she said.

The cruise ship company has offered Kerby and the other passengers a free trip to take in future.

And she still plans on taking it.

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