March 9, 2020 | 10:09am | Updated March 9, 2020 | 10:44am
An elderly British woman on board the coronavirus-stricken cruise ship off the California coast groused over the conditions on board, where “stir-crazy” passengers fight over “rotten” food, according to a new report.
Margaret Bartlett, 77 — one of 140 Brits aboard the vessel where 21 people have tested positive for the infection — told the BBC that she’s been confined to her cabin, which has no balcony.
“The food is rotten and terrible and we have to fight for it,” 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.”
Barlett told the outlet that a passenger who was staying 10 cabins away from her on board the ship has died. Officials have confirmed that at least one person, a 71-year-old man, died of coronavirus last week after his time on board the cruise.
The cruise is expected to dock in Oakland, Calif., Monday — though disembarking guests will be a “multiple-day process,” according to Princess Cruises.
Passenger Debbie Loftus of Wisconsin told the Los Angeles Times she is grateful California Gov. Gavin Newsom is finally allowing the stranded passengers into the state, calling it a “change in attitude.”
“It is nice that he is now welcoming us into California,” she said. “A few days ago, he did not want us anywhere near his state.”
“This is all going to be a very new experience, going to a military base in Oakland, getting on what I assume is not going to be a commercial airline or … going someplace I’ve never been,” Loftus added. “Not sure what the accommodations are going to be like and how long we’re going to be held there. Yes, it’s a little bit anxiety-producing, but [we] will handle it minute by minute.”
Bartlett told the BBC she fears being stuck on board as Americans are taken off — but the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it was “working intensively” to secure a repatriation flight for its stranded citizens.
“We are hoping something will get done,” Bartlett said. “It is terrible.”