FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The Regal Princess cruise ship is docked once again at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale following a coronavirus scare.
The ship was allowed to dock Sunday night around 10:00 p.m. after two of its workers tested negative for the coronavirus.
The ship was originally scheduled to return Sunday morning, but instead spent most of the day sailing up and down the coast while awaiting the test results for two crewmembers.
The Coast Guard delivered testing kits to the Regal Princess and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a “no-sail order” for the ship.
The cruise line says the two workers in question were on the Grand Princess more than two weeks ago. That ship is currently off the coast of California where 21 people on board have tested positive for the virus, including 19 crewmembers, according to Princess Cruises.
The company said the two crewmembers on the Regal Princess did not exhibit any symptoms and were past the 14-day incubation period.
The CDC confirmed the results were negative but it didn’t say how it was able to get results so quickly.
A Port Everglades spokeswoman, Ellen Kennedy, said later Sunday that the CDC had cleared the ship to enter port.
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Guests in need of hotel rooms were allowed to reboard the ship for the night, the statement said, and compensation for “unexpected expenses” would be considered on a case-by-case basis.
It is unclear how many people were on board the Regal Princess, but the cruise line’s website said it has a capacity of 3,560 guests.
The vessel’s next cruise scheduled to leave Port Everglades for a seven-day Caribbean trip Sunday was also canceled. The cruise line said guests would receive a full refund and offered $300 reimbursement for one night’s hotel costs.
Meantime, on the Grand Princess, Davie resident Michael Kallman just wants to come home.
“We think it’s very imperative to get off this ship and get off the Petri dish, if you will, and try and get home,” Michael Kallman said.
Kallman and his wife are on board to celebrate his retirement from the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
“This was my retirement cruise. Some retirement cruise. So, it has been the cruise from hell, I’ll be honest,” Kallman said.
He has been isolated in his room and when the ship docks, he says he will be isolated somewhere else.
Sunday, the U.S. State Department urged people, especially those with health issues, to avoid traveling on cruises during the outbreak. They say the virus can easily spread on ships.
The new warning from officials came after Vice President Mike Pence visited Port Everglades Saturday.
He announced new plans for cruise lines, like having testing kits on the ships and new quarantine standards.