Grand Princess passenger says windowless ship quarantine was like solitary confinement

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The Grand Princess cruise ship was keeping passengers under quarantine in their cabins as it made its way to the Port of Oakland with 21 people on board who tested positive for novel coronavirus.

Some passengers are now off the ship, others were told to get ready to disembark Monday night and then were never allowed off the ship. But most passengers are still waiting in quarantine for their turn to get back on dry land.

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"For four days we didn't know if it was day or night," said Tracy Bibb, who spoke to ABC7 via Facetime, while he was on a bus Monday evening headed to Travis Air Force Base.



Bibb spent most of the past week in quarantine by himself, in his windowless interior ship room. His wife and son were in a room next door.

"We were only two feet apart, the doors. And that's when I was chastised and told to get back in my room."

"It's an experience I've never had before, it's almost like you're in solitary confinement," explained Bibb.

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"I really just want to get out of my cabin and go somewhere else," said 8-year-old Olive Essig, who spoke to ABC7 from her grandparent's balcony room.

Olive and her parents and two brothers have also been quarantined in their interior room. "We've been doing crafts... games and movies and card games. Dance parties!"

The Essigs, who live in Santa Rosa, got ready to disembark the ship Monday evening. But at 8pm, they were told to go back to their room and wait until the morning. They hope to disembark on Tuesday at 8 am.

"We're ready to be off the boat and see what's next," said Tiffany Essig, Olive's mother.

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Teresa Johnson says she has a cough that she reported to public health officials, who went room to room on the ship Monday.

"He had on hazmat suit and it kind of looked like someone from the Contagion movie. He was all taped up and had a hood."

Besides her cough, which Teresa says could be from allergies, she and her husband feel healthy.

ABC7 news reporter, Kate Larsen, has spoken to or messaged with Johnson everyday since last Wednesday and despite the coronavirus concerns aboard the ship, she's always positive.

"I have a very strong faith," said Johnson.

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