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Tonight, HBO premieres it documentary on what happened on the Diamond Princess as more and more crew and guests caught COVID. We have seen and heard bits and pieces from the passengers on the ill fated ship. HBO pulls it all together. 

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We were on the Diamond Princess in Japan nearly a year before that "last cruise", enjoyed the bilingual entertainment.

 

There's a good summary of the program at https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2021/mar/29/it-was-like-a-horror-film-inside-the-terror-of-the-covid-cruise-ship

 

Not exactly the "last cruise" though, we were on one of the two last pre-pandemic NCL cruises carrying passengers (Jewel ending in Honolulu on March 22, same day as the Spirit ended in Capetown) and even after that there were other ships from other companies heading home for weeks.

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1 hour ago, BirdTravels said:

Tonight, HBO premieres it documentary on what happened on the Diamond Princess as more and more crew and guests caught COVID. We have seen and heard bits and pieces from the passengers on the ill fated ship. HBO pulls it all together. 

I watched a CNA documentary on one of the Princess cruises yesterday and bookmarked another one. I sometimes wonder - had it been a few months later it could have been me or people I know on another cruise. 

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Thanks for sharing the link to the HBO film.

 

And also thanks for sharing the link to the article. After reading it, I must say I'm a bit taken back. If the documentary is portrayed like the article sounds, I don't think that will fair for cruising from the USA. Not to take away from what happened on the Diamond Princess, but I'm not sure calling the experience a "Real-Life Horror Film...." is going to sit well in the industry (both the consumers and providers).

 

"But to the 3,711 people aboard (2,666 guests and 1,045 crew members), the two-week quarantine was a metastasizing real-life horror film tentacled by pre-existing dynamics of class and nationality – an experience of terrifying paralysis, confusion and collapse chronicled in The Last Cruise, an HBO short documentary released this week." 'It was like a horror film': inside the terror of the Covid cruise ship | Documentary | The Guardian

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I felt so sorry for the crew who had to keep working through all of this so that the guests were impacted the least.  I really felt sorry for the husband and wife that were separated.  She was taken to the hospital because she tested positive for the virus and he had to stay on the ship under quarantine.  With the guests being quarantined I'm sure being in an inside stateroom sucked.

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About 4 years ago, my one and only cruise to Alaska (Vancouver, BC to Whittier, AK) was oboard Diamond Princess. Little did I know at the time that she would become famous and for what reason.

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Thanks for the information.  I watched the  film as well.  I was scheduled on a May 2020 Princess cruise, so this situation at the time had caught my attention. There were a few onboard who began posting live from the ship. One couple from The U.K. were Inspiring to watch and gained a following for their daily video reports. Many of us followed their journey. I think the CEO, Jan Swartz, who flew to Japan, communicated  with them directly and sent them a bottle of the husband’s favorite whisky, 
 

The  couple were separated briefly as one had contracted thr virus, but eventually were reunited in the Japanese hospital.  The husband became very ill,  but both recovered. They were not repatriated  with the rest of the U.K. Citizens as they were in the hospital. But they did return home sometime later.  One US citizen who decided to stay behind to “enjoy” Japan was  quarantined and it took a month for him to get back home.
 

The account given in the documentary matched the stories  posted on  Cruise Critic, Facebook and You Tube. The crew stories were also accurate. The passengers in inside cabins were eventually given an exercise schedule and folks were allowed on deck for a brief period of time each day in controlled situations.  
 

A few weeks later in early March, another outbreak happened on board the Grand  Princess, but she was near the California Coast on her return from Hawaii. Disembarking  happened after about 3 days for US citizens and continued  for others over a few more days.   Americans on both ships were sent to Air force bases for a 2 week quarantine.  Some did indeed stay behind in Japan as the “other half”  was in the hospital. Everyone praised the care in the Japanese Hospitals. I think only a few were hospitalized from off the Grand Princess. 

 

 In Both cases though, the crew were on board longer. Eventually they moved into  the empty passenger cabins.  Most crew members from the Grand retuned home much sooner. A skeleton  crew remained and she sat anchored in San Francisco Bay for a while. 
 

There were a few more issues with a Princess ships in Australia.  I think our Aussie friends can comment on that.   It wasn’t until a few months later that the large total number of cases from the Diamond Princes was confirmed. 



 

 

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Thank you for posting information regarding this documentary, I just saw it on HBO Nordic together with my husband (we live in Norway). I must admit that it brought tears to my eyes on several occations, and I felt so sorry for everyone on board - both passengers and crew. What a terrifying ordeal that must have been, when information is little and not very detailed. And allthough my husband and I have enjoyed more than 30 cruises as passengers, we were actually working on cruise ships ourselves 20-30 years ago. It was so easy to put yourself in the situation both for passengers and crew on board the Diamond Princess and just think that "it could have been me".... 

 

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We have learned a bit about distancing and not using vented masks to help contain the virus. There are things we would/would not do today. If we were in the same situation today, we would do something different to protect passengers and crew. But no one really knew back then. 
 

And a year from now, March 2022, we will look back at what we are doing today and say “what were they thinking back in 2021”. 

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Posted (edited)

Part of the blame to be honest is on the Japanese Government. If anything the crew should have also been isolated like the passengers or given the same PPE that the health officials wore. Making them work was a sentence to infection.

 

Also, the U.S. State Department totally mismanaged the repatriation by putting sick people on the same plane as "healthy" people. I would love to know the number of people that were infected after that flight.

 

The documentary was really good. While it is scary, this is probably a once in a lifetime thing. It doesn't scare me to cruise again. I've had Noro on a cruise before (last 2 days of it), I've gotten a cold at the end of a cruise, I've been in 40' seas coming back to New York; none of it will stop me from cruising again because the experiences are worth it. And to be honest, with the proper protocols in place COVID will not be an issue again. I'm fully vaccinated and can't wait for my December cruise!

Edited by zerooveride
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And, to me,the final take-a-way was that the US government, who examined the ship and determined that Covid was spread through the air AND could be spread by asymptomatic people waited one month before issuing a mask order in the USA.  (over which we are still arguing).  A lot ofmistakes were made, and are probably still being made.

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9 hours ago, Oakman58 said:

 I really felt sorry for the husband and wife that were separated.  She was taken to the hospital because she tested positive for the virus and he had to stay on the ship under quarantine.  

 

To finish one of the separated couples story (the blonde wife, not the dark haired) she stayed in the Japanese hospital while he joined the others on the cargo flights to the military bases for another 14 day quarantine. Almost at the end of his quarantine at Travis, he came up positive!

 

https://abcnews.go.com/Health/couple-separated-pacific-ocean-coronavirus/story?id=69255127

 

 

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