What do you do while quarantined on a cruise ship?

Feb 10, 2020, 10:25 AM | Updated: Feb 4, 2021, 6:15 am
Utah coronavirus...
YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 10: Emergency workers in protective clothing exit the Diamond Princess cruise ship at Daikoku Pier where it is being resupplied and newly diagnosed coronavirus cases taken for treatment as it remains in quarantine after a number of the 3,700 people on board were diagnosed with coronavirus, on February 10, 2020 in Yokohama, Japan. A Utah man has confirmed a second person from the state quarantined on a cruise ship docked in Yokohama, Japan tested positive for coronavirus. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
(Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

YOKOHAMA, Japan — Mark Jorgensen and his wife Jerri have been living in St. George for the last 30 years, but right now they’re quarantined on a cruise ship docked in Japan.


Utahns quarantined in Japan

“The coronavirus wasn’t even in the news by the time that we left,” Jorgensen told Dave and Dujanovic. “It was just starting to make headlines a few days after we got on the ship. We finished the cruise and saw all the sights and had a great time, and we came back the last night and they announced there was a patient diagnosed with the virus.”

Jorgensen says that the man who had been diagnosed was from Hong Kong and boarded the ship in Tokyo and had gotten off the ship in Hong Kong without telling anyone he was feeling ill.

Last night the guy that brought our dinner was wearing a hazmat suit. They’re telling us now not to answer the door without a mask on.

Jorgensen says when they were informed, they were only expecting a one day delay. But now they’ve been in their cabin for almost a week and will be staying put for another seven days.

The cruise that stretched on and on

“The night before we were supposed to get off they announced that the ship would be staying for an extra 24 hours while they screened everyone,” Jorgensen said.

He says their bags were packed and they expected to be back in Utah just a day later than expected. They were wrong.

“The ship had a whole day of activities planned for us and we had free rein of the ship and a regular dinner and all that,” Jorgensen continued. “The next night they announced they had found 10 more cases and there would be a 14-day quarantine and we would be confined to our rooms.”

That was a week ago. Jorgensen says the US State Department and the Embassy in Tokyo told them to expect to remain on the ship for another week.

Now, Princess Cruises says there are 24 Americans among the 135 people on board that are infected

What do you do while you’re trapped on a cruise ship?

Jorgensen says that they have all of their meals delivered but that the protective measurements that the crew is taking have been stepped up.

“Last night the guy that brought our dinner was wearing a hazmat suit. They’re telling us now not to answer the door without a mask on,” he said.

Jorgensen says they’ve been getting lots of naps and steadily working through their movie catalog. Playing games and reading also help keep them busy while they’re quarantined and confined to their room.

“We do have access to the internet though, but we can’t do any streaming, so no Netflix for us,” he said.

Making the best of it

He does say they’ve been pretty lucky though that a couple they were traveling with is right next door so they’ve been able to communicate across balconies.

Jorgensen also says that they have gotten the chance to get out of their rooms and head up to the deck for some sunshine and fresh air.

“They call a section at a time and say ‘OK this section can go up and be back in an hour’  and we’ve been up once in the four days.”

He says that today they made the announcement that the cruise line will be changing the time they’re allowing for passengers on the deck to give those on the inside cabins more time in the sunshine which Jorgensen says is totally fair.

Jorgensen says that they’ve been getting updates from the US Embassy in Tokyo that they should be able to go home on February 19th.

What next?

Princess Cruise Lines promised to refund their airfare and the quarantined Jorgensens plan on taking them up on that offer.

“There is no way this could have been predicted, they’ve got thousands of people boarding dozens of ships every day and I think they’ve been incredibly generous … I don’t worry about [this happening again].”

Related stories: 

Utah health officials prep for a Coronavirus outbreak

Coronavirus leads church to transfer missionaries out of China

Where is Wuhan coronavirus: This is where cases have been confirmed worldwide

All News

Dan Bammes

Four die in Iron County plane crash

IRON COUNTY, Utah — Four people died Saturday evening in a plane crash east of Cedar City. The Iron County Sheriff’s Office says deputies and firefighters were dispatched to a report of a fire about five miles east of Cedar City shortly before 7:00 p.m. When they arrived, they discovered the wreckage of a single-engine […]
28 days ago
State street traffic sign...
Samantha Herrera

State Street traffic restrictions starting soon

State Street traffic restrictions are slated to start soon and continue into August. Work will impact areas downtown and near the Capitol.
1 month ago
Nicolas Cage as “Nick Cage” contemplates his career in Mallorca, Spain in “The Unbearable Wei...
KellieAnn Halvorsen

FAN EFFECT REVIEW: “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” is a hilarious grown-up comedy with an emphasis on grown-up

“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” is a wonderfully weird, insightfully intelligent, and absolutely hilarious grown-up action-comedy. 
1 month ago
Garth Brooks Salt Lake...
Simone Seikaly

Garth Brooks sells out second Salt Lake concert in 45 minutes

It was the second time in less than a year that Garth Brooks sold that many tickets for a Salt Lake City concert so quickly.
1 month ago
A Smith's recycling bin...
Devin Oldroyd

Recycle single-use plastic at your local Smith’s

In honor of Earth Month, Smith's Food & Drug is encouraging its customers to recycle thin-filter plastic materials at their local stores.
1 month ago
City hall break-in window was smashed...
Devin Oldroyd

South Weber City Hall break-in causes minor damages

The South Weber City Hall break-in was reported by employees as they were showing up to work Friday morning. Walk-in traffic was closed due to the break-in.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Prescription opioid...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: Key Information Before the Filing Deadline

Businesses can receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $21,000 per employee in 2021.
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
What do you do while quarantined on a cruise ship?