After 108 days at sea, this morning three crewmen arrived on board the cruise ship Marina, from Oceania Cruises, which is a subsidiary of Norwegian .
This is the first cruise ship to enter Puerto Rico since the state of emergency was declared by COVID-19 confirmed José Carmona, spokesman for the Ports Authority . The ship has no passengers, but crew working for the cruise company.
"It came on a repatriation mission for crew members from different cruise ships from Norwegian Cruise and its subsidiaries," explained Carmona.
Two of the crew are the Puerto Rican musicians José "Freddie" Méndez and Rosamil Molina . Meanwhile, the third is a natural citizen of Nepal who resides on the island, where he is married to a Puerto Rican.
The ship began a tour of various islands in the Caribbean, Colombia and Mexico to drop off employees from each country.
El Nuevo Día learned that the boat had faced difficulties because when arriving at some destinations they did not allow disembarkation to those who reside in those places, despite the fact that no contagions have been reported inside the ship. This was the case in Colombia three days ago and they had to continue to Curaçao and transport them by plane.
That logistics could not be achieved for these three employees who arrived in Puerto Rico because a recently approved federal law does not allow people to get off a cruise boarding planes, unless it is a "charter", which was not an option for the trio who had been at sea for 108 days, passing from ship to ship.
Carmona said they were allowed entry to Puerto Rico in a coordination between the Coast Guard, the Department of Health and the Ports Authority.
"It anchored in what is called the Echo anchorage post, which is just outside the bay. It does not touch land. It remains in middle of the water "indicated Carmona.
It is 100 days since San Juan had the entry of the last cruise ships. Today we welcome OCEANIA MARINA to our bay, to leave 3 Puerto Rican crew members and refuel. It will be anchored in the bay and was not authorized to enter any pier pic.twitter.com/NIn9KRUFHD
The official added that " the agreed procedure is that a boat would come down from the cruise ship with the crew that would take them to the port … At the port, personnel from the Department of Health made an evaluation, which included molecular and serological tests of COVID-19 ".
Before the arrival of the cruise liner entering cargo ships. However, Carmona assured that the order that no crew member may disembark in Puerto Rico remains in force.
"There is no one sick here, and although we need the island and see our family, we are fine, we are not desperate and here they are very kind to us," he explained. Freddie. “Also, unlike the other crew, we are very lucky that we are together, we are a family, because we are husbands, each with big children.”
“Since March they offered us unlimited free Internet, and when it is good , we make video calls, but also, we connected to social networks, with family and friends, and we were even able to participate in the celebration of the birthday of one of our nephews, by Zoom, we were almost 20 people connected. Also, we watch a movie and really enjoy the views from our balcony cabin, "he said.