Longmont man says grandmother aboard quarantined cruise ship happy and healthy


Happy, healthy and comfortable.

That’s how Jackson Mohseni described his grandmother, a Colorado Springs resident he said is one of more than 3,500 people aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship, which has been kept floating off the coast of San Francisco amid fears about the new coronavirus.

Authorities began testing people on the ship after a passenger on a previous voyage died of the disease, formally known as COVID-19, and at least four others became infected. Some passengers from that trip stayed aboard for the current voyage that traveled from California to Hawaii and back.

Princess Cruises, which runs the ship, said 45 people were selected for testing and passengers were instructed to stay in their cabins as they awaited test results Friday.

“They’ve had their meals delivered to their room and that’s all they’ve been up to,” Mohseni, a Longmont resident, said after speaking with his grandmother, who took the cruise with her sister. She has no symptoms of the virus, he added. “She seems in good spirits.”

Citing privacy concerns, Mohseni declined to full identify his grandmother or put The Denver Post in touch with her aboard the ship.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said the Grand Princess will not come onshore until authorities have appropriately assessed the passengers. Knowing his grandmother is on the ship makes Mohseni feel “kind of helpless,” he admitted.

“As long as they aren’t in their own filth and everything is working on the ship, you know, then there’s really nothing you can do,” he said.

Despite coronavirus hitting close to home, Mohseni has no intention of changing his travel plans, which will take him to Chicago, Vermont, Seattle and New Jersey in the coming months.

“It does give you pause, but you have to take precautions and not let it determine everything,” he said.

Princess Cruises is one of several companies updating its travel cancellation policy this week in response to the global spread of coronavirus. The company offered full refunds to passengers expected to embark on its March 7 cruises and is offering credit to those who wish to cancel an upcoming voyage.

United Airlines and Delta are waiving change fees for all flights booked through the airlines now until the end of March. Alaska Airlines will waive fees on tickets purchased Feb. 27 to March 31, as will JetBlue. In addition to waiving change fees, American Airlines is also suspending some international flights to Seoul, South Korea, Milan, Italy, mainland China and Hong Kong.

The first two cases of coronavirus in Colorado were reported on Thursday, including a man who went skiing at Vail and Keystone resorts. Both resorts are open and operating as usual following advice from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, which reiterated that “the risk to the general public is low.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story. 

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