COVID-19

Couple Left on Island of Dominica When Man, 78, Gets COVID on Caribbean Cruise

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A D.C. man is trying to assist his 80-year-old mother from almost 2,000 miles away after she was removed from a Caribbean cruise when her boyfriend came down with COVID-19.

Family members say the cruise ship dropped off 78-year-old Alan Ferguson and his girlfriend, Ronni Krevat, at a hospital on the island of Dominica, then sailed away.

Ferguson was initially isolated in the medical facility of the Oceania Cruise ship Riviera after testing positive, but his condition worsened. On Tuesday, the ship’s medical staff decided to transfer him to a hospital on Dominica, an island country 29 miles long and 16 miles wide.

“My mother texted me that they gave her a folding chair, which was very nice, and I think I shared with you the picture where she was sitting for the entire day outside,” said Krevat’s son, Seth Krevat.

She eventually managed to book a hotel. 

In response to his calls expressing frustration with what he feels is the cruise line essentially leaving the couple stranded, Seth Krevat received an email that reads, in part: "In these circumstances, we must rely on guests' families together with their travel insurance company to coordinate efforts to arrange care and other necessary logistics, including return travel home."

Ferguson’s family in Florida described their fear when they could not get the cruise line to give them any information about what was happening to the 78-year-old grandfather.

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Daughter-in-law Marla Ferguson said she’s trying to arrange a medical ambulance flight back to the U.S. 

“I called the concierge on the boat,” she said. “I got reception, concierge, the medical department, everything, trying to get information on my father’s status, and I got no response. Nothing.”

She said the cost of the medical ambulance is likely to exceed the cost of the couple’s cruise.

“We've seen the world revert back to pre-pandemic norms, and travel is ultimately a very personal choice and a personal responsibility,” Oceania Cruises said in a statement. “We strongly urge guests to purchase travel insurance ahead of their sailing for peace of mind and in case of unexpected illness.”

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