Many Americans have been self-isolating in their homes for weeks now due to the coronavirus pandemic, and while being home all day every day with no specific end date in sight can feel boring, tiring and/or frustrating at times, at least most of us are at home with our families. Imagine being stuck on a cruise ship.

At first thought, it might sound like a free vacation to be “stuck” or a cruise ship, but for crew members who just want to go home, it’s anything but.

The Washington Post reports that according to the CDC, nearly 80,000 crew members are stuck on board about 100 cruise ships off the coast of the United States. These crew members would much rather be home with their own families instead of being stuck on an eerily empty ship.

Watch the video below to hear from a couple cruise ship crew members what life is really like onboard an empty cruise ship.



Roger Frizzell, a senior vice president for Carnival, told The Washington Post, “Sometimes in a global crisis such as this, caution and fear can take over in some people in some countries, and what would normally be a basic level of human decency to allow these men and women into a port to be able return to their homes — yet surprisingly it has been denied by some countries in recent weeks.”

What makes matters worse, is that some cruise lines will not be paying their crew members while they are stuck on board. On April 1st, Mario Aponte, managing director for MSC Cruises, sent two different memos to crew members. Business Insider was forwarded these memos by crew members, and both memos informed crew members that they would be “provided with single cabin accommodation, food and beverage services, medical assistance, access to education via our e-learning platform, and free social communication through the ship’s IT system.” However, memos that were sent to crew members whose contracts had ended were also informed that they were not going to be paid.

Did you know so many crew members were stuck at sea?