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Rare glimpse of quarantine life aboard a luxury megaship

Video Credit: SWNS STUDIO - Duration: 00:51s - Published
Rare glimpse of quarantine life aboard a luxury megaship

Rare glimpse of quarantine life aboard a luxury megaship

Exclusive videos and pictures reveal a glimpse of quarantine life aboard a luxury megaship off the coast of Brazil where around 650 crew members are in isolation due to a COVID-19 outbreak. The staff on cruise ship MSC Seaview have not left their cabins in almost a month and have no idea when they will be able to return home after several workers tested positive for the infection. A source, who asked to remain anonymous, described an atmosphere of despair on board with staff not receiving salary and fearful for their health. He claimed that there was a lack of cleaning supplies on board and that the ship's supply of fresh fruit and vegetables had already run out. A video clip shows dirty plates stacked outside rooms as the crew are not allowed to leave their cabins except to do laundry once a week. The source said: "We are already more than 20 days in isolation in our cabins and it's really hard for your mental health. "We don't know what is going on.

We cannot clean the toilet because they are not giving us cleaning supplies. "If we need to do laundry, we have to inform management.

There is no common space or area for us to relax.

We don't have fresh food - we just have what is in storage. "There are no fresh fruit or fresh vegetables because we are in the middle of the sea with no cargo and no trucks to bring food on board."The source added that the only daylight he can see is through a porthole and small balcony in his passenger cabin - he was moved there when quarantine began on April 1. "I was transferred to a passenger cabin but there are still crew members in their rooms with no windows and no natural light. "They have no fresh air - just the air conditioning.

It is a terrible situation."MSC Cruises said that all crew members have now been moved to passenger cabins.The source slammed the global cruise line for going ahead with a cruise around Brazil on March 16 when other companies suspended sailing operations due to the pandemic. He said: "They did one more three-day cruise around Brazil instead of sending us back home.

Now we are here on board and we cannot go back home. "When they tried to send us home, the borders were closed."While the luxury megaship has the capacity for 5,500 crew and passengers, only around 1,500 passengers boarded the cruise for Brazil. Our source also accused management of allowing crew members from nearby liner MSC Poesia to board the MSC Seaview without testing them for COVID-19 at the end of March. "They transferred a certain amount of crew, about 600 people, on to this ship.

They didn't do tests because they didn't have COVID tests. "There were rumours of fever on board MSC Poesia.

We were allowed to be free on board to walk around the ship." MSC Cruises insisted that all staff were medically screened before they were transferred. The source claimed that it was only when two crew members returned to their home countries of Brazil and Italy and tested positive for COVID-19 that management investigated a possible outbreak on board. He added: "There were two positive cases and they told us to isolate."Staff are also concerned about their financial future as their contracts have been terminated due to the mayhem the virus has wrought on the tourism industry. They are not expected to work and are receiving no salary as they stay on board the ship."An announcement was made over the public speaker that we were going to get basic salary and no commission," the source said. "After a few days we were told that because of the situation, we were getting no more salary and they were ending our contract automatically. "We are here because we cannot go anywhere else."Crew members, who are from all over the world, are waiting for permission to return to their home countries and for MSC to arrange their travel there. Our source, who is from Peru, was given permission by the Peruvian embassy in Brazil to return to his home country on April 10 but is still waiting for transport to be arranged. He said: "This is a dreadful situation.

I would like to go back home to be with my son and to see my father but I cannot because I am here and there is nothing I can do about it. "The company is the one that has to send us back home.

It has been very difficult to be far away from my family.

It has been so hard to be alone. "I need human contact and I am passing through all of this by myself."A spokesperson for MSC Cruises said: "In light of the extraordinary circumstances the world is currently facing with regards to COVID-19, MSC Cruises has taken the difficult decision to temporarily suspend its cruise ship operations currently until July 10. "As the health crisis has caused all our ships globally to stop operating and, as a result, there is currently no work to be carried out on board."We have temporarily agreed to relieve the majority of our crew from their duties and we have worked tirelessly to pay for them to safely return home for the duration of the temporary suspension of ships' operations. "As we continue to work to ensure that crew members can safely repatriate, every one of them is accommodated in a passenger cabin individually with no rooms shared.  "All crew members have free internet to connect with their families, menus have been enhanced and all receive frequent and regular health and temperature checks for their wellbeing. "This is a strictly temporary solution conceived to look after our crew members' health, safety and wellbeing while we continue to work to make sure our they can safely head home and take care of their families and themselves during these difficult times. "At the same time, it's also important to note that we are required by law to keep a minimal number of crew on board to operate each of our ships. "The crew members who are required for the necessary manning on board continue to be paid.  "For the crew who are have already returned or are due to return home, this is not an indefinite termination of a contract but a freeze agreement. "In other words, our crew, who work on fixed-term contracts, have all gone or will go home with a guarantee to be re-employed on the same terms and conditions once the operations are back up and running. "All crew who return home before the end of their contract will be given priority to be re-employed as we expect that the return to operations will be gradual across our fleet."Crew members on board the MSC Seaview, which has not sailed for six weeks and is currently anchored at sea off the Brazilian coast without anyone boarding or disembarking since, over the past weeks have been in preventive isolation on board the ship while awaiting to disembark and return home. "This has been taking longer than expected because flights are unavailable, borders are closed and many of the countries to which some of our crew members need to return to do not currently accept their citizens back.  "As we continue to work to ensure that crew members can safely repatriate, every crew member is accommodated in a passenger cabin individually with no rooms shared.  "All crew members have free internet to connect with their families, menus have been enhanced and all receive frequent and regular health and temperature checks for their wellbeing. "The majority of crew members onboard MSC Seaview have been safely repatriated home although Peru, unfortunately, closed down its borders on March 16 and we have worked tirelessly to find a way for our crew members from the country to return to their homeland.      "With many airports and national borders closed, even to their own citizens, it is a challenge to repatriate everyone.

Despite our very best efforts—often at the highest possible level within the relevant governments—we still have not found a viable solution for some of our crew members to travel back to their home countries. "The crew members who transferred from MSC Poesia to MSC Seaview - for their comfort - were all medically screened before the move from one ship to another.  "MSC Seaview was launched in 2018 and is one of the biggest, most modern and most comfortable cruise ships in our fleet.

It has many more balcony cabins than MSC Poesia, which allowed us to provide our crew members with the best possible accommodation until they can travel back to their home countries. "As the same for all of our ships, MSC Seaview has cleaning supplies that are required to run a full cruise operation with thousands of passengers on board. "We have upgraded our menus for crew members while they remain on board, providing greater diversity and enhanced dining options."

Exclusive videos and pictures reveal a glimpse of quarantine life aboard a luxury megaship off the coast of Brazil where around 650 crew members are in isolation due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

The staff on cruise ship MSC Seaview have not left their cabins in almost a month and have no idea when they will be able to return home after several workers tested positive for the infection.

A source, who asked to remain anonymous, described an atmosphere of despair on board with staff not receiving salary and fearful for their health.

He claimed that there was a lack of cleaning supplies on board and that the ship's supply of fresh fruit and vegetables had already run out.

A video clip shows dirty plates stacked outside rooms as the crew are not allowed to leave their cabins except to do laundry once a week.

The source said: "We are already more than 20 days in isolation in our cabins and it's really hard for your mental health.

"We don't know what is going on.

We cannot clean the toilet because they are not giving us cleaning supplies.

"If we need to do laundry, we have to inform management.

There is no common space or area for us to relax.

We don't have fresh food - we just have what is in storage.

"There are no fresh fruit or fresh vegetables because we are in the middle of the sea with no cargo and no trucks to bring food on board."The source added that the only daylight he can see is through a porthole and small balcony in his passenger cabin - he was moved there when quarantine began on April 1.

"I was transferred to a passenger cabin but there are still crew members in their rooms with no windows and no natural light.

"They have no fresh air - just the air conditioning.

It is a terrible situation."MSC Cruises said that all crew members have now been moved to passenger cabins.The source slammed the global cruise line for going ahead with a cruise around Brazil on March 16 when other companies suspended sailing operations due to the pandemic.

He said: "They did one more three-day cruise around Brazil instead of sending us back home.

Now we are here on board and we cannot go back home.

"When they tried to send us home, the borders were closed."While the luxury megaship has the capacity for 5,500 crew and passengers, only around 1,500 passengers boarded the cruise for Brazil.

Our source also accused management of allowing crew members from nearby liner MSC Poesia to board the MSC Seaview without testing them for COVID-19 at the end of March.

"They transferred a certain amount of crew, about 600 people, on to this ship.

They didn't do tests because they didn't have COVID tests.

"There were rumours of fever on board MSC Poesia.

We were allowed to be free on board to walk around the ship." MSC Cruises insisted that all staff were medically screened before they were transferred.

The source claimed that it was only when two crew members returned to their home countries of Brazil and Italy and tested positive for COVID-19 that management investigated a possible outbreak on board.

He added: "There were two positive cases and they told us to isolate."Staff are also concerned about their financial future as their contracts have been terminated due to the mayhem the virus has wrought on the tourism industry.

They are not expected to work and are receiving no salary as they stay on board the ship."An announcement was made over the public speaker that we were going to get basic salary and no commission," the source said.

"After a few days we were told that because of the situation, we were getting no more salary and they were ending our contract automatically.

"We are here because we cannot go anywhere else."Crew members, who are from all over the world, are waiting for permission to return to their home countries and for MSC to arrange their travel there.

Our source, who is from Peru, was given permission by the Peruvian embassy in Brazil to return to his home country on April 10 but is still waiting for transport to be arranged.

He said: "This is a dreadful situation.

I would like to go back home to be with my son and to see my father but I cannot because I am here and there is nothing I can do about it.

"The company is the one that has to send us back home.

It has been very difficult to be far away from my family.

It has been so hard to be alone.

"I need human contact and I am passing through all of this by myself."A spokesperson for MSC Cruises said: "In light of the extraordinary circumstances the world is currently facing with regards to COVID-19, MSC Cruises has taken the difficult decision to temporarily suspend its cruise ship operations currently until July 10.

"As the health crisis has caused all our ships globally to stop operating and, as a result, there is currently no work to be carried out on board."We have temporarily agreed to relieve the majority of our crew from their duties and we have worked tirelessly to pay for them to safely return home for the duration of the temporary suspension of ships' operations.

"As we continue to work to ensure that crew members can safely repatriate, every one of them is accommodated in a passenger cabin individually with no rooms shared.

"All crew members have free internet to connect with their families, menus have been enhanced and all receive frequent and regular health and temperature checks for their wellbeing.

"This is a strictly temporary solution conceived to look after our crew members' health, safety and wellbeing while we continue to work to make sure our they can safely head home and take care of their families and themselves during these difficult times.

"At the same time, it's also important to note that we are required by law to keep a minimal number of crew on board to operate each of our ships.

"The crew members who are required for the necessary manning on board continue to be paid.

"For the crew who are have already returned or are due to return home, this is not an indefinite termination of a contract but a freeze agreement.

"In other words, our crew, who work on fixed-term contracts, have all gone or will go home with a guarantee to be re-employed on the same terms and conditions once the operations are back up and running.

"All crew who return home before the end of their contract will be given priority to be re-employed as we expect that the return to operations will be gradual across our fleet."Crew members on board the MSC Seaview, which has not sailed for six weeks and is currently anchored at sea off the Brazilian coast without anyone boarding or disembarking since, over the past weeks have been in preventive isolation on board the ship while awaiting to disembark and return home.

"This has been taking longer than expected because flights are unavailable, borders are closed and many of the countries to which some of our crew members need to return to do not currently accept their citizens back.

"As we continue to work to ensure that crew members can safely repatriate, every crew member is accommodated in a passenger cabin individually with no rooms shared.

"All crew members have free internet to connect with their families, menus have been enhanced and all receive frequent and regular health and temperature checks for their wellbeing.

"The majority of crew members onboard MSC Seaview have been safely repatriated home although Peru, unfortunately, closed down its borders on March 16 and we have worked tirelessly to find a way for our crew members from the country to return to their homeland.

"With many airports and national borders closed, even to their own citizens, it is a challenge to repatriate everyone.

Despite our very best efforts—often at the highest possible level within the relevant governments—we still have not found a viable solution for some of our crew members to travel back to their home countries.

"The crew members who transferred from MSC Poesia to MSC Seaview - for their comfort - were all medically screened before the move from one ship to another.

"MSC Seaview was launched in 2018 and is one of the biggest, most modern and most comfortable cruise ships in our fleet.

It has many more balcony cabins than MSC Poesia, which allowed us to provide our crew members with the best possible accommodation until they can travel back to their home countries.

"As the same for all of our ships, MSC Seaview has cleaning supplies that are required to run a full cruise operation with thousands of passengers on board.

"We have upgraded our menus for crew members while they remain on board, providing greater diversity and enhanced dining options."




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