A cruise performer from Rockford has been forced to stay confined to her cabin onboard the Celebrity Infinity cruise ship for over a month while the ship bounces between ports.
Singer Julia Whitcomb has been working aboard the ship since December, but in mid-March, passengers were forced off the boat due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus.
In a Facebook video, Whitcomb said she feels trapped and the situation is affecting her emotional health.
“I really need to go home because my emotional state is really bad,” said Whitcomb.
Whitcomb’s parents say their daughter, along with nearly 1,000 other staff members have been forced to lock down since passengers deboarded.
“Within a short amount of time they discovered that a couple of the crew came down with the virus and that’s when they quarantined everybody to their cabins,” said her father, Jim Whitcomb.
He and his wife say Julia was told four times she could leave, but the singer said human resources stopped her because Celebrity, which is owned by Royal Caribbean, would not sign off on an agreement with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that would hold the comapny accountable for repatriating those still stuck aboard the ship.
“They will not do it, they won’t do it,” said Julia’s mother Lisa. “The CDC won’t relax their standards, and the cruise line will not sign off.”
The Infinity Cruise Ship was recently docked in Miami, where Julia could have gone home to Illinois, but the ship is now headed to the Bahamas and will not dock again for two weeks.
Julia has spoken out about her ordeal on Facebook, and she and her parents hope Celebrity figures the situation out quickly, adding the coronavirus is no longer an issue on the ship.