California cruise passengers won't let coronavirus spoil their fun

Video credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 22, 2020 - Duration: 01:32s

California cruise passengers won't let coronavirus spoil their fun

Passengers boarding a Carnival Cruise Line ship on a three-day voyage to the resort city of Ensenada on Mexico's Baja coast were unfazed by reports of the virus, but vowed to wash their hands.

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California cruise passengers won't let coronavirus spoil their fun

With a white captain's hat perched on his head, Calvin Ballard seemed relaxed as he waited to depart on his first-ever cruise to Mexico, unfazed by the possibility of being trapped on a ship under siege by an outbreak of coronavirus.

Like many fellow vacationers streaming onto an ocean liner docked near Los Angeles, Ballard said he was well aware that passengers aboard other cruises had ended up stranded for weeks, far from home, and he vowed to take special care to stay healthy.

Nonetheless, he was determined to have a good time.

"What we're planning on doing is washing our hands often, trying not to touch things and then touch our mouths, and just being aware of how we come into contact with people - the smart stuff," the 55-year-old asset manager from Orange, California, said cheerfully.

"We're focusing on enjoying ourselves." Ballard and his wife, Judy, 50, sporting a sailor's cap, were among some 2,350 Carnival Cruise Line passengers who departed on Thursday from the Port of Long Beach on a three-day voyage to the resort city of Ensenada on Mexico's Baja coast.

From those pausing for interviews with Reuters just outside the terminal, it was clear most passengers had packed extra hand sanitizer with their sunscreen and would likely approach the food buffet lines with greater trepidation than in the past.

All readily acknowledged that the coronavirus scare and stories of cruise ships under quarantine in Cambodia and Japan were not far from their minds.

"We've all heard the horror stories," said Andrew MacKenzie, 37, from Napa, California, as he waited with a buddy before boarding the Carnival Imagination.

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