Tallahassee couple aboard infected cruise ship in good spirits, eager for answers

Published: Mar. 28, 2020 at 10:33 PM EDT
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By: Jacob Murphey | WCTV Eyewitness News

March 28, 2020


A local couple left on a South American voyage in early March, hoping growing fears surrounding travel wouldn't reach their cruise ship. Several days in, however, countries started denying entry to the ms Zaandam. For Ed and Faye Hoover, they realized the trip was taking an unwanted turn.

Fast forward to Saturday, and the Holland America ship is making international headlines. Four passengers have died and at least 138 have flu-like symptoms, according to the cruise line. So far, only a few passengers have been announced as having tested positive for COVID-19.

The Hoovers spoke to WCTV reporter Jacob Murphey Saturday evening. Faye said they've been forced to stay in their cabin since Sunday, but they are grateful to have a balcony.

Those staying in windowless interior staterooms haven't been as fortunate.

"I could see how that's a really stressful situation, having to breath the same air all the time," Ed said.

The pair said all of the crew have done an outstanding job during the crisis, especially the captain.

"He's had to make some really tough decisions," Ed said. "I spent 22 years in the Army and I never had to make decisions that he had to make."

The captain interrupted the conversation, providing passengers with the latest update. He announced hundreds of healthy passengers were transported to a new ship, the ms Rotterdam. The Hoovers hope to be on that ship by Sunday. From there, it's anyone's guess.

"I could see another 14 days wherever we land and probably another 14 days at home," Ed said.

The couple knows family and friends have seen headlines and fear the worst. They're using social media to reassure them all.

"We're fine and not having any problems at all," Faye said.

The Hoovers are cruise veterans and said they'll be prepared for whatever comes next.

"I can make do with very little," Ed said. "And if you know my honey, she's about as strong as they get."

The hope is the ms Rotterdam will be allowed through the Panama Canal and dock in Fort Lauderdale.

Meanwhile, WCTV has been in contact with another Tallahassee-based couple on board the ship. According to a relative, at least one of them has experienced flu-like symptoms. Stay with WCTV for updates.