‘To hug my mum was incredible’ - Dancer trapped on cruise ship due to coronavirus back home
PUBLISHED: 15:04 20 May 2020 | UPDATED: 15:17 20 May 2020
A dancer who was stranded on a cruise ship in the Bahamas for nine weeks has finally made it back home to Norfolk.
Lauren Carrick, 29, and her fiancé Joseph Harrison, were performers on a cruise ship run by a company called Celebrity.
But the ship was placed under strict lockdown amid the coronavirus outbreak. And, while the passengers disembarked and returned home, the pair were among the 900-strong crew unable to go anywhere.The ship’s company had been hoping to dock in the United States so crews could return home, but the American Center of Disease Control and Prevention had not allowed any preparations to be made.
It meant the pair had been spending 21 hours a day holed-up inside a cabin anchored just off the coast of the private island Coco Cay in the Bahamas - only permitted to leave the room for three allocated meal slots per day.
But Miss Carrick finally flew back to Britain and to her family in Taverham on Tuesday afternoon, after being given a police escort to a charter flight at Miami airport.
She said: “I am so happy to be back. I have had a smile on my face ever since I got home.
“People had been saying that I’d find it so different when I got home, but being isolated at home is exactly what I need right now as I can spend quality time with my family.
“To get through that front door was just amazing and to hug my mum was just incredible.”
Of the nine weeks stranded on ship, she said: “There was just so much uncertainty - the not knowing when we would get home was hard. It was a real mix of emotions.
“We still don’t know how the flight came about, whether it was the British government who organised it, as it was only the British crew members who were able to go on it.
“There’s still so many friends that are stuck out there at the moment and I really want them to get home.”
A petition which she had set up calling for crews of all British and Irish ships to be allowed to come back home was signed by more than 11,000 people.
Her fiancé has gone back home to Hull, but after spending time with their families, they are looking to move into a new home in Norwich and get new jobs.
She said: “We’re definitely not going back on another ship. I’m going to finish dancing and settle down.”
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