For passengers on a Holland America Line cruise ship, a fun-filled voyage on the luxury liner is quickly turning into a nightmare with deteriorating conditions on board and fears of a full-blown coronavirus outbreak after four travelers died and two others were infected.

“We are stuck on this death ship,” said Yadira Garza, who is on board with her newly-wed husband. “We are freaked out and terrified that we will be infected too. It’s just a matter of time if we stay on the ship.”

Passengers on the Zaandam, currently off the coast of Panama, say they are desperate to get off the liner after Chile wouldn’t allow the vessel to dock. The company also said all ports on the ship’s route have also refused entry. Guests and their family members have taken to Twitter to plead for help.

Then came some good news on Saturday: the ship’s captain announced Holland America is moving some passengers to a sister ship, the Rotterdam, because so many crew members have gotten sick, said Garza. The Panamanian government also agreed to let the Zaandam sail through the Panama Canal, reversing an earlier decision to block passage.

On Sunday, small boats ferried passengers who’d been deemed healthy after answering a short medical questionnaire, and didn’t have a fever, from the Zaandam to the Rotterdam. Crew members took passengers in groups of 20 or so, instructing them to sit a few feet apart and not touch anything as a sort of on-board social distancing, said Andrea Bergmann Anderson, who watched the maneuvers through the sealed window of her cabin inside the Zaandam.

“They needed to get people off this ship to relieve the pressure because our crew is getting sick,” said Anderson, 63. She left her home near Cincinnati with her husband on March 4 to take the cruise, was denied the transfer to the ship anchored nearby after she told ship medical officers she’d been getting over a minor head cold when she started the journey. Anderson said the ship’s crew seems to be doing the best they can. She’s trying to stay calm and make the best of her confinement in her cabin. “Panicking doesn’t help anyone,” she said.

Some passengers on the Zaandam said they were confident they would come out of the ordeal safe and sound. Ian Rae posted video of his wife Moven Rae, standing on her cabin balcony, the Rotterdam visible in the background, smiling. She said she they are being well-fed and cared for as best the crew can. “We don’t feel trapped,” she said. “We feel as if we are being kept safe in our cabin.”

Meanwhile, relatives of crew members on board the ship say they are being asked to work despite falling sick, or shortly after recovering from fever. Food is being delivered uncovered, with Garza describing finding hair and eyelashes on their plates of food.

Holland America, a subsidiary of Carnival Corp., didn’t respond to an emailed request for comment on conditions for crew aboard the ship. It said in a tweet it’s working with Panamanian authorities on the transit.

The Zaandam is the latest vessel owned by Carnival, the biggest cruise line in the world, to be struck with outbreaks of coronavirus, plunging the ships into dramatic public health crises that gripped the world’s attention. Now, some angry passengers say they weren’t screened adequately, even as governments, including the U.S., advised citizens to avoid cruise ships.

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