Pennsylvania couple returns from two week quarantine on cruise ship

YORK COUNTY, Pa. — A York County couple is back home after being quarantined on a cruise ship in Japan after cases of the coronavirus surfaced.

Bill Smedley and his wife Colette never thought a cruise to celebrate their 33rd wedding anniversary would end quite like this.

The couple was among the thousands of passengers quarantined off the coast of Tokyo after several other passengers tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Smedleys were forced to spend two extra weeks on their cruise ship, the Diamond Princess. They were confined to their windowless inner cabin room which Bill Smedley described as a prison cell.

All the passengers were given thermometers to keep track of their temperature. All meals were delivered to their cabin and they had virtually no contact with other passengers.

“It’s a stressful situation, but there’s nothing we an do about it. Just trying to stay relaxed is the best thing we can do at this point,” Bill Smedley told WGAL. “We’re stuck in the middle of a worldwide crisis.”

After two weeks on the ship, they were flown to Texas and quarantined for two more weeks. Their temperature was taken every day and they were screened by the CDC for any signs of the coronavirus.

“These people went out of their way to meet our physical needs and all our mental needs,” Smedley told WGAL.

The Smedleys were finally allowed to come home on Tuesday, welcomed back from their ordeal by their friends and a mountain of mail.

The couple has already planned their next cruise. The Smedleys plan to cruise the Panama Canal next year, paid for by a refund from the Diamond Princess.