A Norwegian Cruise Lines ship with a colourful side sets sail on a sunny day.
A Norwegian cruise sip. The company blamed the sailing cancelations on issues related to COVID-19.Richard Tribou/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images
  • A cruise passenger who was stuck aboard Norwegian Gem for days recounted her experience. 
  • Aimee Focaraccio told USA Today that she experienced a "cruise from hell." 
  • She said she felt extremely unsettled after the operator canceled sailings and held guests at sea.

A woman has recounted her recent experience on a Norwegian Gem cruise ship after being stuck on board for days, due to COVID-19-related issues. 

Speaking to USA Today, Aimee Focaraccio said she was due to celebrate her birthday on the 10-day cruise departing from New York. But her celebrations were cut short on Friday when Norwegian canceled sailings mid-trip. 

Focaraccio described the "extremely unsettling" feelings that came over her when cruise officials announced they would not be returning to New York early but instead be spending four more days at sea. 

Norwegian canceled the cruise due to "COVID-19 related circumstances" but Focaraccio was not aware of any announcements made about cases on the ship. 

She told the outlet that the trip was "turning into a nightmare" because there would only be "one nice day to enjoy the outdoors and after that we will be stuck inside."

"This was kinda the cruise from hell," Focaraccio said. 

And even though passengers aboard the Norwegian Gem were given a full refund, plus additional cruise credit, Focaraccio said the "uncertainty was frustrating" after being stuck at sea with no plans for an early return. 

Norwegian did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.  In a statement to USA Today, the operator said there were no updates on the ship's estimated return. 

Passengers on other trips have recently shared how disruption caused by COVID-19 have impacted them. Some quarantined guests told The Washington Post they'd endured rotten food, hours without water, and loneliness.

People travelling on Cunard Line's Queen Mary 2 cruise ship said they felt "like lepers" while being forced to isolate in their rooms. 

And one passenger, who was booked to perform on an unspecified cruise ship, recently described the "panic and anxiety" she felt while isolating in her windowless cabin for six days. 


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