Citrus County couple back home after weeks on cruise ships during coronavirus outbreak


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A Citrus County couple stuck or weeks on cruise ships during a coronavirus outbreak is finally back home as of early Friday morning.

The couple is thanking 8 On Your Side and everyone who put pressure on government officials to allow the two Holland America ships to dock at Port Everglades Thursday in Fort Lauderdale.

“We were so glad to see Citrus County,” Frank Kenney said Friday afternoon.

Kenney told 8 On Your Side his wife isn’t showing symptoms, but he has what he is hoping is just a head cold. So for now, they’re staying home.

“I’ve talked to a VA doctor and he said that no need to get you tested, you need to automatically assume that you have it,” he said.

Kenney and his wife Toni first spoke with 8 On Your Side on Wednesday from their cruise ship stranded off the coast of Cuba.

“Before you ask anymore questions,” Kenney said, “I want to thank everybody from television, newspapers, friends.”

Kenney and his wife boarded a Holland America cruise ship in Argentina nearly a month ago hoping their voyage around South America would be a dream vacation.

“When we got down on the southern tip that was when it kind of went downhill,” Kenney said.

The suspected COVID-19 outbreak sickened 200 people and four passengers died at sea. Holland American transferred the Kenneys and healthy passengers to a second ship.

“As soon as we got on the Rotterdaam, we were back being in confinement again,” Kenney said.

Country after country denied the ships a place to dock.

“I’m going to do what’s right not only for us but for humanity,” President Donald Trump said Wednesday during a White House briefing with the coronavirus task force.

It took that intervention from the president to get Gov. Ron DeSantis on board with having passengers disembark in South Florida.

“There was a lot of people out there trying to get us off the ship,” Kenney said. “I think a lot of that was caused by what you guys were doing.”

Kenney said his wife’s son stocked their fridge and wiped everything down before they returned home.

He said he might go on another cruise if scientists develop a vaccine for coronavirus, but his wife does not want to chance being confined in a space like that again.


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