Families not canceling cruises due to coronavirus, Disney passengers tell News 6

3 cruise ships departed Port Canaveral Monday

Federal officials are asking members of the public to not board any cruises.

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. – Three cruise ships departed Port Canaveral Monday and families boarding the Disney Dream said they were comfortable continuing with their vacation plans.

"I can't believe how it's been so blown out of proportion and I'm certainly not worried about it," passenger Tracy Smathers said about Coronavirus.

The North Carolina grandmother said her family of six trusts Disney and the other cruise lines are serious about sanitizing the ships and screening passengers.

All cruisers are having their temperatures checked and some could also be checked for flu-like symptoms.

The cruise lines said they will keep passengers from traveling if they’re deemed not fit to sail.

“We’re taking our own precautions, washing our hands and whatnot,” Smathers said.

A Mississippi family of passengers told News 6 they were going to be extra careful too.

The Hodges' were boarding their first Disney cruise.

“They’ve been letting us know what they’re going to be planning on when we get to a screening,” Terrell Hodges said about receiving alerts in advance from Disney.

A Dallas family who was also first-time cruisers said they weren’t canceling their trip either.

"There's obviously a concern with everything going on but it's one of those things that take the proper precautions, kind of leave it in God's hands," Trevor Walter said.

Port Canaveral released a statement Monday that read,

"Port Canaveral is at normal operations as we continue to monitor the COVID-19 developing situation closely.

We are working closely with our cruise partners on contingency plans with operational alternatives, should the need arise. We are also maintaining regular communication with federal and state authorities, including the Centers for Disease Control, U.S. Coast Guard and Florida Department of Health, to make sure our policies and procedures meet or exceed their guidelines for virus spread prevention, containment, and mitigation.

We have further refined our operational tactics to ensure our preparedness as situations may evolve, including increasing the scale and frequency of environmental cleaning and disinfecting with an EPA registered, hospital-grade disinfectant at all of our cruise terminals, Port buildings common areas and public areas.

The Port is prepared to navigate through these challenging circumstances with the safety and well-being of our extended community at the forefront of our efforts."

About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.