Crews are still marooned aboard cruise ships mired in red tape

They are among more than 70,000 crew remaining aboard idle cruise ships in U.S. waters alone,according to the U.S. Coast Guard – many more are marooned on ships around the world – as their companies try to negotiate rigid requirements imposed by governments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention amid the coronavirus pandemic to get them to their home countries.

Laura Poveda is one of them. A Colombian, she said she knows by looking out the window of her stateroom that Miami is starting to spring back to life – but nothing has changed aboard the Epic.

“I see that things are going back to normal and the CDC and cruise company keep us like prisoners here,” said Poveda, who works as an onboard accountant and has been restricted to the ship for almost two months. “We don’t have any (coronavirus) cases. So why are we still not able to go home?”