Cruisin’ Around Corona


Junior Monica Burton scuba dives for the first time. Burton plans on obtaining her certification for scuba diving once she gets back home.

Junior Monica Burton and her uncle are excited to explore Grand Cayman and see the stingrays and turtle farm. This was the first stop out of the four locations the ship docked at.

Before the Coronavirus (COVID-19) chaos really took off, my traveling group of six boarded the Carnival Legend in search of a seven-night relaxation period. We all were able to find this moment of peace before entering back into the hectic world. Little did we know, this eight-day cruise would end up being the last one to sail. All cruise lines would end up canceling cruises for 30 days once ships return because of the ongoing health crisis. 

The virus was not as big of an issue as it is now before our ship debarked. There were a couple of cases, but Americans were not forced out of work or school yet. However, some individuals who had booked cruises for March 8-15 decided to cancel. If you kept your reservations, each person on my cruise was given a $100 credit to spend. This was definitely a bonus to not withdraw. Carnival, however, was one step ahead when it came to the spreading of germs. 

Once boarding the ship, most people made their way to the Lido Deck, where the food was located since you could not visit your cabins yet. This was the beginning of the hand sanitizer station madness. Every corner you would turn, there was an automatic hand sanitizer station.

For the rest of the trip, you could not eat in the dining rooms or buffet without obtaining sanitizer beforehand. They were everywhere, even in the hallways or by the elevator. Some crew members would not let you pass unless you stuck your hand under the automatic station.

For the third location in Belize, junior Monica Burton explores the ancient Mayan Ruins as her excursion. This specific ruin was the only one tourists could climb.

For the majority of the week, there was no talk about the virus. Everyone aboard was focused on having a good time. We stopped at four ports, Grand Cayman, Mohagany Bay, Belize and Cozumel, where you could get off and shop. At these locations, there was an option to do excursions where you can snorkel, relax on the beach, zipline and explore the beautiful island. My family chose to go to a turtle farm, relax on a private beach, visit the Mayan Ruins and so much more. I also got the opportunity to scuba dive for the first time. These pit stops were some of the best parts of the trip.

During the day, everyone was wandering around the different islands, but once everyone was back on the boat at night, that was where the fun began. There were all types of food to try. I ate lobster, steak, snails, ox tongue, muscles and other foods that you would not usually eat daily. For some evening meals, all of the passengers would dress up in formal outfits and be given the opportunity to get their photo taken in front of fancy backgrounds. Besides food available, there was always something going on, such as trivia, family game night or a lip sync battle. The cruise director loved to make sure everyone on deck was having a good time.

At the excursion site in Roatan, junior Monica Burton kayaks in front of the private beach they chose to relax at for the day.

Towards the end of the week, when we heard the word about schools and businesses starting to close, there was talk about the virus. Sometimes if you were in the elevator with other passengers, a conversation might start about the 14-day quarantine. However, everyone really wanted to soak up the last moments of relaxation and their vacation. 

Today, there have been no reports of any passengers testing positive for COVID-19 on my boat. During the entire week, it was nice not to hear about the chaos going on with toilet paper and Walmarts. This vacation was one of the best I have ever endured and will be one of the most memorable, whether that be the adventures and fun times with family or the crisis that was taking place in the world at the time.