SoCal couple stranded on cruise ship amid coronavirus concerns

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Jim and Connie Alderson are on their 10th cruise. It was supposed to be memorable - they're celebrating their 50th anniversary.

But what they may remember most is not being able to get off the ship.

"We were close to Lima, Peru when the ship suddenly turned around. We found out we couldn't get in. Peru wouldn't let us in," said Jim Alderson.

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Then the ship was turned away in Chile. Several South American countries closed their ports over COVID-19 concerns.

They don't believe there's any confirmed cases on board the Oceana Marina.

"We left home in February, and the coronavirus wasn't near what it is today," said Connie Alderson. "It's very surreal."

"This is one of those life events that you're going to remember exactly where you were when this happened," she added.

The ship is now headed for the busy Panama Canal. So it could take a while before they reach Miami.

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"We still don't know if we're going to be quarantined when we get to Miami. We're hoping we get time off for good behavior," Jim said.

He explained some on board are worried about running out of needed medication. Oceana Cruises said it has fully equipped medical staff on board.

Through it all, the Southern California couple remains lighthearted.

"There's going to be something about having ground under our feet that's going to give us some sense of relief, I'm sure," said Connie.
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