Coronavirus fear sinks woman's hope of dream cruise
LONDON, ONT. -- A Chinese passport is preventing Londoner Emma Chen, her husband Jonathan and son Brian from taking their dream family vacation.
A pair of major cruise lines has implemented a travel ban over the threat of coronavirus.
"I went to check my cruise line account and saw a message," says Chen. "It said anyone with Chinese passport, Hong Kong passport or Macao passport are not able to board the ship.
"Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line have both implemented these policies, along with a number of other guidelines.
Chen says she feels she's being discriminated against just for being a Chinese national.
"I called and told them my situation, and I think it's different," adds Chen. "My husband and son are Canadian, and I am permanent resident. I haven't been out of the country in more than two years, and haven't been to China in years. All they said was they were sorry."
CTV News reached out to NCL where Chen had booked and they said in a statement, "The safety, security and well-being of our guests and crew is our number one priority."
Chen says she's disappointed after planning this trip since returning from maternity leave months ago.
"I joined a Facebook group with others who were going on the cruise and we've been counting down," she says. "Now with eight days left I was told I couldn't go on the ship."
Chen, booked the vacation to mark a number of special occasions. Valentine’s Day, her husband's 30th birthday and their first vacation with her 17-month-old son were all contributing factors.
She says she will be seeking a full refund for the cruise, flights, and Miami hotel. But she is also hoping to raise awareness and effect change.
"I also want to speak out to say that this is not correct, and I hope they can revise their policy," says Chen.
“I feel very discriminated against, and just because I hold a Chinese passport. I feel sorry for my husband and son, they are not going to be on the cruise too."
The coronavirus emerged from China two months ago. It has killed over 800 people and paralyzed the world's second biggest economy.