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Maryland Native And Princess Cruise Lines Performer Stranded At Sea For Seven Weeks Due To COVID-19 Pandemic

BOWIE, Md. (WJZ) -- Emily Freeman is a performer for Princess Cruise Lines.

The Bowie native boarded a ship on March 8 and hasn't set foot on land since.

"Just being isolated in my 230 square foot cabin on a ship is fine, but its not a permanent solution," Freeman said.

She said days later, the CDC ordered all passengers to disembark, but it didn't have any guidelines for crew members.


She's currently quarantined on the Emerald Princess.

In her free time, Freeman has been taking TikTok videos in her cabin.

Emily's mom, Nancy, has been in touch with Senator Ben Cardin, who is urging Princess Cruise Lines to act quickly so American citizens can get home.

"It's more the unknown and not knowing and the rumors of them maybe going off around the world that is scary," Nancy Freeman said.

Currently, the Coastguard is monitoring 120 cruise ships in U.S. waters with about 80,000 crew members

The reason why Freeman -- and others -- can't disembark is because of a CDC order that prohibits cruise ship workers from staying in a hotel, using public transportation, taking a commercial airline flight or interacting with the public for 14 days upon arrival on shore, regardless of how long they've quarantined on board.

The CDC tells WJZ, in part:

"The CDC permits cruise ships to disembark their crew members if the cruise line signs an attestation stating that the cruise line has complied with all requirements for the safe disembarkation of the crew."

The CDC said it has not received this information from Princess Cruise Lines for the Emerald Princess.

"I shouldn't be forced to have to wait it out here," Freeman said.

Freeman said that the captain on her ship provides an update every day at noon. While the information continues to change, Thursday's update said that they would be able to go home sometime next week.

WJZ reached out to princess cruise lines and have yet to hear back.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department's website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ's coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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