Cruise ends in 10-day isolation, $5,700 hotel bill for Windsor man

A Windsor man reminds others that some vacations are always a ‘calculated risk’ after his recent cruise to Alaska left him with a 10-day quarantine and a hotel bill of nearly $5,700.

David Garlick and his wife were due to take a cruise along the Panama Canal for his 60th birthday more than two years ago.

Then the pandemic hit, canceling his birthday plans. The cruise line paid tribute to the couple for their canceled getaway.

“So we had to use that before the end of this year,” Garlick said. “So we booked a cruise to Alaska where we had been before. We knew it was going to be beautiful and it was a stunning cruise for almost everything.

Two days before the end of their trip, Garlick said he started experiencing shaking and chills, followed by a cough and fever.

He and his wife both tested with rapid tests they brought from home. It came back positive.

Garlick contacted a doctor on the cruise who sent someone to administer a PCR test which also came back positive.

“I got a phone call from the military medic asking how fast I could be packed and then they came and escorted me basically through the ship and up one floor to a room very similar to the one I was in,” he explained. . “They didn’t lock me in but I was told not to leave and that’s where I was for the rest of the cruise.”

When the cruise ended, everyone got off the ship except for those who had tested positive for COVID-19. He and about 13 other people were flown to the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel where he spent the next eight days.

It was the first time Garlick had caught the virus.

“My parents are both medically fragile and they live in a nursing home, so we were incredibly careful for two and a half years,” he said.

Garlick said he doesn’t know where he caught COVID, noting the cruise has strict policies.

“It could have been on the plane on the way. Everyone boarding the cruise ship must have tested negative within two days of boarding,” he said. “Everyone on the cruise ship must be at least double vaxxed, all crew always wear masks on the ship, and every passenger is reminded daily to wear masks when out in public. So I don’t really know where I got it.

Garlick said he spent a total of 10 days in solitary confinement and ended up with a hotel bill of nearly $5,700 that he had to prepay.

Garlick notes that the situation could have been worse, as he felt fine and used the time in isolation to work on 14 short stories.

“It really wasn’t a bad experience. I mean I was a little sick at first, I had what amounted to a mild case of the flu, but as soon as I got over it I was all alone in a hotel room,” did he declare.

While the insurance company will pay part of the hotel and the cruise line the rest of their quarantine costs, but remind others that there is always a risk when it comes to travel.

“If people think COVID is over, they are wrong. It is not finished. And if you’re going on a cruise, you should know that there’s a chance you’ll get COVID. And in Canada, that means you’ll have to self-isolate for 10 days when you get back to the country,” Garlick said.

“It’s a bit of a calculated risk. COVID doesn’t care that we think it’s over, and it’s not quite over yet.


– With files from CTV Windsor’s Travis Fortnum.

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