Stuck at sea, one cruise entertainer from Las Vegas saw no end in sight to what became an endless voyage. Now with the CDC’s “No Sail” order lifted, crew members are finally able to disembark cruise ships where they were held for months.
“Yes, I am off the cruise ship and it’s definitely a blessing.” A sigh of relief for Las Vegas vocalist Ryan Driscoll.
He’s now home after finally disembarking Carnival cruise line’s Seabourn Odyssey docked off the port of Bridgetown, Barbados since March.
“That was after being on the ship for 85 days without any guests,” Driscoll said.
Driscoll joined the crew in November but when the COVID pandemic hit worldwide, sailing took a turn for the worse.
A blanket no sail order, put in place by the CDC March 14, stated that cruise ship travel could “introduce, transmit or spread COVID-19” so cruise ships could not dock at U.S. ports.
But Driscoll said his vessel which had 300 crew members on board was healthy and never had sick passengers. While passengers from his ship were eventually let off, employees remained anchored with the Seaborne Odyssey in Barbados.
“The problem was the CDC didn’t want crew members flying home on commercial flights,” Driscoll said.
Driscoll says California Congressman Devin Nunes offered to charter home Driscoll and four other American crew members May 16th.
It was a three-day trip home, but Driscoll said he’ll never look back. “No, I’ll never go back on a cruise ship.”
And coming back to Las Vegas during the pandemic didn’t mean getting back to a normal routine.
“It’s quite tough, I got back to Las Vegas and there’s no entertainment going on,” Driscoll said.
Driscoll says he doesn’t qualify for unemployment because he was out of the country, he’s now searching for a new career path.
While he doesn’t know what the future holds, he’s grateful his feet are firmly planted on dry land.
“I’m very thankful to be back, even though I’m not on a cruise ship anymore. Even though I’m unemployed. I’m still happy to be back on land with my family. Back in the good old USA,” Driscoll said.