Michigan Family That Was Stuck On Cruise Ship Still In Cambodia Over Coronavirus Concerns

Cruise Ship
Photo credit Getty Images

(WWJ) -- Frustration is growing for a southeastern Michigan man and his family, as they are stuck in Cambodia due to coronavirus concerns.

Steve Muth of Onsted in Lenanwee County, along with his wife, daughter and her boyfriend, embarked on a cruise aboard the Westerdam in early February, only to be stuck aboard the ship for roughly two weeks, as ports throughout Asia denied entry to the ship over concerns of the spreading virus.

Now that the ship his finally docked and deboarded in Cambodia, their flights home have been canceled after a passenger tested positive for the virus. Muth and his family have been holed up at a hotel in the Cambodian capital of Phomn Penh for several days and he says he has no clue when they might finally get to come home.

"There may be a two-week quarantine in our future. We just don’t know, and that’s the biggest troubling factor," Muth told WWJ.

Throughout the ordeal, Muth has said the crew aboard the ship, operated by the Holland America line, have been very hepful and friendly. But help from the U.S. has been a different story, he says.

"The people in our state department, I’m afraid to tell you, have been very inadequate. The U.S. government has failed us time and time again throughout this process," Muth said.


He said all passengers of the Westerdam received a standing ovation when they disembarked there after being stranded at sea for weeks because of coronavirus fears.

Things were looking up for Muth and the hundreds of passengers aboard the ship once they docked, but they were forced to be tested again, and flights were cancelled in an attempt to help quell the rapid spread of the illness. The coronavirus outbreak originated in China back in December and has claimed more than 1,600 people, with over 69,000 confirmed cases worldwide.

Muth, who grew up in Bloomfield Township, says people are being turned away from the airport in Phnom Penh for independent flights, but he has heard they may be getting a charter flight to take people back to the U.S., though he's unsure when that might happen.