Coronavirus affecting travel plans

Posted at 6:49 PM, Mar 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-11 00:24:40-04

Local travel agents want the public to know the coronavirus is not the first outbreak that has impacted the travel industry.

While it has prompted some to cancel or reschedule trips, others like the Gleason family of Rocklin, California decided to go on their Hawaii vacation anyway.

"We got in our vacation, but now we can't go home yet," said Kaylen Gleason.

The Gleason family decided to take a family cruise from California to Hawaii aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship back in February, before any cases of the coronavirus had been detected in the United States.

"We knew about it but we weren't concerned because it is just like anything else," Gleason said.

For days, the family was quarantined inside their tiny room on the ship.

This comes after 21 passengers on that very cruise ship, now docked in Oakland, tested positive for coronavirus.

"That's when the red flag was raised and everyone started taking action," Gleason said.

On the Central Coast, local travel agents said they are experiencing some cancellations and rescheduling of trips, but they also want the public to know this is not the first time they have come into contact with similar situations.

"It is not the first time that they have had a scare like this before and it is just going to be a matter of days, we are hoping, rather than weeks that this will die way down," said Brenda Critzer, a travel adviser with Cruise Planners.

Governor Gavin Newsom has recommended the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions not go on cruise ships.

"I have some that are boarding in March and I have gone to them a couple times and said okay, now this is what is going on," Critzer said.

She said the number of cruise ships affected by the coronavirus is a minority but wants the public to know that if you have concerns regarding the coronavirus to contact your travel advisor.

"If you are afraid of going right now... reschedule with your travel adviser or call the ship," Critzer said.

As of Tuesday evening, the Gleason family was still aboard the cruise ship and were waiting to be transferred to Travis Air Force Base where they will be monitored.