Scarborough's Kimberley finally home after 60 days on cruise ship

A cruise ship entertainer from Scarborough is finally back home after being stranded at sea due to the coronavirus pandemic.

By Sarah Fitton
Monday, 18th May 2020, 3:57 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th May 2020, 3:47 pm

Kimberley Gretton, from Cayton, did not set foot on land for more than 60 days after the pandemic stopped her ship in the middle of its tour.

The 32-year-old was finally allowed to board a flight home on Friday which landed at Heathrow on Saturday morning.

She hired a car and arrived back in Scarborough on Saturday night.

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Kimberley in Sydney. Picture: Kimberley

Kimberley, who went to Cayton School, Pindar School and Yorkshire Coast College, has worked for Carnival Cruise Lines since 2017 and is an entertainment host in a team known as the ‘Fun Squad’.

She travelled to Sydney, Australia, and signed on to the Carnival Splendor to start her fourth contract with the company on February 18.

But she only worked for a month before guests were ordered off because of coronavirus restrictions.

“We were then stranded on the ship as crew weren’t allowed to disembark in Sydney,” she said. “We spent the next 25 days on the Splendor out at sea in Australian waters.”

The Splendor was permitted to sail to Indonesia where the crew transferred to another ship and headed to the Philippines.

“We were on Carnival Spirit for a month,” said Kimberley. “We were in Manila, surrounded by 20 other huge cruise ships.

“Personally I feel that we have been lucky. We were living in guest cabins, we were still being fed well and still had facilities such as the coffee shop and the gym which we could use. We just had to practise social distancing.

“We didn’t have any cases of coronavirus on our ship so never had to be confined to our cabins.

“We had to get our temperature checked at 10am and 4pm but apart from that we were just trying to occupy our time and keep hoping for the best.

“I really do believe that Carnival did what they could to try and get their employees home. I feel very lucky to work for them.

“Luckily we were given free wifi so that we could keep in touch with our family and friends. I spoke to my family every day, which was nice. They just wanted me home safe.”

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