Hunger Strike At Sea as 100,000 Cruise Ship Crew Members Are Stuck on Boats Amid Pandemic

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More than two months after the cruise ship industry was brought to a halt over the coronavirus pandemic, 100,000 crew members are still stranded on board across the world. It's an increasingly desperate situation for many of the workers worried they won't be able to make it home for a long time.

There have been reports of several suicides. Fifteen crew members stranded on a Royal Caribbean ship went on a hunger strike that lasted for days. The company says the matter has been resolved.

For Americans stranded at sea who are finally permitted to go home, the Centers for Disease Control says that private transportation must be arranged, and there can be no interaction with the public on their way home. 

Royal Caribbean hired a bus with two drivers to get singer Julia Whitcomb from Miami to Illinois after she was stranded for 57 days on board — most of it confined to her room.

"I had some of my darkest moments on that ship," Whitcomb said.

Makenna Madden, a dancer who was on board another Royal Caribbean ship, finally got to hug her mom after two months at sea. The joyous moment was captured on video.

"It's incredible," she said. "I'm so happy to be home. It's a dream."

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