A Huntersville Couple Is Finally Home After Being Stuck On Cruise For More Than A Month

HUNTERSVILLE, NC.– The Bucklers were ready for an adventure of a lifetime. A cruise on The Coral Princess, sailing from beautiful Santiago, Chile through South America.

“We went down the side of Chile, saw penguins. Porter Reinis with glaciers, and the Strait of Magellan, which were beautiful,” says Shirley Buckler.

When the ship set sail on March 5th, the coronavirus had just started taking over Asia. They thought they’d be okay.

It was a social cruise, with lots of parties. On March 28th, a crowded celebration on the ship.

“We crossed the equator and there was a big festival up on the pool deck with almost everybody on the ship. As close as we are here,” says Lewis Buckler.

A few days later, their dream cruise took a turn. On March 31st, they got a message from the Captain:

“He came on and said even more people were showing up in medical and that we were all to go immediately to our cabins and stay there,” says Shirley.

At least 12 people on the ship tested positive for coronavirus, three later died. Shirley and Lewis self-quarantined in their cabin.

“Princess should’ve been instituting a lot of protocol after the fiasco in Tokyo, and nothing was done.”

After nearly a month at sea and two days in port, the Bucklers were finally able to make their way home on Tuesday.

The couple will stay in quarantine at home for two weeks.

WCCB reached out to Princess Cruises to get answers for the Bucklers, and did not get a response by the time the story aired.