Couples keep COVID-19 at a distance for over 2 years, then they went on a cruise
Couples keep COVID-19 at a distance for over 2 years, then they went on a cruise

Couples keep COVID-19 at a distance for over 2 years, then they went on a cruise

PORT EVERGLADES, Fla. A South Florida couple is home from a cruise vacation and they are issuing a warning. They said they were shocked when they were in the middle of a COVID-19 outbreak.

Still, there is no official word from Celebrity Cruise Lines, which is why the couple wanted to share their story with Local 10 News.

“We’ve been going 2 and a half years without getting COVID and were very careful about it,” said Ray Rinaldi, who went on a cruise with his wife, Linda. “I took on this cruise and thought I would not get it. I have grown, I am double-boosted,” Linda said.

They embarked on a 12-day cruise in the Southern Caribbean on the Celebrity Equinox, and that was all they wanted it to be. Until it was not. Halfway through their luxury voyage, they tell that they got news from the ship’s captain.

“He says we have 23 cases of COVID. The next day he says we have 33 cases of COVID,” Ray Rinaldi said.

The pair were tested and found to have received COVID-19.


“The nurse that morning told me it was over 100 cases,” Ray said.

They went from a room with a balcony view to quarantine quarters for seven days, far from their luxury accommodation.

“The first room they put me in for quarantine did not have a door that locked to the hallway. That was a big concern for me,” Linda said.

“I’m wondering how you can even get COVID-19 on a ship that is supposedly 100 percent vaccinated,” Ray said.

Now, back home, they are isolated and are still recovering.

The couple says the holiday was both a nightmare and a reality check.

We asked them, “What does this tell you about the state of the pandemic that we are in?”

“I do not think it’s over. And now I’m starting to think it’s never going to be over. I think cruising is as safe as they can do it. No one can control COVID-19,” Linda said.

The cruise line’s COVID-19 policy states: “All crew and guests eligible to be vaccinated must be fully vaccinated.”


We contacted Celebrity to get a comment on the story. They have not yet returned to Local 10 News.

The Rinaldis family is back home and is still recovering from symptoms of COVID-19.

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