Repatriated Indian crew thank Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Barbados
Jeronio and Philip checking in for their flight to Bombay.
"I want to say thanks to the Barbados government. This is very nice!"
This was the general sentiment expressed by some of the over 600 crew members at the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) this evening (June 29).
Loop News chatted with crew set to depart the island on Wamos 540 to Bombay.
Standing in the Departure line with his mask on and passport in-hand, Dil said: "This is very nice. It's good. Thanks for Barbados. We are getting to go home." A member of the Housekeeping staff on Celebrity Cruises vessel - Celebrity Reflection, Dil said that it was a long three months at sea.
Also headed to Bombay, Philip who forms part of the Human Resources team on Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas said: "I'm very happy. I'd like to thank Royal Caribbean and the Barbados authorities for allowing our charter flights home." He said that he is most excited to return and to see his family. Asked what is the first thing he will do when he gets back to India, without flinching he said with a smile: "I'll go see my doctor!"
His shipmate Jeronio from Housekeeping on Harmony of the Seas was ecstatic about going home and he sang the praises of Royal Caribbean and Barbados.
"I'm so happy to work with Royal Caribbean. They have taken so much care of all the crews, not only myself. There're still some crews that are working on board." He said the latter fact makes him "really, really happy because Royal Caribbean is one of the best company to take care of us, that's why I'm so happy to work with Royal Caribbean.
"Barbados is a lucky place for us to go home. All airports are closed but Barbados, we are so happy, we're excited to go home. Thanks for Barbados government who [are] letting us get home."
Quarantine not over
Some other crew members who chose to remain anonymous said that it was nice to be heading home but not to go out and about.
Asked if they are excited to get back home and back to their lives, they responded sharply: "No!" Then one crewman explained that when they arrive it is straight into 14 days of mandatory quarantine and then he will be staying home still. His three friends said that is their plan as well. They explained: "In India, it's everywhere. The COVID numbers are too high. We will stay home and keep quarantining still." Laughing one guy added: "So we are going home to stay home." Then they all laughed and walked to go through Immigration and proceed to the Departure Lounge.
The Bombay flight departed Barbados at 8 pm. Approximately 160 people were to be on this repatriation flight.
Jeronio and Philip guessed that there are about 500 to 600 crew still left onboard Harmony of the Seas now. But Jeronio was positive about their outcome. With confidence, he told Loop: "They'll get home soon too!"