Love boat: Valentine's Day on a quarantine cruise

Love boat: Valentine's Day on a quarantine cruise

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!

TOKYO, Japan (AFP) —– “Cupid's avocado” for dinner, heart-shaped messages for the crew, but also painful separation for those trapped on-board the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship. Yesterday was no ordinary Valentine's Day.

Wearing a red dress and a red hair tie, the ship's entertainment manager Natalie posted a Valentine's Day video on Twitter to try to keep spirits up.

“I just wanted to check in with everybody and say that we are all hanging in there, doing fine and keeping together as a big family,” she said, admitting with a smile: “This hasn't been my regular attire for the last week or so.”

Passenger Matt Smith, 57, was marking Valentine's Day on-board with his wife of 21 years, Katherine Codekas, also 57, but admitted this was not their first-choice location for the special day.

“After 21 years of marriage, we don't make a big deal of it, but I usually get Katherine, a card at least,” he told AFP from the ship.

“I think she was a little disappointed with our setting,” he added. “ Facebook reminded me this morning that three years ago we were in Las Vegas. Way to rub it in!”

Passengers on-board were being offered a Valentine's Day breakfast, Smith said.

“We were reminded what day it was by the delivery of what the crew member said was a 'special' breakfast,” he said.

“Not sure why hard-boiled eggs, sausage, and sauteed mushrooms are special.”

The dinner menu, on the other hand, promises several special treats in honour of the day.

“Cupid's avocado and shrimp salad” to start, followed by “Shrimp Valentine Japanese style, with rice and vegetables”.

The main course is the French classic Coq au Vin with mashed potato and vegetables, and a “Valentine's Day surprise dessert of the day” is promised.

“Coq au Vin, yes, please,” tweeted Yardley Wong, who has been posting her efforts to keep her young son entertained on the quarantined vessel.

“A special meal for Valentine's Day, a reserved bottle of red,” she added, with her usual hashtag #hanginthereDiamondPrincess and a picture of a bottle of wine.

She also posted a drawing by her six-year-old son for Valentine's Day, with the caption “Stay strong, we are with you Diamond Princess.”

American passenger Jackie joked that she had big plans for Valentine's Day on the cruise, which has proved far from the gala holiday everyone planned.

“We're going to have a formal night on Valentine's Day in our cabin. Take some pics, have some laughs,” she tweeted.

Another passenger cut out paper hearts and left them on her door for the crew to read, with messages including: “Thank you for all your hard work” and “Thank you for taking care of us.”

More than 200 people on-board the ship have been diagnosed with the newly named COVID-19 and taken to local hospitals. Those remaining on board will be in quarantine until at least February 19.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon