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Seattle couple being quarantined on cruise ship off California coast

Greg and Cathy Rafanelli are experienced cruise travelers. But they've never been on a ship affected by a worldwide virus outbreak.

SAN FRANCISCO — A Seattle couple is among the passengers aboard a cruise ship circling off the California coast right now, after a former passenger became the first-known California casualty of COVID-19.  Health officials have now tested other passengers on board the ship.  Twenty-one passengers and crew members tested positive for the virus, and Princess Cruises says fewer than 100 people are being tested.

Greg and Cathy Rafanelli are not among those with symptoms or to be tested, but as of Thursday afternoon they and all other passengers are quarantined in their staterooms.

“We’re doing fine we’re well fed, and we have a fully functioning bathroom with plenty of toilet paper in our little 162-foot world here,” said Greg Rafanelli, referring to their small stateroom with a window view.

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Greg added that they have confidence that the ship is as safe as possible, thanks to hard work by staff.

“Even before the Coronavirus thing came up and all the cruises we’ve been on, you constantly see people running around and cleaning surfaces and handrails.”

The Rafanelli’s are very experienced travelers, so if anyone can handle their cruise being upset by Cornoavirus, it may be them.

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“This is our 21st on Princess (cruise) and over 40 on other cruises total, and the first adventure like this and I don’t need another adventure like this, said Cathy Rafanelli.  “But we’re gonna make the best of it and know that it will turn out fine,” added Cathy, to which Greg quipped, “To reference a commercial from an insurance company this is what we do.”

As of this writing it’s unclear whether the Grand Princess will have to stay at sea 30 miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge, or will be allowed to come to Port in San Francisco as planned on Saturday morning.

RELATED: Airlines offer coronavirus waivers as passengers decide whether to cancel trips

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