The couple keeps COVID-19 at bay for over 2 years, then they went on a cruise

PORT EVERGLADES, Florida. – A South Florida couple have returned home from a cruise vacation and are issuing a warning. They said they were shocked to find themselves in the midst of a COVID-19 outbreak.

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

“We didn’t get COVID for two and a half years and we were very careful,” said Ray Rinaldi, who cruised with his wife Linda. “I went on this cruise thinking I wouldn’t make it. I’m thrilled, I’m doubly pumped,” said Linda.

They boarded a 12-day Southern Caribbean cruise on the Celebrity Equinox and it was everything they wanted. Until it wasn’t. Halfway through their luxury voyage, 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 couple were tested and found they had contracted COVID-19.


“The nurse told me that morning there were over 100 cases,” Ray said.

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

“The first room they took me to for quarantine didn’t have a door leading to the hallway. That was a big concern for me,” said Linda.

“I wonder how you could possibly get COVID-19 on a ship that claims to be 100 percent vaccinated,” Ray said.

Now at home they are isolated and still recovering.

The couple say the vacation was both a nightmare and a reality check.

We asked them, “What does that say about the state of the pandemic we’re in?”

“I don’t think it’s over. And now I’m starting to think it’ll never be over. I think cruising is about as safe as it gets. Nobody can control COVID-19,” Linda said.

The cruise line’s COVID-19 policy is “All crew members and guests eligible for vaccination must be fully vaccinated.”


We reached out to Celebrity for comment on the story. You have yet to return to Local 10 News.

The Rinaldis are back home and still recovering from the symptoms of COVID-19.

Copyright 2022 by WPLG – All rights reserved. The couple keeps COVID-19 at bay for over 2 years, then they went on a cruise

Jaclyn Diaz

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