'We were expecting a dream cruise': Minnesotans stuck on cruise ship ready for next steps

Stan Herman and his partner are stuck in their cabins as the cruise ship remains off the coast of San Francisco. (Supplied)

A cruise ship quarantined off the California coast is expected to return to shore on Monday, as officials begin the next steps in the quarantine process.

There are 42 Minnesotans among the more than 3,500 people aboard the Grand Princess. Twenty-one people, mostly crew members, have tested positive for COVID-19 on the ship.

Among the Minnesotans quarantined in their cabins are Stan Herman and his partner Barb.

"Well, we were expecting a dream cruise to Hawaii," said Herman. "We visited four different islands. We went to Pearl Harbor, we went whale watching. We had a very beautiful time in Hawaii for four days."

But, by Wednesday, passengers were told someone, who was on the same ship on the trip before theirs, had tested positive for the virus and that is when everything changed.

"They cut out all the activities onboard, they closed all the stores and the casino," said Herman.

Herman and the other 2,000-plus passengers on board were told to stay in their rooms.

"[The crewmembers] bring the food to the cabin, they knock on the door, and leave the trays," said Herman.

And that’s how they’ve been living for days, as tests were flown out to the ship and passengers and crewmembers started testing positive.

"The biggest problem is that there hasn’t been a whole bunch of information flowing," said Herman. "But it’s not because they’re keeping anything from us we honestly believe that the captain doesn’t know."

Speaking Sunday, California Governor Gavin Newsom was able to shed some light on the plans for the Grand Princess.

"We will have you home soon and I know that this is a very difficult time for you, another 14 days for many of you to be quarantined," explained Newsom. "But it’s not only about your safety but your family members and your community when you come home... but you’ll come home soon."

The ship is scheduled to dock in Oakland on Monday. Officials say it could take as long as three days to get everyone off. Then Minnesotans are set to be sent to military bases in Georgia and Texas for a 14-day quarantine.