Get British performers home from cruise ships #GetBenhome #Covid 19

Get British performers home from cruise ships #GetBenhome #Covid 19

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My son Ben is 20 years old. He is a professional singer and dancer. He is currently stuck onboard the Norwegian Cruise Liner Escape. 
He was part of a show called Choir of Man, he and 4 of his fellow performers have been stuck at sea and have not touched land since 14th March 2020. They are part of a group of performers that were entertaining guests as they sailed to beautiful islands.

The performers had their contracts terminated in March, they really aren’t seafarers or crew in the technical sense, they are singers, dancers and musicians.
4 of the cast were incredibly lucky and managed to catch flights home to the UK..... sadly luck was not onside for Ben and the rest of his cast, after a number of cancelled flights, the whole cruise industry went into lockdown and any crew on board these ships were then not allowed to get on commercial flights home.. At this time  the ship was docked in The Bahamas, the foreign office here in the UK organised a special charter flight to get British Citizens home from The Bahamas. The lads on ship, the onboard shore people, myself, our MP Sir Roger Gale, the Foreign Office, have all emailed,  called and posted on Social media begging the port authorities in Nassau to allow the boys to leave the ship to travel to the airport to get on the plane.......Sadly we were unlucky in our quest, the plane left on 7th April and our boys were NOT be on board.
Until recently Ben has spent his time in a cabin with no window,  they are only allowed out on deck to get some fresh air, other than that the lads are confined to their cabins, only allowed to come out to eat meals.
The WiFi connection onboard is bad, so contact with Ben is very limited...... he sends a message whenever he is able, and it sometimes takes 24 or 48 hours for my messages to be delivered to him.

The saga continues....the ship is now back at sea.... with the boys still on board.... the Onboard HR have told Ben and his fellow performers that the cruise line have 'no plan' for them

The Norwegian Escape will dock in Port Canaveral Friday 17th April. 400 Filipino crew will disembark & take a charter flight to Manila on Saturday.

The ship will then return to sea on 18th April for the foreseeable future very sadly with Ben and his 4 fellow performers still on board.

The US Coastguard and National Center for Disease Control (CDC)  are preventing seafarers from taking commercial flights from Florida - despite the fact that they have been isolated for over a MONTH, & have NEVER had a case of Covid 19 on board.‬

‪Norwegian Cruise Line have said they WILL NOT charter a flight for fewer than 100 people.‬

‪These lads HAVE NO WAY HOME‬

It's over 5 WEEKS since they were last on land.
It's over 3 WEEKS since they were last PAID.
Before lockdown one of the performers asked how they could get their passport back in order to travel home.... he was told if he resigned he would never work for NCL again.... he was reassured that NCL were doing everything in their power to send them all home ASAP.

NCL are contractually & legally obliged to get these performers home. They are not fulfilling their duties , they are not getting their unemployed, unpaid, upset, forgotten performers home where they belong.

Ben and his colleagues are not paying for food or board on the ship, but they are stuck, they are in limbo, and every day this continues it costs them - financially & mentally.
Ben is upset, angry and understandably anxious.

NCL now need to work with the relevant authorities to gain special permission for Brits from the Escape to take commercial flights back to UK.

We cannot just leave these people indefinitely on a ship, it’s just not right.
The  UK Government and the Foreign Office need to help them.

I need my funny, crazy, full of life son home before his mental health is in tatters.  All of these British performers need to come home.

it has become very apparent that it’s not just our boys on the Norwegian Escape that are in limbo, there are other ships that also have British citizens onboard.... surely a flight can be sorted for all of them collectively?

We need help to get all British citizens home during this awful Coronavirus pandemic.