CONROY STERLING begged his mom, Joan Spence, not to break down and cry as he, twin Conrad, and adopted brother Rohan were repatriated to the island aboard the Adventure of the Seas cruise ship on Tuesday afternoon.
After months of quarantine in their cabins after the cruise industry sank amid the global coronavirus pandemic, the three men, along with more than 1,000 other Jamaican cruise ship workers, were reunited in their homeland via the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line ship that docked at the Falmouth Port in Trelawny.
The docking was the climax of a roundabout voyage after weeks of negotiations with the Jamaican Government which came to a head on the weekend as pressure from the Opposition and other voices mounted. Resistance to fast-tracking the repatriation bid, on account of logistical and health concerns, broke Monday when Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced that the returnees would be allowed in on Tuesday.
Barring exemptions, a ban on incoming passenger traffic to the island has stood since March 24.
None of the 1,044 crew members will be allowed to disembark the vessel until Thursday after being processed by immigration, customs and health officials, but that is fine with Spence, who drove approximately 130 kilometres from Portmore, St Catherine, to witness the heart-warming homecoming.