Passengers onboard the Covid-19 stricken Ruby Princess have revealed they were "surprised and shocked" that there were no health checks when they disembarked the cruise ship in Sydney Australia.
The Ruby Princess cluster, which infected 24 New Zealanders and was linked to at least five deaths in Australia, closed on June 12.
In April, it was reported that a total of 440 people who had caught the deadly Covid-19 virus were linked to the Ruby Princess.
One passenger on the ship, Sharon Schofield, told an inquiry into the ship's arrival that she was "surprised and shocked" by her quick exit from the vessel on March 19 after being told days earlier there would be a delay as NSW Health conducted checks for Covid-19.
"That's why we were surprised when we got in that it was very quick because we were expecting to be temperature-tested or something from NSW Health before we got off the boat," Schofield said.
She added no health checks were done and that it was a fast process compared to lengthy delays boarding the ship on March 8, as previous passengers were tested as they disembarked.
On March 8, a NSW Health assessment team boarded the ship to collect Covid-19 swabs and perform temperature checks on passengers and crew members who had been part of the previous Ruby Princess cruise.
The NSW Health assessment team didn't repeat the same process on March 19 as its panel deemed the ship low risk, allowing 2700 passengers to pour off the ship with no testing.
Ann Kavanagh said she did not recall any mention of coronavirus on board and agreed the disembarkation was quick.
"There was no queuing, no passport control, nothing, we just got in a taxi, got to the airport ... very quick," Kavanagh said.
The Australian woman tested positive for the virus after arriving home in Perth and spent eight days in an induced coma.
She feared that she was infected by a crew member who sneezed while serving coffee.
"I certainly would have never got on that ship had I known we were going to get so sick," she said, fighting back tears.
Princess Cruises has been accused of knowing about outbreaks of Covid-19 during two voyages of the Ruby Princess cruise ship, according to a lawsuit filed in the United States.
The complaint was filed by the family of passenger Chung Chen, who died of the virus on April 4.
The lawsuit accused the corporate office of Princess Cruises of being aware of coronavirus outbreaks not only during the voyage from March 8 to 19, but also the voyage from February 24 to March 8.
The complaint claimed the company had placed "profits over the safety of its passengers" and was grossly negligent when it allowed passengers, including Chen, to join the "infected" ship on March 8.
Passengers boarded without proper screening alongside crew who had already been exposed to the virus and some of whom had "come down with the symptoms", it alleged.
Soon, coronavirus was "running rampant" on the second voyage around New Zealand, and when Princess Cruises became aware, it added "insult to injury" by failing to quarantine passengers.
The inquiry continues on Friday.