(CNN)The Coral Princess cruise ship docked Saturday at Florida's PortMiami with two guests dead and several others ill from Covid-19, officials said, after a weeks-long search for a port that would let its passengers disembark.
Coral Princess docks in Miami with 2 dead and several ill of coronavirus, after ports shunned it for days
This ends a voyage that began March 5 in Chile and was supposed to finish March 19 in Argentina, but it ran on for days as countries declined to welcome passengers ashore during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Coral Princess' trip was lengthened even though none of the ship's occupants tested positive for the disease until this week.
It's still not clear how soon all of the 1,000-plus passengers and 878 crew will disembark in Miami, but some of the most seriously ill will leave first and go to hospitals, Miami Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said Saturday.
Princess Cruises had said Thursday that 12 people aboard -- seven guests and five crew -- were positive for Covid-19, after a small group of people with respiratory illness were tested Tuesday.
The company announced Saturday that two guests had died. Gimenez said both died of coronavirus. Their names were not released.
"I want to offer my condolences to the families of the loved ones of the two people who died from Covid-19 on that ship. It is heartbreaking news," Gimenez said.
"Our hearts go out to their family, friends and all who are impacted by this loss," the cruise line said in a statement released to news media.
Two passengers needing immediate medical attention will be taken to Miami's Larkin Community Hospital, and an unspecified number of others also will be taken to hospitals soon, Gimenez said.
About 15 other ill passengers who don't need immediate hospitalization will remain aboard for medical treatment until they are cleared for travel by the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, Gimenez said.
Guests fit to fly home will start leaving the ship Sunday, but the disembarking "is expected to take several days due to limited flight availability," Princess Cruises said.
More than 990 passengers and 840 crew members have been deemed fit for travel, Gimenez said Saturday.
Julie Maa is worried about her parents, who are aboard the ship and ill.
Her father, in his early 70s, tested positive for Covid-19 this week. Her mother, in her 60s, also has a fever and is coughing, Maa said.
Maa, at her home in New York, has been talking to them by phone. On Saturday morning, officials were telling them that they would have to convalesce in a medical ward on the ship, and that her father needed supplemental oxygen.
All guests had been asked to stay in their rooms starting Monday after medical staff noticed a higher-than-normal number of people with flu-