The American said they were awoken at 7am by the captain announcing the quarantine and that it was more than six hours before anyone got any food.
“We got a fruit salad and a small yoghurt and a bottle of water each,” she said.
Two hours later, they got another small amount of food with all room service requests cancelled.
She said there were hall monitors to make sure everyone stayed in their cabins and that they were not being updated on the situation regularly.
“All information comes to us primarily from the captain who makes periodic announcements,” she said.
“He started off as a very cheery captain saying that he was on the Diamond Princess ‘the happiest ship on the seas,’ now he just sounds more and more tired and defeated.”
She said one of the main reasons for the lack of communication was that the ship’s management was “at the mercy of the Japanese authorities,” but that they had also made tactical errors.
“As soon as they learned that a passenger who was on the ship for five days between Yokohama and Hong Kong had tested positive for the virus, they should have immediately put into effect infection controls like they do when there is a norovirus (gastro) on the ship,” she said.
“Also, they did not restrict the movement of passengers until the Japanese authorities insisted everyone be tested and therefore we were allowed to mingle and continue regular activities in large groups.”
She said their group had reached out to the US Consulate but that the officials understandably had been inundated with requests and were monitoring the situation.
“One of the big problems is that people do not have enough medications for an additional 14 days of travel. Japan has a very different prescriptions and medications system and so people are wondering how to get additional medications from home,” Ms Courter said.
She said they adored Japan and that she had lived in the country as a young child. After spending a week in Tokyo, the plan was to visit a range of destinations after disembarking, but that leg of their trip would now be cancelled.
“Putting this into perspective we are in a lovely cabin with a balcony, food will be arriving, and the most important thing is for us to stay as healthy as possible,” she said.
“We are hoping that everyone who has contracted the disease on the ship is able to recover completely and that nobody gets into further problems for lack of medication or heart problems due to stress.
“We have lived through severe hurricanes and floods at our home in Florida and sometimes the stress has more effects than the actual incident.”
Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has confirmed it is aware of the situation, and is urgently seeking information on the welfare of the Australians on board.
The ship has been placed in quarantine for 14 days, and the infected passengers are being treated on mainland Japan.
Japanese doctors are on board checking every passenger’s temperature, in a bid to contain a potential mass outbreak.
It’s believed more than 200 Australian citizens are on the ship, which had a 14-day itinerary around Japan and Hong Kong.
On Wednesday night, the number of infected people in Australia rose to 14 after Queensland reported its fourth case – a 37-year-old Chinese national from Wuhan.
Matt Bungard is a journalist at The Sydney Morning Herald.