The daughter of a man who died from COVID-19 has spoken lovingly of the three nurses who held his hand after his ventilator was turned off.
Karen Hay said her father Bill Bracken, a passenger on the Ruby Princess, was admitted to hospital on March 26 just days after his wife Barbara had tested positive.
Mr Bracken, who was almost 81, was on a ventilator for nine days but showed no improvement so it was decided the machine would be turned off.
"This was simply a heartbreaking decision, but a decision we knew was for the very best," Mrs Hay said.
"We are told by the hospital that there were three nurses with my father when he passed away.
"They were very kindly holding his hand which we are all so very grateful for."
Mrs Hay, who lives in Launceston, said her father had been "active, well and remained full of life" before his coronavirus diagnosis.
He was cremated without a funeral.
"We chose not to have a funeral and no one was able to attend his cremation," Mrs Hay said.
"Due to my mother being in isolation it wasn't an option for her to attend. Whilst this is a heartbreaking situation for my family, we understand that this was the right decision for us and those involved.
"My dad would not have wanted any fuss, nor would he have wanted to unintentionally risk the lives of others."
Mrs Hay, whose two sisters live in Queensland and were unable to see their father before he died, said her mother, who is still in isolation, was a "hero".
"She is simply amazing! She is strong, determined, driven and has the most amazing strength that I have ever witnessed.
"To lose your husband of almost 58 years, remain in isolation since Thursday March 19, and not be able to see your husband prior to (him) being put on a ventilator I would describe as absolutely heartbreaking."
The family was "sickened" by the behaviour of the operators of the Ruby Princess.
My mum and dad headed off on another cruise, never ever thinking that this would be the outcome.Karen Hay
Mrs Hay said her parents on nine cruises and had planned to go on more.
"Whilst my family were worried about mum and dad heading off on this cruise, we were sure that they would return in a healthy state," she said.
"I have lost my father and I know that my mum is certainly lucky to be alive.
"To have a significant number of people disembark the cruise with COVID-19 like symptoms, and yet put another whole new passengers on the ship in a very short turn around has to be negligent.
"I wonder how anyone with a moral compass could think behaviour such as this would be OK."
Mrs Hay said on their return to Australia her mother reassured the family that everything was fine.
"There had been no mention of the disease, the ship was regularly being cleaned and everyone was having a great time.
"I am certainly puzzled that if this was the case, how could the outcome of this ship returning to Australia be so detrimental?
"On the day my dad passed away I received a call from the Ruby Princess.
"Originally, I was thinking they were calling due to the death of my father, however, this was not the case. They were calling with regard to a question my mum had about a deposit she had made for a cruise into the future.
"I did feel sad that they didn't even know that my dad had passed away.
"Understandably we are angry with the cruise ship operator, however, I also believe that no one really knew the potential of this disease.
"My mum and dad headed off on another cruise, never ever thinking that this would be the outcome."