Sucks about your cruise. I hope you can do it another time or find some other adventure soon.
Italy's health system was completely overwhelmed by this. Doctors had to triage who to help based on who had a good chance of survival. There's plenty of news on that, go read up on it if curious.
This chart shows that the virus is progressing just as quickly (actually quicker) in the US as it did in Italy. US has a much larger population that Italy, not quite a fair comparison. But CA's and Italy's populations are similar, and the virus in CA is still growing at about the same pace as in Italy.
The point? Overcrowded hospitals lead to higher death counts and even greater panic. We just need to prepare so we don't panic.