Here are a couple of proposals:
- Communicate openly and honestly with customers.
- If someone goes to their medical facility, give them an information sheet from the CDC on NoroVirus
- Don't sugar coat communications with the term "GI illness" -- call it what it is which is NoroVirus
- Share what the level of outbreak is so people can understand the urgency of the issue (which I guess RCI is scared to share because it will make people realize the reality of the health situation)
- Educate customers that good hand washing is the only real way to deal with this virus. The "shock and awe" methods of Purel and Handi-Wipes are admirable, but are they really that effective.
- Hire enough people to adequately staff their ships. According to the Cruise Director, RCI had engine men working 14 hour days and then coming up to to wipe down the handrails. They had entertainers spooning out eggs in the Windjammer. The lead singer told me he had a sore throat and he was coughing all over the place, but they still had him working in food service -- seems like they are compounding the health issues on the ship, not addressing them!
The idea that RCI is dumbing down their message so everyone can understand is ludicrous -- they just don't want the bad PR
so they are going to dress up the pig in the poke.
Some other ideas:
- Hire a couple of roaming pirates who:
- Cut the hands off anyone caught picking their butt
- Walk all sick people off a gang plank
- Put anyone that sneezes in the lower galley with bread and water rations
For those of you who want to dismiss me as a "first time cruiser", your snobbish attitude matches that of RCI. The fact of the matter is that there are plenty of first time cruisers on a cruise ship and the cruise line does very little to educate them on the increased risk of NoroVirus on their ships. While "long-time cruisers" may have drank enough Kool-Aid to come to accept this as an acceptable risk, there are plenty of us that expect to be able to remain healthy when we go on vacation.
People use to worry about bad food or water in port and the raging effect of Montezuma's revenge, but the reality is that there greatest health risk is being on the cruise ship itself!