Originally Posted by kaylakitty
RE: Sea Princess: I wish I had seen this before I took my daughter and grandson on this cruise on Monday May 30, 2011!!!!!! The norovirus was rampant!!!! My daughter got a mild case, I got a very severe case ending up with me being hospitalized on board and then presented with a bill for just under $2000.00!!! (which I am disputing). We were not informed of the virus until we sailed, never sent notification prior to sail date or offered the chance to postphone or cancel the trip even though they were aware of how serious the spread was.
First of all... I'm sorry you had a bad experience, but my mother-in-law had a heart attack in Ketchikan and missed half of the cruise, so we've got you trumped! Sorry also to those who had to wait while we were taken on our own "private" tender into shore. She continues to improve.
We would have had a large medical assistance bill, too - but we always purchase trip insurance, and that $100 or so saved us tens of thousands
. How anyone
can book a trip months in advance and believe they know what's going to pop up before or during? I don't mean to sound unkind, kaylakitty
, but that's just penny wise and pound foolish, I think. Live and learn. The truth is you may have picked up that virus between your home and Pier 35, too.
When boarding there WERE
clearly printed notices saying that there was a small outbreak on the previous cruise [128, or 6.23% of passengers, per the CDC], but to notify everyone in advance would have been a logistical nightmare - I don't fault them for that. BTW, the CDC says there were 144 or 6.7% ill on our cruise. While SMS and texts or emails could have been sent as a cautionary alert, many folks still do not use that - such as some seniors. As I understand it, if the total number of passenger cases reaches 10% the ship is called in.
Others here are correct - Norovirus is carried in vomit and feces, and if you noted the staff stationed outside the rest rooms it was because of the alarming number of people who DON'T wash afterwards. How did they know? There were mirrors that showed the sinks from the entryway.
Our first morning we saw FIVE people actively vomiting into their little white bags while sitting at their tables in the buffet at breakfast. Why wouldn't you stay in your cabins, for crying out loud? The HazMat teams came and disinfected the area, putting yellow hazard tape around the chairs to close the table off.
I also saw countless times where a passenger would argue with a staff member who was insisting they sanitize their hands before re-entering the buffet food area; some just ignoring the staff completely. I also witnessed passengers picking up food with their bare hands and putting it back
. Unsupervised or otherwise out of control children are another matter altogether, and there were a LOT of families with kids.
No cruise line can compete with (or be faulted for) that many pig-headed people. Keep that in mind the next time you're at ANY buffet, church BBQ or some such gathering.
Princess isn't completely without fault, though. We were told that while there HAD been some cases on the previous cruise the ship had been thoroughly disinfected prior to our boarding. I asked my steward if that was true, and he said "not possible". However, after the CDC came aboard Princess was told it WOULD be done before the next group of passengers boarded on the 9th - hence the delay in boarding.
So let's summarize, shall we?
1) Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds and rinse well. Do this more often than you think you need to.
2) Use hand santitizer as often as you see it
3) Don't touch your face/mouth/eyes
4) Don't use public toilets unless you really
have to, and
5) Hope the food preparation and service staff all do the same.
Would I cruise on Princess again? Well, probably - although I'm more fond of other lines - but I also disinfect grocery cart handles, too. You have to use the common sense many others are reluctant (or incapable) of using.