I am not a health care professional and don't claim to be but I do have a little common sense. A cruise ship, regardless of how large it's touted to be, is still a small enclosed
floating thing that has from 2000 to 3000 passengers, all according to the particular ship. These ships run regular routes, week in and week out. When your cruise is up, the way is cleared for the next group, ( who, by the way, are basically chomping at the bits to get aboard before the ship can be unloaded ). Passengers come from all over the country and indeed, all over the world in a matter of a few hours and converge upon the same space. The cruise lines do provide sanitary facilities, both ashore and afloat.
With all these people converging upon the same small area, it's fairly simple to understand that if a few of them have something such as colds, flu, Noro, etc., it's very likely to be transmitted to some of the other passengers. The means of transmission is also pretty simple. All you have to do is watch people, at the store, shopping, home, onboard, wherever. People sneeze, cough,etc.and many times cover their face with their bare hand. Some will use the bathroom and not bother to wash. There are countless ways of transmitting a virus. With 2-3000 people in a confined space, someone is going to pick it up. The crew is not immune. They get it too. Because a few crew members get sick, is this a sign that the cruise line is doing something wrong?
Exactly how can the cruise lines keep people from coming aboard with these viruses?
Exactly how can they keep people from getting it once aboard?
Take two people going on a cruise. Normally the last day or two people will run errands, go to the store for last minute items, etc. Just how many other people has those two people been around and in contact with 48 hours before even getting to the airport and on a plane?---- probably hundreds. Then once on a plane, they are again, in a small confined space with many other people, some of whom may be carrying something contagious. Then the would be cruisers usually has to change planes somewhere, again being around hundreds of other people, getting on another plane etc, etc. finally getting to the terminal, riding a cab or bus to the pier, then onto the ship.Unfortunately, for the other passengers, crew and cruise line, the people carrying a virus or ailment do not have blinking lights announcing that they are contagious.
After a couple or few days it starts to show up.Exactly what could the cruise lines have done--- stop everyone from boarding until they were all given physicals at the pier, blood tests, what ?
I don't want to see anyone have a cruise or any vacation ruined because of a sickness or accident. I have been unfortunate enough on two cruises to have gotten sick. Once on Princess and once on Carnival, both times on cruises out of San Juan. Did I get something aboard the ships--- who knows-- I don't know. Did I catch something on one of the Islands, who knows-- I don't know. It wasn't pleasant. One illness caused me to miss 4 days work after returning home on a sunday. So I do understand being sick.
I just don't think the cruise lines should be blamed for something that to a large extent is beyond their control and should be expected to ( can't help this ) " cough " up some form of " compensation " for someones ills unless the cruise lines is indeed at fault.
Pretty simple in the long run--- if you choose to venture out in the world, there are some risks that have to be incurred by the traveler. Those who don't understand that nothing is perfect and can't take the risks should, with all due respect, stay safe at home.
When one of our local schools shuts down this winter with the " flu like symptons " I think it very doubtful that CNN or any other major news outlet will make a big deal over it.
But heaven help the cruise ship with a compliment of 4300 passengers and crew that has a couple hundred people complaining of being sick.