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Old April 18th, 2003, 01:43 AM
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Default Princess & Illness- Thought You Should Know

Hi Everyone!

I posted this on the Princess board but I thought it was important enough information to post here too. I'm sorry for the lengthy double post- but - here it goes...

I'm back from The Grand and I'm in the process of writing a full review. In the meantime, I feel I need to explain firsthand how Princess dealt with a difficult situation.

This was my first cruise with Princess and I thought the service was fantastic. Our cabin steward was the hardest working young man I have ever seen. He absolutely went above and beyond to make our vacation perfect. If you read on, you will see in part why I say this!

**Princess and Gastrointestinal Illnesses***
If there is any question about how Princess handles this please read on. I had the experience of a lifetime, and for the first night thought that my entire vacation was ruined.
We flew to Fort Lauderdale the day before embarkation and stayed at the Amerisuites on 17th Street. We ate at the Tex-Mex restaurant across the parking lot for both lunch and late dinner. Everyone liked the food and drinks there! We boarded the ship at around 11:00am after a quick breakfast at the hotel. In what seems like a flash, we were eating and drinking our way to "Sail Away", having a blast! I started feeling a little nauseated and figured I had just been over indulging. Shortly after the ship set sail, I was in my cabin getting sick to my stomach. Sicker than I can ever remember being in my life. We were in mini-suite E729 which is starboard side, last cabin aft. The ship was rolling, many people commented on it, and in the aft location I could really feel it! I am not prone to motion sickness and I will never really know for sure what made me so sick. I place no blame, nor am I complaining, stuff happens! What I do know is that Princess certainly does have protocol for this situation and I believe they handled it properly, with the utmost consideration for the entire population of the ship.

It continued for about 12 hours, at which point at 3:00am I begged my husband to call the ship's doctor. Call a doctor or shoot me- that was his option! I was so ill I couldn't get out of bed and my husband had called for towels 3 times.
At 3:30am the ship's doctor arrived at our cabin with a nurse. She asked me why I hadn't visited the infirmary earlier and I replied that I didn't realize what was happening or quite how long it had been going on- I was *that* sick!!
She gave me a quick exam- checked my vitals and questioned me in detail about what and where I had eaten. I was administered two injections, one to stop the stomach contractions and the other to end the vomiting. Prior attempts to keep several different anti-emetics down had failed. I am a nurse and had two different prescription medications with me, plus Bonine- all useless in this particular case. I was vomiting every 10-15 minutes with no breaks. The stomach contractions were constant. I couldn't even keep down a sip of flat ginger ale or coke.
After the injections I managed to fall asleep. A little better than six hours later I awoke. I was scared and a little shaky, but the worst was behind me. I started taking small amounts of fluids and within an hour I was fine. The doctor had left me a bottle with a prescription medication commonly used for nausea and vomiting, which I took prophylactically to prevent any further distress. She also left me instructions not to eat in any buffet area for the next 48 hours, and a detailed survey to be filled out for the CDC in Atlanta, and Princess.
A young man in a white haz-mat suit (full mask and all!) knocked at my door and told us he had to fog the room. We told him we would be ready to go ashore shortly. I am sure as soon as we were out of our room, he had that room fogged and the entire bathroom disinfected, before we were able to hit the beach at Princess Cays!
The cost for the doctor's visit? (I heard it would be steep) ***NOTHING***
The doctor indicated that the severity of the episode could not have been sea-sickness.(I think it could have been as no one else I was in close contact with became ill). She believed it was something I picked up somewhere. I also believe that Princess took full responsibility for it, weather I brought it on the ship with me from the airplane, hotel or somewhere I ate, or picked it up that morning on the ship (unlikely- incubation is 12-24 hours for a gastrointestinal bug). I honored the request and did stay away from the buffet areas for two days, filled out the detailed form describing where, when and what I ate for the three days prior to embarkation and up to the point of the onset of illness.
Thankfully I was totally well for the duration of the cruise and it did not ruin any of my vacation, except for that horrid first night.
The day of debarkation I was waiting in the cabin for everyone to get back from breakfast, as I wasn't hungry that early in the morning and remained behind. There was a knock at my door. There he was, the man in the white haz-mat suit, fully gas masked, ready to fog the cabin and disinfect the bathroom again! I am sure as soon as we left with our bags that cabin was fogged and totally disinfected, again.

Princess handled this entire situation with the utmost respect for me, and the utmost regard for all passengers aboard.

Thanks for reading this lengthy post- I thought it was important to share this information.

There are other more pleasant things to tell you about this cruise, I thought I'd get the gross part out of the way first

Deja
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Old April 18th, 2003, 05:50 AM
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Default Re: Princess & Illness- Thought You Should Know

Sounds like you got off to a rough start but Princess handled it well.My guess is it was the TexMex? Glad the rest of the cruise worked out.
Angela Z.
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Old April 18th, 2003, 08:18 AM
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Default Re: Princess & Illness- Thought You Should Know

Very interesting, Deja. It must have been funny to see that hazmat suit guy knock on the door. Funny or scary, I don't know.

Cheers,
Michelle B.


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Old April 18th, 2003, 08:38 AM
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Default Re: Princess & Illness- Thought You Should Know

Hi Deja,
Thanks for sharing your story with all of us, sorry to hear you had to suffer through a good cruise, hopefully next time, it will be different. It was nice knowing how Princess handled the situation, thanks again.

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Old April 18th, 2003, 10:05 AM
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Default Re: Princess & Illness- Thought You Should Know

Deja,

Great (and sometimes funny) post. The visuals of the guy tapping on your door, saying he was there to fog your room was too much. Wonder what your neighbors thought!?!

It was probably the first cruise where you ever lost weight (I'm surprised they didn't put you in a giant hamster ball!)

Seriously, though, I've had the same kind of sickness (nerves with me) and a shot Compazine ends it in a heartbeat. I also recaall on our cruise in March on Star Princess that they offered free medical care if you became illl within the first 24 hours of emarkation.

Glad to hear you survived (and still giggling about begging your hubby to either call the doctor or shoot you)

Harry
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Old April 18th, 2003, 10:45 AM
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Default Re: Princess & Illness- Thought You Should Know

EEEEEK, Deja !!!

That's about fifty-two kinds of sick !!!

Sounds like Princess did a great job, but I'm sorry you had to find out about the quality of their medical care the hard way.

Is it likely that it was the fire engine restaurant that nailed you or the waffles at the AmeriSuites? Or something you ate once you got on board?

You're the nurse. Doesn't food poisoning kick in fairly quickly?

Probably more likely you picked up a truly nasty GI bug on the plane or somewhere in transit?

My husband had a GI bug on Grand Caribe and exploded from both ends before we left port (we had two nights in Belize City). I had to get out of the cabin (weak stomach, why I'm not a nurse)so was sitting on the fantail reading. The guy on watch came over to chat with me and I told him why I was up at 3 AM. He was very stern with me and told me I *HAD* to talk to the Captain in the AM before sailing and report Queeg's illness.

I was thanking all the pantheon of holies that we had insurance and worried that we'd be asked to leave the ship.

So, I talked to the Captain. Since it was only a single explosion, I told the Cap that if it were my KID (which, sometimes, I think he might be, only a larger version), I'd give him dry toast, tea and Jell-O for a day. The Cap walked me to the galley and instructed the slaves to make LOTS of Jell-O. And to bake some white bread while they were at it.

Bottom line, he recovered nicely UNTIL he was feeling much better and downed a King Henry VIII portion of prime rib. I told him NOT to do that on a tender stomach.

Another couple, who, interestingly, were on the same flight with us also got "it."

Airplanes are airborne Petri dishes.
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Old April 18th, 2003, 11:50 AM
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Default Re: Princess & Illness- Thought You Should Know

Very true Pam. I almost always come down with a nasty cold after I fly.

Cheers,
Michelle B.


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Old April 18th, 2003, 04:56 PM
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Default Re: Re: Princess & Illness- Thought You Should Know

It was funnny *and* scary! I felt like everyone knew I had the plaque! At the same time I was extremely relieved to see how on the ball Princess was with the whole thing.
It's a good thing our cabins were located in a very low traffic area too!
No one across the hall- and we were the last cabin starboard side, aft. There was a small hallway behind us where the stern cabin doorways were.
We were in a mini-suite and I am so happy that my husband at least had that couch to sleep on that awful night! He couldn't even come near the bed without me saying, "Shoot me!" or "If you make this bed even rock one inch I will shoot you!"

Deja
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Old April 18th, 2003, 05:01 PM
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Default Re: Re: Princess & Illness- Thought You Should Know

Harry,

- the hamster ball visual cracked me up! I didn't gain any weight on this trip!
You made a good revelation! I wonder if the reason why I wasn't charged for the in-cabin doctor visit or any of the medications is because Princess has this policy? That is good information! I was really expecting a humongous charge for that, which I would have happily paid double- just for the relief!

I was nervous! I was nervous about traveling, nervous about my friends having a good time on their first cruise- I had a lot riding on my shoulders- it all may have hit me the same way it's hit you before.

Thanks for seeing the humor in the situation - I am still remembering parts of it that make me laugh!!

Deja
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Old April 18th, 2003, 05:10 PM
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Default Re: Re: Princess & Illness- Thought You Should Know

Pamda,

- 52 kinds of sick is a great way to describe it!
Wow - I am sorry to hear that your husband has been through a similar experience!

You know- food poisoning is an odd sort of bird. It typically takes about 12 hours for something to incubate to the point of causing symptoms. I did start feeling ill after lunch in the buffet where I ate some broiled fish- it just didn't sit right! I don't think it could have food poisoned me that quickly though. Most likely it was a case of stress, over indulging (food and alcohol) and motion - and once that button got pushed there was no way of stopping it without intervention.

One of our friends brought a nasty cold on board with her - that ran through the group at about 2 or 3 day intervals - thankfully not hitting me until the day we were leaving the ship to fly home. It was the best excuse to sit on the couch and vegetate - and let the PCD set in- lol!

I am making a mental note to say away from all King Henry VIII portions of prime rib- oh that poor man !!

I don't think I will ever really know exactly what did it - and I can speculate until the cows come home..... I am just so glad the rest of the trip turned out so well!
Thanks for the reply!

Deja
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Old April 20th, 2003, 12:18 AM
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Default Re: Princess & Illness- Thought You Should Know

I read your post with interest because we were also on the same cruise. We had a friend in E728 on the other side of the ship. I will say that first night was really rough and that would have been miserable to have been sick with all the motion we felt. Sorry to hear about what you went through. I got food poisioning on the Sun Princess a few years ago the last formal night from the lobster. It was the only thing I could figure and you are right about timing. It hit me about 8 hours later, not right away! Glad to her Princess was so good to you. We ate at the Outback that Saturday night and I'm glad we did.

Thank goodness you had a good cruise. It was a fun trip. We were upgraded to a suite so I was especially thrilled with the whole week.

Just glad the week went good for you after the first night.

Susan
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Old April 20th, 2003, 01:23 PM
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Default Re: Re: Princess & Illness- Thought You Should Know

Susan,
Wow, it was rough, wasn't it? I thought it may have just been our partticular cabin location, but the more I hear- everyone was feeling the motion. I felt it mostly when the ship was moving at top speed. The wind was pretty strong too.

It turned out to be a great cruise though! I'm glad you were upgraded and got to enjoy a suite, that must have been great!

I'm sorry to hear that you suffered with food poisoning on The Sun- arrgh- that must have been awful for you. Being sick like that has to be the worst feeling in the world.


Here's to healthy future cruises!... And calm seas,
Deja
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Old April 20th, 2003, 02:47 PM
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Default Re: Princess & Illness- Thought You Should Know

I've only had to visit the ship's doc once ... nasty flu that I brought aboard with me. He gave me the "magic bullet" pills. Another time I did limp in for an Ace bandage after I turned my ankle playing aqua tug of war with a team that cheated. (Subliminal: Team Kuki.)

The magic bullet visit was $80. The Ace bandage was $2.
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Old April 20th, 2003, 09:21 PM
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Deja:

Yes, it was strong and truly had nothing to do with where you were. Back in 2000 we had an aft cabin on the Grand and the cabin steward made the comment about the back being a bit more motion prone. Now this was an eastern trip and that was really rough. It also sailed on Sunday and Monday was the first formal night. We had the Bottecelli Dining room and I really felt the motion in that place (basically why I never take traditional dining on that ship anymore). Wasn't feeling the best but thought I could get through dinner. Well when they started serving the crab quiche to the people at the table I had to leave. By the time I got to the door 2 other women were also leaving. I looked at them and said "crab quiche"?, both nodded and up the stairs we went. That was my birthday and not a fun evening. I went to the room and went to bed. Thank goodness it was the only bad night though. The captain even came over the loud speaker warning people about being on deck because of the motion of the ship.

Yes having the suite was fantastic. Was so thrilled to be upgraded and what fun we had. There was quite a group of us from another board that had met and we all had sail a way on our balcony. It was really fun.

Did I read you did the dolphin swim in Cozumel? We had nobody swimming but they let us out on the dock to watch everyone. It looked like so much fun. My daughter wants to do it next time we go. The jelly fish were something else though.

So glad, again, that you weren't sick for the whole trip and had a great time. I'm so ready to go again. We have booked the Baltic on the Grand for 2004 in July. I really do love that ship.

Take care,

Susan
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Old April 20th, 2003, 10:24 PM
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Default Re: Re: Princess & Illness- Thought You Should Know

Susan,

Yes, we did the Dolphin Swim in Cozumel. It was amazing! If you have the opportunity to book it - do it, your daughter will love it - you will too! I can't even find words to describe how much fun it was. The jellyfish were grossing us out when we were first told to get in the water... after the first dolphin swam by for a stroke I forgot all about them (ok- almost - lol!)

The video they put together is adorable - fully edited with slow motion, captions and music. They also take pictures and the one with the dolphin kissing you is just too adorable to pass up! I ended up buying almost every picture. ( They *really* know how to tug your heartstrings and stress the "once in a lifetime" thing)

I fell in love with the Grand. I would book another cruise on her - or try another Grand Class... I'm looking around for a 10th anniversary cruise for August....

I'm almost done with my review and will post it soon- I love to read about other people's experiences so I take my time and write long reviews.

OHHH - your crab quiche story! And on your birthday - arrgh-
It reminded me of our second formal night! I ordered the roasted garlic soup- took one spoonful and knew in that instant that it wasn't going to sit well! I was feeling a lot of motion all over the ship that night and, wow. I had to excuse myself from the table- go back to my room - take something to prevent any further stomach ickies - and I laid down on the bed for a while. My friend's husband came to retrieve me after about 30 minutes - I think my husband was afraid of what he might have found if he'd come to check on me himself- !!

I'm so ready to go again too, and I am just chomping at the bit to get something booked. The Baltic sounds wonderful! Have a fantastic time on that one!

Here's to calm seas, no peanut-butter-cup-wrapper-jellyfish, and lots more cruises to come....

Deja
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Old April 21st, 2003, 12:23 AM
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Default Re: Princess & Illness- Thought You Should Know

Deja,

I just sat here and laughed out loud about your friends husband coming to get you. Your poor husband must have really not wanted to find you sick again. So glad you knew when to quit on the soup. Funny, I love garlic, but that soup just didn't sound that good that evening. There was quite a bit of motion on this trip. I found that I hardly ate any breakfast the whole trip. Usually I love that on the ships because I never make it at home. My family can attest to that, so the ship is always a treat. Many mornings I would wake up a bit queasy and just didn't want to eat. Guess that was good, but I did miss having a few things I do like. We did order breakfast to be delievered to our room in Cozumel. Now that was nice. Those teak tables they have on the balcony's in the suites are very nice. I could really get used to that.

I wonder if you were in the water with the dolphins when we were there. That was so much fun to watch. Would have done the same thing you did though and bought all the pictures and the video. Since that isn't something you do on every cruise, it will be a wonderful thing to have. We did this same cruise last year and on the sting ray tour we did we bought that video. First time I have ever done that. Usually they aren't anything and we aren't even in them. For some reason that one we were in it quite a bit with all of us holding a ray. So I understand what you said.

Weren't those jelly fish awful? We didn't realize that was what they were until another couple passed us and said they were leaving the park because of them. They had come to swim and no way would they go in the water. At least where the dolphins were they weren't quite a bad. Maybe the mesh around the area helped keep some of them out. Nasty things.

Yes, I'm looking forward to the Baltic. We did the med on the Golden Princess and loved that ship. I do think that so far this is my favorite class of ship. The new ones also sound good too. Will have to look at them in a couple years.

Glad you had such a great trip.

Susan
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