I am just back from a 7 day cruise to Florida and the Bahamas and it was quite apparent that there were a significant number of passengers that came down with norovirus symptoms. During his twice a day address to cruisers the captain talked about increased steps being taken, by crew, to sanitize areas. He would also remind us all that hand washing and sanitizing was of utmost importance. Asked later, at his talk, he said that increased measures go into effect when 1.5% of passengers are sick and that he had informed CDC. That being said I still witnessed people leaving bathrooms without washing hands and people filling personal water bottles - sometimes full contact- at water and juice stations (crew were vigilante but could not catch everyone). I'm beginning to think that perhaps passengers need to sign a document (similar to the health questionnaire that we all fill in before boarding ship) saying that they will be vigilante in regards to washing/sanitizing hands and not filling personal water bottles. I know you cannot force people but I believe that this would at least make them think about it.
When 2% of the passengers and or crew contract a contagious sickness the ship goes into a red alert state. I'm a hand washing fool on board!
Need some cruise help?
ALLURE, 2/21/16 *Last Gang Cruise*
Carnival - Fantasy 1998
RCCL - Majesty of the Sea 2000
Carnival - Inspiration 2009
Carnival - Freedom 2011
Carnival - Liberty 2013
Carnival- Breeze 2014
I was on the HAL Amsterdam a few years ago and the virus hit the ship. The crew was outstanding. They banned salt and pepper shakers from tables, bread baskets, even hand shaking at the Captain's party, all buffets were served by crew in gloves, not passengers helping themselves. All bedspreads were removed, brass railings were sanitized constantly, hand sanitizers everywhere, etc.
Our dinner table started with 8 and ended up with 4. We "survivors" noticed that the people who did get sick had some things in common:
We never saw them at the pool or at a beach....they did not seem to be outside very much.
They spent a lot of time in the casino (imagine the germs on those tokens!)
They didn't drink enough good wine.
So, wash your hands, stay away from the casino and drink good wine!