New Cruiser: Do you mean a recent outbreak or the problems of last Fall? I was on the Amsterdam last November and some people got sick, others, I think, used the opportunity to get a few "freebies" from the cruise line.
I have not heard of any new outbreaks of any viruses since the last one was apparently solved.
One thing I did notice on the Amsterdam was the common thread of those who got sick (at least the one's I personally knew of), were people who were not outside much (mostly in the casino, card rooms, etc.). Frequent hand washing seemed to be the best defense.
Actually, some of you out there might be less likely to succumb to Norwalk Virus based on your blood type. It seems that people with blood type B are less likely to come down with this particular virus.
Norwalk Virus: At sea and at home
By Ruth SoRelle, MPH
"...published research in the Journal of Infectious Diseases that showed that blood type affects an individual’s susceptibility to infection by Norwalk. 'Type O is more likely to get very ill,' she said. 'People with type B blood are resistant.'"
Above citation can be read in its entirety at the following website:
Just returned yesterday from our Alaskan cruise. I heard part of a report on the news that many HAL ship passengers came down with intestinal problems while in Ketchikan last week. What ship was it? We were sharing Ketchikan with the Maasdam and Veendam. We were on the Mercury.
I was quite curious if it was the Amsterdam again.
Virus sickens about 2 dozen passengers on Holland cruise
Some were taken off ship and flown home
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
KETCHIKAN, Alaska -- A gastrointestinal virus has infected about two dozen passengers on a Holland America Cruise Lines ship.
Cruise line officials wouldn't say how many passengers on the Amsterdam were ill, but SuAnn Jenkinson of the state epidemiology lab in Anchorage estimated the number infected at 25, including a crew member.
Jenkinson had been in contact with the cruise line's chief medical officer.
She said the number of cases didn't reach the 3 percent threshold that triggers a response from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Rose Abello, vice president of public relations for Seattle-based Holland America Cruise Lines, said Thursday that an undisclosed number of ill passengers were removed from the ship at stops in Sitka and Juneau and flown home at the cruise line's expense.
In addition to removing infected passengers, Abello said, crew members have been cleaning the ship regularly and asking passengers to wash their hands often.
The cruise line established a procedure for reacting to viral infections after a series of Norwalk-like virus outbreaks last year on board Holland America ships in the Caribbean, Abello said.
"We take this very seriously," she said.
Abello said the virus has not been identified, so she could not say whether it was a Norwalk-like ailment.
Just last week, the Star Princess, a Princess Cruises ship sailing between Seattle and Alaska, had an outbreak of stomach illness among its passengers and crew.
A total of 112 passengers and 14 crew members vomited and had diarrhea from the common Norovirus during the ship's seven-day cruise, Princess Cruises spokesman Tom Dow said. No one was hospitalized.
Holland America's Amsterdam was one of several ships that experienced infections last year during Caribbean cruises. Outbreaks also occurred on the Holland America ship Statendam and the Disney cruise ship Magic.
The first report of the most recent illness came within 24 hours after the ship left the Seattle port, Abello said.
It usually takes 48 to 72 hours after infection for symptoms to appear, so it is likely the virus was carried on board by an infected passenger, she said.
Peter, did you happen to read this from the post above yours????
"Just last week, the Star Princess, a Princess Cruises ship sailing between Seattle and Alaska, had an outbreak of stomach illness among its passengers and crew.
A total of 112 passengers and 14 crew members vomited and had diarrhea from the common Norovirus during the ship's seven-day cruise, Princess Cruises spokesman Tom Dow said. No one was hospitalized."
"The first report of the most recent illness came within 24 hours after the ship left the Seattle port, Abello said.
It usually takes 48 to 72 hours after infection for symptoms to appear, so it is likely the virus was carried on board by an infected passenger, she said."
The HAL ship Amsterdam is docked in Seattle and other places right next to the Star Princess.
I am really shocked that the Amsterdam didn't have more of a out break of the virus, I think this means they did a very good job of cleaning the ship, after they found out what happen on the Star Princess.
" I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend your right to say it. "
Acually, yes I read the above article. And I do realize that other ships, not to mention hotels, etc have outbreaks like that.
My comment is the Amsterdam "appears" to get this virus more than the other ships.
Last year when I was in Alaska, on the Zaandam and sharing ports with the Amsterdam it had an outbreak then as well while we didn't (lucky us). And I believe...and I could be mistaken about this.....was that last year she had an outbreak in the Carribbean as well. Other ships had it too....remember how overblown the media made it sound?
So when I read about a ship having that type of problem once I don't think much about it. But when it repeats? There are plenty of other cruiseship options.
Again Peter, that was in the post above, if you are using internet explorer you can go to View and cleck that on, then go to text size and you can change it so you can read it better. I hope this will help.
" I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend your right to say it. "
We just got off the Zaandam and had about 25 cases of Norwalk on our ship. We noticed on the 2nd night that the salt/pepper shakers had been removed, and rolls and butter were passed out by the waiter. The next night a letter was delivered to each cabin explaining that Norwalk was on the ship.
We talked to the nurse one day at lunch and she explained that when they discover a problem with a communicable disease, they follow strict rules to avoid it spreading. Sick passengers are quarantined, and they and their companions are removed from the ship at the next port. She said people get pretty mad about it, but they discovered it is necessary because the Norwalk affected passengers are contagious up to 3 days after being sick. She also said they have found that hard surfaces, especially pens and cups, spread the disease quickly.
Supposedly 3 bus loads of people from Salt Lake City arrived in Vancouver before the cruise, some of them already sick. They didn't tell anyone they were sick before they got on the cruise. Other ships were also affected (some Princess ships).
We washed our hands frequently, and used the disinfectant towels that were available everywhere. Crew worked all over the ship cleaning it. None of our group got sick.
I'll post a review (it was a wonderful cruise!) once I get over my jet lag.
Norovirus Strikes Regal Princess
Princess Cruises’ Regal Princess has abruptly shortened a voyage due to an outbreak of Norovirus after 296 passengers (out of a total of 1,528) and 44 crew members (out of 679) were taken ill on a European cruise. The ship had departed from Copenhagen on August 18 – on a 16-day transatlantic crossing and was slated to arrive in New York, the final port-of-call, today. However, shipboard officers determined that, after the now-usual extra-strength sanitizing procedures and other programs (ill passengers receive free medical treatment and are confined to cabins while sick) failed to halt the spread of the notoriously contagious Norovirus, it would hasten the journey. Two ports were canceled – Qaqortog, in Greenland, and St. John’s, in Newfoundland, and the ship arrived in New York yesterday.
According to a statement issued by Princess Cruises, “at the onset of the increased incidence of gastrointestinal illness, which occurred on the third day of the cruise, we immediately intensified sanitation efforts onboard Regal Princess to minimize transmission to other passengers.”
In fact, Princess, which like other cruise lines has become much more aggressive about fighting the onboard spread of NoroVirus since last year’s multi-ship-multi-cruise-line epidemic, says that strategies it implemented on Regal Princess included:
*Using a powerful sanitation solution to regularly clean all food and beverage areas of the galley, affected passenger cabins, public restrooms and all surfaces in the ship’s public areas (e.g. handrails, door knobs, elevator buttons) including soft furnishings, multiple times each day
*Suspension of all galley tours
*Slot machines and casino furnishings were sanitized several times daily
*Gym equipment was sanitized regularly
*Public restroom doors were propped open to reduce risks of unwitting door handle contamination
*Bar snacks were offered in single servings only
*All dishwashers were being checked hourly to ensure they were operating at a temperature of 165F or above
*Passengers who reported to the medical center with symptoms were treated, without charge. Passengers who were unwell were asked to isolate themselves in their stateroom until non contagious and comply with the doctor’s instructions. Unwell passengers were also asked not to proceed ashore, and any shore excursion costs were refunded.
*Room service was provided to affected passengers and every effort was made to make them as comfortable as possible.
As drinking large amounts of clear fluids is helpful for diarrhea, Princess provided complimentary bottled water to affected passengers.
On its part, Princess offered Regal Princess passengers a variety of benefits – some one would only consider fair, such as refunds for shore excursions and government taxes and fees in the missed ports -- but also with more-value-added perks. The latter included $300 onboard credit for every passenger and a full refund of the cruise fare for each day “we were unable to deliver.” Any passenger needing airfare assistance – regardless of whether or not they’d participated in Princess’ air/sea program – were offered help in rescheduling flights.
A company source says that Regal Princess, which is slated to launch its autumn season of New England/Canada fall foliage cruises between New York and Montreal, will depart as scheduled.
When we arrived at the Vancouver terminal on August 25th we were handed a "Health Alert" letter before boarding the Volendam. They apparently had 2 paxs with a prossible case of the virus the week before(they were removed from the ship at the first port) so they were taking no chances and instituted very strict precautions on the ship. Because of this, NO one became ill during our cruise. Better to be safe than sorry.
We were not allowed to serve ourselves at the Lido. Salt & pepper shakers were removed from the tables, bread was passed to you in a basket in the dining room and you just pointed out what you wanted; butter was served and not placed on the table and there were sanitized wipes everywhere. I even noticed that lounge chairs and pads being disinfected each evening. Tables were constantly being wiped down as were the bannisters on the stairs.
We were also advised to constantly wash our hands. Oh, also no handshaking when going through the receiving line at the Captain's Cocktail party or at any time. It paid off as we were a Virus-Free ship.
I didn't go to the Casino so don't know what was happening in there.
Anytime you have a large group of people in an enclosed area for an extended period of time, you run the risk oif an intestional virus running through the group. I have experienced it as a camp counselor, at college, at an historical re-enactment (while living in tents and using port-a-potties) as well as through my office. Don't avoid one ship or cruise line. Use common sense and wash your hands -- A LOT!
We were on the Star Princess August 9th that left Seattle 5 hours late because the cruise before us had the Norwalk virus problems. We were handed a letter when we arrived to embark, and then sent to 3 different hotels in downtown Seattle where Hospitatility Suites were set up. We were given a $50 on-board credit, and I believe Princess handled the situation extremely well.
No one on our cruise got sick - the wait was well-worth it; they disinfected the entire ship. We plan on sailing Princess again, and hopefully, again.