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  #1 (permalink)  
Old February 6th, 2003, 11:44 AM
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Default NORWALK VIRUS

I've been on 27 cruises and I have one booked for 5 weeks from now; and this is the first time I've considered cancelling one. We're booked on the Sun Princess for the 15 day Hawaii cruise and the one that went in January came back early due to the Norwalk virus. Normally, I wouldn't be concerned about this but I have asthma and I didn't know how this would affect me if I came down with the Norwalk virus. Does anyone know how serious it is and how easy it is to catch. I really don't want to cancell, but I don't want to be out in the middle of the ocean on my way to Hawaii and not be able to breathe and the doctors not being able to help me. Any help will be appreciated.........
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Old February 6th, 2003, 03:53 PM
Frank
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Default Re: NORWALK VIRUS

I think you should discuss this with your doctor for his recommendation.

You know, you don't often hear about this virus on land even though that's where it started. Who knows if that bug going around or the strain of flu one thinks they had, isn't the Norwalk virus? I'm quite suprised that they cancelled that cruise. From what I understand, this is only a one or two day illness. One should still be able to enjoy the balance of the cruise.

However, Princess maybe wanted the time to make sure the ship was completely sanitized?
Frank-in-CA
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Old February 6th, 2003, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: NORWALK VIRUS

Buddy,

Apparently the "Norwalk Virus" is what most people know as the "24-hour bug" -- it makes its victims miserable for a day or two, but is seldom life-threatening. Also, its gestation period apparently is several days so those who fall victim during a cruise probably caught it before getting to the ship. The Center for Disease Control recently reported that it has been much more prevalent in the United States this year than is normally the case.

All indications are that Princess is responding promptly to the outbreak, unlike another cruise line that had outbreaks on a dozen or more consecutive cruises last summer and fall. Princess terminated the cruise on which it occurred a few days early and sending a "swat team" to ensure the thorough decontamination of the ship en route to Los Angeles. The risk on her next cruise probably will be much lower than normal, thanks to this thorough decontamination!

Norm.
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Old February 7th, 2003, 04:56 PM
Frank
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Default Re: Re: NORWALK VIRUS

Norm:
If I had caught the flu bug, returning home by ship would seem to be more pleasant than being crammed in a plane where, BTW, the virus could be spread even more as the quarters are so close. I realize they needed to sanitize the ship but I would probably have considered staying on, even if I was confined to my cabin.
Frank
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Old February 7th, 2003, 06:55 PM
DITSY
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Default Re: Re: Re: NORWALK VIRUS

We are booked on the March 11th cruise on the Sun Princess....Sure hope they clean the ship up real good. Get alcohol towelettes and wash often.
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Old February 8th, 2003, 02:01 AM
Barrie Davis
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: NORWALK VIRUS

I have just got home to England from Honolulu after a nightmare 23 hours involving 3 flights and four airports. I was on the Sun Princess and got the virus on day 2 (27th February). I have to say that Princess abandoned us all in Hawaii with no support, answers or very much else. It was "you have been rebooked on these flights and you must go home" ignoring my own post cruise arrangements. I am a fit guy of 52 and I collapsed (blacked out) twice due to dehydration within an hour of first noticing symptoms. It gets you despite your own use of hand washing and sanitizing wipes. They sanitised the hands of everyone entering the buffet but I saw some people walking staight past the guy with the gloop and wipes and one woman picked up some croutons by diving her hand into the dish. The prevention methods were all a bit amateur.
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Old February 8th, 2003, 11:59 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: NORWALK VIRUS

My husband and I have been on two other cruises to Hawaii on different cruise lines, but this is the first one on Princess, but not our first Princess cruise. I also had some advice to bring antibacterial soap with us. I sure hope it's not as bad as they make it out to be. My doctor told me to go ahead and have a good time, so I'm not going to worry about it.
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Old February 10th, 2003, 06:50 PM
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Default Re: NORWALK VIRUS

Actually, this virus does not just occur on cruiseships, nor will it necessarily repeat itself on the Sun Princess. Unfortunately, someone or more than one person came on board contagious and whenever you have large amounts of people confined to somewhat small areas, something like this is very common. Take schools for instance, or large office buildings, especially where the air is recirculated. I'm also scheduled to sail on the Sun Princess in April on a 10 night voyage to Mexico. Maybe by then, this particular flu-like virus will be pretty much over, since it will be Spring. I notice the Winter months seem to be the most affected. Also, there is a chance that one of the crew members was exposed to this from the cruise before this one or from someone in a port. Hard to say, but it's definitely not the ship, itself.
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Old February 10th, 2003, 06:59 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: NORWALK VIRUS

The head of the CDC said that since this is a VIRUS, anti-bacterial wipes or solutions are not the answer. People need to practice good hand-washing techniques to fend off cross contamination. SCRUB and not just lightly run your hands through the water. Even having the little packets of baby wipes or other NON-anti-bacterial wipes for convenience is a good idea. But, by no means do they need to be "anti-bacterial". That's becoming quite a fad and doing more harm than good in some instances. We're building up a resistance with the overuse of antibiotics and antibacterial solutions.
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Old February 11th, 2003, 08:25 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: NORWALK VIRUS

Good advice. I will add that you don't want to touch the faucet handles with your bare hands after washing. If you do, you just pick up the germs you have just washed off. The same is true when you leave a bathroom. You don't want to touch the door handles, who knows if the person leaving before you washed their hands. I usually use a paper towel to turn off the faucet handles and to open the doors. Needless to say, I do get a few strange stares from people. I feel it is better to be safe than sorry. I use these procedures in all public bathrooms, not just on ships.
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Old February 15th, 2003, 02:17 PM
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Default Re: NORWALK VIRUS

I was on that recent ill fated Sun Princess Hawaii cruise. Although I did not get sick, I spoke with plenty of people that did. They suffered with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. But I can say one thing. In my opinion, Princess was totally inept in handling this outbreak. They kept the passengers in the dark. We got our information from CNN in our cabins. And when they dumped us in Honolulu? Totally and completely mishandled. Princess failed miserably. A total waste of money.
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Old February 20th, 2003, 02:32 AM
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Default Re: Re: NORWALK VIRUS

We, too, we on the January 25 cruise to Hawaii and I have the opposite view from BSL on how Princess handled the situation. My wife and I did not get sick, but two in our party did.

We were given three letters, starting very early in the cruise about the illness and requesting passengers to take certain actions to confine the illness. Special procedures were established at Horizon Court. There were special crews to attend to the cabins of the sick. There was constant cleaning of the public areas. For example, while doing laundry, a crew member came by and cleaned all the knobs of the wash/dryer, the door knob, the telephone, the soap machine, etc. This happened twice during the two and a half hours I was there.

The problem was with those passengers who refused to comply with the requested procedures. For example, at the Horizon Court, we saw people who refused to take the hand wipes or use the liquid soap before entering. Others refused to be served, helping themselves when the servers were attending to others. The worst were those passengers who were sick and would not report to the medical center, but still ate in the dining room and had the nerve to brag about it.

Under the circumstances, Princess had little choice but to end the cruise. Getting over 2000 passengers home in two days was no small task. Those in our group and most of the people we met onboard felt that Princess handled the situation very well. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Jim
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Old February 20th, 2003, 10:51 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: NORWALK VIRUS

Thanks to everyone who has responded to my message. My husband and I leave two weeks from next Monday and I'm hardly able to contain myself at work. Of course, where I work no one else has taken a cruise and it seems if I talk about them, no one is happy for me, just jealous, why is that.? I've always got an open ear when anyone tells me good news and happy about something, but when it's me, it seems no one wants to hear it and no one is happy for you; that's why I'm just going to stay with the Cruise Mates message board, where people understand. HAPPY CRUISING.......
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Old February 21st, 2003, 10:30 AM
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Default Re: NORWALK VIRUS

The virus is a joke. It is over rated in order to obtain ship board credits. Free stuff, and of course sympathy. Keep you fingers out of your face and use common sense as you would in a theater or mall. Don't let your self get run down and don't binge. Smokers are prone to be at risk. They have comprised immune systems. They don't care about themselves any way. Just stay away from the hackers. Hope fully there the ones getting sick and the rest of the ship will do better with out them any way.

Sorry if the truth hurts anyne.
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Old February 21st, 2003, 11:02 AM
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Default Re: Re: NORWALK VIRUS

My husband and I have never been smokers, but I must say that is the one thing that really bothers me on cruises......people who smoke in areas they're not suppose to. I have asthma and that really makes me sick. I've thought about just cruising on the Carnival Paradise, where the whole ship is non-smoking but I like Princess and RCCL too much. Thanks for the advice and HAPPY CRUSIING.>.....
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Old February 22nd, 2003, 04:06 PM
Barrie Davis
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Default Re: Re: NORWALK VIRUS

In response to krembles, Norwalk is certainly no joke. Try telling that to the 2000 people whose cruise was ended early on the Sun princess (of whom 327 were ill). Not all those ill were smokers or disregarded their personal hygiene. I was ill within 36 hours of getting on the ship despite all the hand washing and vigilance imaginable. I blacked out twice and had to spend 9 hours on a drip. Because Princess did not handle the situation at all well, passengers who were not ill found themselves in areas where ill people were not restricted. We were handling serving utensils which stupid people had accessed contrary to advice. At the end of it all, our vacation was ended, we were dumped for the sake of financial expediency and made to fly home on three flights, some without meals, through four airports over 24 consecutive hours. None of this was a joke or my fault. Princess could have handled it a lot better. Be better informed before you comment and probably influence other people to be less vigilant or not want to seek the truth. You could well have ruined someone's health and vacation by your ill informed comments.
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Old February 22nd, 2003, 06:31 PM
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Default Re: NORWALK VIRUS



Post Edited (02-23-03 08:31)
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Old March 30th, 2003, 02:16 PM
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Default Re: NORWALK VIRUS

I was also on the Sun Princess Hawaii cruise that was terminated because of the virus. My husband got sick, I luckily did not.

I'd like to mention that the number of sick passengers is undeterminable as passengers stopped reporting they were sick early on. I estimate at least half the 2000 passengers got it, probably 300-400 in the first 24-36 hours. A passenger brought the virus onboard. She was sick at the time of arrival and tossed her cookies at the buffet prior to the ship even setting sail. It was said she had gotten sick on the plane flight to L.A. too. So, she knowingly brought it onboard. The reason I say that probably half the passengers got it was that whomever you talked to on the ship either had it or someone in their party had it and some probably came down with it by the time they got home (I really feel for the unsuspecting hotels and airlines that got the sick people dumped in their laps with no warning so they could take precautions).

In order to officially be counted as sick, you had to go down to the ship's doctor -- my husband was too sick to go, so I went down to sign him in as a sickie. There were 20-25 passengers waiting in line to see the doctor! Last place a well person wants to be! I beat it out of there quicker than you could say shore excursion.

My husband and I stayed on the ship as I'm a no fly person. We (and about another 90 passengers) were allowed passage back to Los Angeles. Besides people afraid to fly (me) there were people who could not medically fly or that were still so sick they couldn't get off the ship.

All passengers on the ill-fated cruise were credited 5 days worth of their fare and given a credit of $500 per cabin towards another Princess cruise.

It was a complete zoo at the pursers desk as soon as it was announced that the cruise was terminating and returning to Honolulu. Some pursers were rude, some passengers were rude and some people rose to the occasion and took it for was it was worth, no one's fault, just one of those things and make the best of a bad situation. Cruise karma. Everyone will probably have an awesome trip on their next Princess cruise!
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