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