During a trip to San Francisco this week to check on the Pride of Aloha, Mercury, and Regal Princess all sailing from San Francisco I heard rumors again that the Norwalk virus has struck one of the Princess ships doing Alaska again. This is the 6 consecutive year that this virus has consistantly struck this line in Alaska. This has got to be more than courious? Whay this cruiseline and destination year after year?
I know other ships have had problems in Alaska before, but Princess leads the pack every summer. Whats going on with them? Which ship was it?
well, I'm no expert but I've got a few ideas thinking about it.
1) The norwalk-type virus is kinda hyped up if you ask me. It's a plain old stomach virus, with a fancy name
2) a much higher number of passengers must fly into the port, probably with people infected: great place to transmit it.
3) on an alaska cruise, it's kinda cold so there's probably more use of the inside of the ship or the same areas of the outside.
Maybe that coupled with an inability to clean fast enough could cause it?
Just a thought.
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Re: Norwalk virus on Princess
3OFB really nailed it on the head.
The virus is brought on board by an infected passenger(s). This virus is common all over the world and is difficult to contain. All it takes is ONE person to not wash their hands and use poor personal hygiene for this virus to start spreading. A cruise ship is an enclosed environment - thus the virus spreads faster.
All I can say is WASH WASH WASH your hands! If disinfectant wipes are provided - USE THEM!!!!! If you are sick, stay in your cabin and out of public areas - don't put the rest of the population on board at risk because "damn it I paid for this vacation and I am going to enjoy it!" - you will only ruin it for others on board.
Carnival Breeze with Ray Band Aerogirl 5/4/14!
Maybe Princess is in the news every year since they have more ships in Alaska then RCCL, NCL, Celebrity and Carnival. I also agree with Lisa, this illness is brought on board by passengers. This has nothing to do with the cruise line.
You may be right, but I didn't remember Princess being that involved with the virus. Thinking back, I think I heard more about the virus with Norwegian and Celebrity cruiselines. If I were to guess, I would say the virus probably hits every cruiseline equally. Maybe it's just more newsworthy if a higher percentage of passengers and crew are affected. I certainly don't think Princess's passengers and crew are less hygienic than the average cruising population.
Princess has had more outbreaks of Norwalk virus than all the other major cruise lines combined. This is very disturbing to me as I have sailed this line to Alaska and caught the Norwalk on its ships(which later were quaranteed by Canadian health officials). I can assure you the virus that I got and 300 other passengers was anything but just a normal stomach ache. I have never seen such a fleet of ambulances at one location when the ship arrived in Vancouver to pick up ill passengers.
Granted ,Princess has a large number of sailings in Alaska but other lines have significant numbers too.
I can think of several cruise destinations that the majority of passengers fly to to cruise from such as transatlantic or south pacific, but still it seems unusual to me that this virus strikes Alaska every summer like clock work.
I believe the cruise you are referring to was the Diamond Princess which sailed from Seattle to Alaska on May 22. We received letters in our cabins saying that there was an unusual amount of the virus showing up. The ship was being swabbed down and the crew served the buffet the entire trip. We did not get sick, and I really don't think that the numbers were that high. I don't know that for sure though. I felt that the ship handled the situation very well. I was glad for the notification and the extra caution.
I believe this latest outbreak of NorWalk was traced back to the Emerald Lake Lodge in British Columbia (the lodge was since closed for a complete cleaning).
They think the virus was then brought onboard by passengers who had done the land tour (with a visit to Emerald Lake Lodge). If that was the original starting point, or brought in by a passenger, I suppose they'll never know.
Holland America has had more than its fair share of problems with these viruses in Alaska. I can recall more 'dam ships being reported with outbreaks than Princess. No line is immune, however, and every single one has had to deal with it. Even Celebrity.
Please remember that this is a common virus, second only to the common cold, and is not tracked at all on land. It is only the relatively closed environment of a ship and the extended periods of time that the same group is on board that makes this illness trackable.
Catdancers is absolutely correct. I have witnessed so many women who do not wash their hands after using the bathroom on the ship and at my job. It is disgusting. I take hand wipes with me and do not touch anything in the public rest room with my hands.
I have also noticed that a large number of men will pick their noses and not wash their hands while in public. Doing this will also spread all kinds of illnesses.
I know this sounds paranoid, but I always use a paper towel to shut off the facets after I wash my hands. I then use a towel to open the door as well. I too have seen many women not washing their hands. Amazing.
Holland America Cruise Line had the most ships in the past few years of passengers and crew that had the Virus.
It is brought on board ship by PEOPLE who have a virus of some sort. It occurs in Hotels, schools, hospitals all over. Las Vegas had problems a few months ago at the Bellagio.
And yes, people need to wash their hands. And yes, more women need to wash when they go to the Restrooms, I've seen it constantly, that women can be the worst offenders of not washing their hands.
Most definitely, if someone is sick they should not travel anywhere whether on a cruise or on any type of vacation.
Last year, Carnival, Norwegian, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and Princess all had some problems with the Virus. So it's not isolated to one Cruise Line.
But again It is brought on board by someone who is sick. I was told that People who live in Warmer Climate many times if sick bring it on board ship, (Hawaii, Asian Countries, Caribbean Islands, Humid weather. All it takes is ONE PERSON, and they have infected hundreds of people, regardless of where they are, ship, hotels, hospitals, schools.
Also remember, Cruise ships have smaller quarters , you are confined by the size of the ship. SO remember, WASH, WASH, WASH, YOUR HANDS.....
Sandy...I hate to disagree , but Princess has had this problem problem for 6 years and its been confined to Alaska almost 95 percent of the time. I don't buy the warm weather issue because the vast majority of illness have been centered around Alaka cruises.
I understand the issues about personal grooming' , but I still find it troubling that every summer this problem surfaces on Alaska cruises over and over again. Its got to more than just washing your hands or we would see this problem on many other cruise sailings other than Alaska .(we only see very isolated problems from other sailings).
David, how about providing some real statistics, not just your assertions? Without data, it is difficult to determine whether there is merit to your topic or if you've just got an axe to grind. There is so much misinformation circulating about this virus with respect to cruise lines that any attempt to prey on the fears of the uneducated public to further personal aims could be considered libelous. Post the facts, if you have them, so that a reasonable discussion can follow.
I am glad that I am not the only one out there that uses a paper towl to turn off the water and open the door!!!! People look at me like I am weird but I have also taught it to my daughter and they are 15 yrs and 5 yrs. when I started to notice how many people do not wash their hands in the restroom it just makes me cringe. we are cruising on the Caribbean Princess on July 10th and looking forward to it. It is our first cruise
Everyone should just take a precautionary chill pill. My goodness...just make sure you clean up after yourself...and if you want to bring a small spray bottle of some disinfectant be my guest...but be ready fro the Felix Unger jokes. The way I see it is if you suffer, they'll offer a credit...
I'm going on the Caribbean Princess July 3rd...no Norwalk for me!
Had friends on the May 22 Diamond Cruise. They both got sick with the virus and were confined to the cabin. Princess has instituted some very strict rules regarding stomach virus'. They were confined to their cabin for 48 hours, only allowed limited foods, watched/guarded carefully by room steward. They were told that if they left their room without permission, they would be removed from the ship at the next port. Apparently ship staff have been trained to watch for signs of illness and call it in immediately, a crew in "Hazmat" type gear come in and clean up. My employer(a doctor) told me what is so bad about Norwalk, the virus can live for up ro 30 days on anything. So all areas are not sanitized really well, it will be back.
My friends said that they didn't really mind being confined until the second day. They felt fine within 24 hours, but were still considered contagious. We leave Saturday for the same cruise, hope all is well!
VSP Home : Disease Surveillance and Outbreak Investigation : List of Disease Outbreaks
List of Disease Outbreak Investigations Aboard Cruise Ships
April 16 - Holland America's Amsterdam
April 13 - Holland America's Rotterdam
April 9 - Celebrity Cruise's Zenith
April 1 - Celebrity Cruise's Horizon
April 1 - Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Crown
March 24 - Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Crown
March 24 - Princess Cruise's Royal Princess
March 6 - Cunard Cruise Line's Queen Mary 2
March 4 - P & O Cruise Line's Oriana
February 25 - Cunard Cruise Line's Queen Elizabeth 2
February 25- Royal Caribbean Cruise Line's Brilliance of the Seas
February 24 - ResidenSea Cruise Line's The World
February 13 - Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Celebration
February 12 - Holland America's Ryndam
January 21 - Princess Cruise Line's Coral Princess
January 19 - Cunard's Queen Elizabeth 2
January 9 - Windjammer Cruise Line's Legacy
January 3 - Windjammer Cruise Line's Legacy
December 1 - Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Legend
November 19 - Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Legend
October 21 - Carnival Cruise Line's Holiday
September 2 - Princess Cruise Line's Regal Princess
February 4 - Royal Olympic Cruise's Olympia Voyager, Carnival's Carnival Spirit, Sun Cruise Line's Sun Dream, and Princess Cruise Line's Sun Princess
January 10 - Norwegian Cruise Line's S/S Norway and Clipper Cruise Line's Nantucket Clipper
December 19 - Disney's Magic, Carnival Fascination, P & O UK's Oceana, and Carnival's Conquest
December 12 - Holland America's Amsterdam, Disney's Magic, Carnival's Fascination, P & O UK's Oceana
December 9 - Holland America's Amsterdam, Disney's Magic, Carnival's Fascination, P & O UK's Oceana - December 9
December 4 - Holland America's Amsterdam, Disney's Magic, Carnival's Fascination, Radisson's Seven Seas Mariner and P & O UK's Oceana
November 21 - Holland America’s Amsterdam and Disney’s Magic
July 25 - Holland America’s Ryndam
April 2 - Cunard Line Limited's M/V Caronia
June 1 - Princess Cruise Line's Ocean Princess
June 4 - Disney's Magic
June 1 - Alaska Sightseeing's Spirit of Glacier Bay
May 23 - Palm Beach Casino's Palm Beach Princess
February 13 - Clipper Cruise Line's Nantucket Clipper
There were 6 of us on board the Princess Diamond, not only did the ship have the virus, it had quite a few other problems. If you were one of the lucky 200 that stayed up late, you got a full refund, for those of us that went to bed, we found out about every thing in a flyer left at our rooms. Not only was there a virus, but the ship was damaged and only hit one port, we did not get to see Alaska at all. We got off at the only stop and found a way home. Princess does not intend to do any thing about a refund or another trip. My sister stayed on board, got the virus had to stay in her room for 3 days, the doctor told her that the virus came from everyone being left in the convention center all day.
If anyone brings a suit against Princess, please let us know.
PS we sailed on May 21, 2004, horrible trip, will never take Princess again.
I thought that if you didn't like the cruise, you could get off at the first port of call and get a complete refund and be flown home, at least that's the way it was on Carnival. Don't all the cruiselines operate under those rules or is that not correct?
I think I would know if I went on a cruise or not, ok maybe it was the 22nd, but I damn sure was on it with 5 other people. It might be ok for you to be taken advantage of, but not me. I probably won't get any refund from Princess, but I will never take a Princess cruise again. We've gone on Carnival twice and had no problems with them, guess we'll stay with a sure thing.