Expecting to take alot of extra stuff when we cruise in March--just in case we are unlucky . & catch something. Does anyone know if these hand sanitizers are really effective to any degree? Looking on the bright side but wanting to be prepared.....
I am taking some, I think they help. You would really have to use often I would think, like after you touch elevator buttons etc. Doesnt hurt to take some, I have a travel size I got at walmart for like a dollar.
Yes, the do help a lot..........
Work in a hospital. Even though we are constantly washing our has after each patient contact, we use them in between. Everyone knows the hospital is the best place to really catch something. (ie: ICU'S, Elevators, Cafe, Hallways, ect...)
Best advice - wash hands a lot for at least 1 full minute plenty of hot water & soap and use this in between. You don't need to be complusive with it, just smart.
Also, in your room, apply some to toilet seat, sink faucets & all door handles, shower floor, upon first uses. You'll be glad you did.
In terms of what steps the cruise lines take to control these virus problems, I would just like to note the following:
As we were preparing to board The Constellation out of New York in September, some staffers from Celebrity were running around frantically making a big deal about we had to fill out this "health survey" form prior to boarding because of problems or potential problems with the Noro Virus. We all filled out the forms, and nobody ever collected them. If this is an example of how efficiently the cruise lines address serious health problems, I'd say take every precaution on your own to prevent coming down with this virus, because it's every man for himself.
Regarding rooms, is it smart to take a cleaner....such as bleach and when you get in your room wipe down everything in the bathroom..also, phone, light switches, door knobs, remote, and balcony. Would this help?
That was excellent advice. Bleach is used in the labs to clean up a lot of things!
You can even find the packages of bleach wipes now available on the market.
Makes for easier travel and no chance of any spillage!
I am definitely taking some with us on our cruise next month. Also, and this may sound a bit obsessive, I am taking some of the sanitizing wipes, i.e. Lysol, etc to us in the cabin the first day. I am remembering past cruises where I saw the cabin steward use the same cleaning rag in multiple cabins.. hopefully they use a good disinfectant. I have read that Norwalk Virus shares many of the symptoms with other gastro-intestinal problems, i.e. those resulting from food poisoning. I am thinking that it may be a good idea to avoid the buffets.. I worry too much, I know.
Thanks, and I didn' realize that the bleach came in wipes. I hope they sell them in my local supermarket. Also, I never ever use my hand/fingers to for the elevator. I always use my elbow. My son always said I was strange for doing that. He was younger then and I didn't want him to turn into a clean frick....so I waited until he was a little older and told him why. On my last cruise I tried to hide the cleaner when the cabin steward was done cleaning but he came back and found it. I was going to go over the whole bathroom but didn't have a chance. Next time I will bring my own. Also, I will be bringing my own plastic cups....for the room. Still think I may be safer just going to an all inclusive Island.
In response to your post. How do you avoid the buffets? The Windjammer is buffet and isn't that where you always eat breakfast and lunch?
Just got off the Serenade, and they hand sanatizing stations at the entrance to EVERY restaurant and when you were getting back on the ship. They also had someone there to MAKE SURE you sanatized. Basically, you stick your hand under it, and it squirted sanatizer on for you.
Good to hear about the availability of hand sanitzer. Looking back at my previous post, "avoid" may have been the wrong word.. be selective about the foods chosen at the buffet. There are often made to order items available at the buffets, probably a better choice to have the food directly handed to you by the preparer than to select something that is self-serve.. just an idea. Buffets on dry land make me equally nervous>>
I am going to stop worrying about it, take the necessary precautions and hopefully.. have a really good time..
Does anyone know if the Voyager has hand santizing stations set up as the Serenade does? And if they have something standing by to make sure that you used it. I like that, I hope this is not just enforced due to the break out. This is something they should do all the TIME.
The sanitizer / lysol wipes sound like a good idea.
Just a word of caution however about taking a bottle of bleach or some other liquid with you if you are flying, the TSA may not let you board an aircraft with what might be considered a "Hazardous Material". Not sure, but just a thought.
Bad experience on-board the Fantasy a few years ago. They just don't seem to care about the passengers who take the 3-4 day cruises. I have heard wonderful things about their newer ships: Destiny, etc.. but just wasn't satisfied with the condition of the ship: old furnishings, curtains falling apart, stains on upholestry and a really not great smell on several of the decks. The Fantasy would be beautiful if there was some TLC put back into her.. but, it means dry docking her (as RCI did with Sovereign back in November). The staff was absolutely wonderful, though!
According to our infection control "experts" (I work in a hospital), the hand sanitizers really do work. if your hands are"clean". If your hands are dirty, (after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, cleaning up a spill...) then you need soap and water. Otherwise, go for a sanitizer!
Also, my father-in-law (a microbiologist) laughs about Lysol. Guess he thinks it doesn't work very well. Bleach, however, is very effective at killing most "germs". The bleach wipes seem like a good idea. The bleach really needs to stay on the surface for 10 minutes to work best, so the wipes should do this.
BTW, did you know that one of the dirtiest places is the kitchen sink? In my last micro class we grew more organisms from a kitchen sink (don't remeber if it was mine) then we did from the door knob, public counter, toothbrush, paper money, coins, and a variety of other surfaces. Yuck!
Sis - You don't HAVE to use the Windjammer for breakfast and lunch. There is always at least one dining room that serves these meals too. They are not open as long as the Windjammer is though...check your cruise compass daily.
Grandeur of the Seas - June 2002
Navigator of the Seas - July 2003
Legend of the Seas - June 2004
Thanks for all the info--our packing list just got even longer. When I posted this I did not expect so many replies or that I would be taken seriously--but I guess we all have the same things on our minds. Hopefully all our ships will be thoroughly scrubbed by the time we cruise or it will be past the season--does anyone know when the Norwalk season it ends if it ends?
dimama - there was a piece on 20/20 that microwaving your sponges does NOT kill all the germs because of the microwave hitting only certain spots. That's why you have to stir and rotate the plates, etc. They said it was better to soak the sponges in a mixture of water and bleach. Sandy
Thanks for the info. I don't know any statistics about microwaving and sponge germ killing. But I wouldn't be surprised to hear it doesn't work. I would definately believe water and bleach, though. Bleach is the best. Probably want to make sure it is well rinsed, though.
Actually, I only use my sponge for realitively clean dish washing. Anything icky goes in the dishwasher or is washed separately by hand. If I am concerned that the sponge is contaminated, I throw it away. We have very few episodes of vomiting/diarrhea in this house, so I think it works.
And and as far as stirring and rotating dishes....when people wash their hands, they think it is the soap getting rid of the germs. It really isn't; its the rubbing. Friction and the running water gets rid of them. Makes sense it would be the same with dishes.
As far as a "season" for Norwalk, I doubt there is one. Gastroenteritis kind of peaks a few times a year, but is around all the time.
Once again I can't stress the importantance of good hand washing.
Hot water and soap, it's cheap and still one of the very best preventions out there!
In between handling anything, use the hand sanitizer.
No one is germ free, we carry them around with us daily (good/bad ones).
As another fellow poster once said, you will probably encounter the most germs in your local market.
Don't worry, you'll be fine, have fun, just use a little common sense.
purell hand sanitizers is excellent have a friend that works at the cdc as a infections control manger. our last cruise with rcl there was a water main break and we had no water for a few hours so please take purell with you
Here is somethings we have done in the past to prevent getting sick, not only the elevator buttons carry germs, and the door handles, but have you ever considered this, when you sit down at the dining table, you pull your chair up by holding onto the seat...then you take the menu which has possibly been handled by others. If someone has come to that same table without cleaning his hands and pulls the chair up..there you go, you are going to pick up the germs there, and the menu especially if it is in a leather binder, could be crawing with all kinds of things. We have made it a habit of waiting until we order and then when the menu is gone we use the Purell hand cleaner, this goes for resturants too! I love the idea of going over the room with lysol wipes, and remember that the phone,tv.remote and light switches are where you want to really clean, not just the bathroom, but anything that will come into contact with someones hands who may have just came out of the bathroom without washing! YUCK!!
One more thing, I don't know if you all know about a couple of great products on the market. One was recently on Oprah's show it is called Airborne, it is for use in airplanes, resturants offices, theaters or any place where there are lots of people.
You take it at the first sign of a cold or before entering a crowded environment. IT works!
Also we use the nose spray, Zicam before we get on the plane. This is a zinc product that actually kills the cold germs in your nose where they start! It also shortens the length of a cold if you do get one.It is a great product. My doctor told me to use this whenever we travel and we do that a lot, she says most of the time you pick up things on the airplane, so by the time you are at sea it has been a few days and you think you got it on the ship. We use both of these products everytime we travel.She is such a strong beliver in this that she sells it in her office for the same price as walmart.
As far as I know, Voyager does not have sanitizing stations (that is, there were none on- board last October). I found some 1/2 ounce bottles of Purell Hand Sanitizer, that came in a niffty blue and white holder, with a clip to attach to a neckstrap. So, I bought two of the small bottles to carry around, and, a very large pump bottle to refill the small bottles. Not only convenient, but, lots of people asked where did I find them. CVS has them, so does Duane Reade (for you folks in the New York City area)