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Old June 9th, 2009, 03:26 PM
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Default Illness aboard Adventure of the Seas

We just returned from a cruise on the Adventure of the Seas. It was possibly the worst cruise we had ever taken because three of our family members became ill while on board. We then heard that the doctors were overwhelmed with cases, and only two doctors and a couple of nurses were available.

Wondering if any of you have been on this ship in the last couple of weeks (May 2009 to the present) and if you learned of any illnesses.

This was our 8th or 9th cruise and third with Royal Caribbean so we are experienced cruises but had never had to deal with being sick and having a short staffed and overwhelmed ship medical team. We have a hunch that either they did not sanitize our rooms properly and there were sick people in the rooms before us, of they allowed sick people on board and did not contain them.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 04:40 PM
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Sorry this happened to you. I was just on the Adventure of the Seas last fall and I found the ship to be kept extremely clean.

2 Doctors is standard for a cruise ship. On every RCI cruise I've been on, I recall their being 2 doctors onboard when the Captain would intorduce the ships officers during one event or another. There are few medical establishments in the US today that aren't understaffed! Just walk into any major hospital emergency department.

I doubt it was anyone from the previous cruise, probably brought on by someone from your cruise. There is no way any cruise line can fully screen every single passenger as they embark. The incubation periods are variable depending on the disease, so it is possible for someone to walk on the ship looking perfectly fine and being very contagious and not get sick for a couple of days. When the cruise line finds a sick passenger, they are confined to their cabin for atleast 2 - 3 days to keep the disease from spreading. The cruise lines work very hard to keep disease off their ships.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: Illness aboard Adventure of the Seas

Quote:
Originally Posted by colojd
We just returned from a cruise on the Adventure of the Seas. It was possibly the worst cruise we had ever taken because three of our family members became ill while on board. We then heard that the doctors were overwhelmed with cases, and only two doctors and a couple of nurses were available.

Wondering if any of you have been on this ship in the last couple of weeks (May 2009 to the present) and if you learned of any illnesses.

This was our 8th or 9th cruise and third with Royal Caribbean so we are experienced cruises but had never had to deal with being sick and having a short staffed and overwhelmed ship medical team. We have a hunch that either they did not sanitize our rooms properly and there were sick people in the rooms before us, of they allowed sick people on board and did not contain them.
They weren't short staffed. That is the normal compliment of medical staff for almost any ship.

It's a shame some members of your party became ill. I know it would upset me, however that is one of the problems with a ship. Too many people in too tight quarters.

I doubt you can blame you room stewards for not sanitizing properly. That is highly unlikely. It is more likely that someone either knowingly or unknowingly brought it onboard. If it was "left over" from the previous cruise most likely you would have seen signs of extreme cleaning when you boarded.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 09:35 PM
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Thank you both for your replies.

We had never gotten sick on a cruise before but this taught us a very valuable lesson. If you do become sick and many others are as well, then small medical staff just cannot keep up with the demand. It is a very helpless feeling.

Our daughter was told she had to stay in her room for the rest of the trip not just 2 - 3 days. We purchased trip insurance luckily but that did not help us when we asked for them just to release us so we could leave the ship and go home. We never thought that we would be in this situation. My husband was told by one of the doctors "unless you are dying, don't bother us, we are overwhelmed with sick passengers". Please stop and consider how you would feel if you were told this. It also meant that some people who were sick just gave up and went out in public on the boat despite being sick.

I honestly never gave much thought to what it would be like to experience this because you always hope that if you need medical help it will be there, competent and available. It is very scary when that does not happen.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 10:56 PM
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Was this a respiratory illness?

Or one involving vomiting and diarrhea?

Unless you drove to your port, don't forget the plane trip. Being cooped up for 4 or so hours, with very little fresh air = petri dish of incubating illnesses.

How many days into the trip did your party become sick?

Usual incubation times are typically 48 hours from first exposure, to first symptoms.
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Old June 10th, 2009, 01:52 PM
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We arrived by plane in San Juan on Saturday, 5/30. None of us were sick. Went around San Juan the next day and all still were fine, boarding the ship midafternoon on 5/31. Did the typical things before sailing - life drill, went around the boat, ate dinner onboard, etc. Sailed out that evening, all still fine.

Next day we were at sea, all still fine all day. So this is well beyond 48 hours of what we could have been exposed to on a plane.

Daughter became ill Tuesday morning. She was kept separate from us the rest of the trip. My husband did not get sick until Saturday, 6/6. So not likely what they got was contracted on the plane.
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Old June 10th, 2009, 01:53 PM
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We arrived by plane in San Juan on Saturday, 5/30. None of us were sick. Went around San Juan the next day and all still were fine, boarding the ship midafternoon on 5/31. Did the typical things before sailing - life drill, went around the boat, ate dinner onboard, etc. Sailed out that evening, all still fine.

Next day we were at sea, all still fine all day. So this is well beyond 48 hours of what we could have been exposed to on a plane.

Daughter became ill Tuesday morning. She was kept separate from us the rest of the trip. My husband did not get sick until Saturday, 6/6. So not likely what they got was contracted on the plane.
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Old June 10th, 2009, 07:48 PM
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Sorry to hear about the illnesses you experienced. However some of the illness prevention measures are the responsibility of the passengers and not solely the cruiseline. I know there are thousands of people onboard when we cruise all exposed to various germs from the people they are exposed to on there way to the ships and on there own hygene and living conditions. By realizing this I always make sure my family does there best to try and lower there risk of exposure. We always use clean towels, wash our hands frequently and I am always on my teenagers cases to not rub there hands along the walls or to use the handrails. Before meals we always use hand sanitizer and bring our own in case the ship doesn't have them available (Walmart has really cool ones that look like a pen and can be refilled) We take vitamins and try to keep ourselves as healthy as possible on the weeks before any cruise. We also take a small first aid kit with allergy meds, pain relievers and sunburn relief spray, just in case. We have always noticed ship employees cleaning during the cruise and am impressed at how much cleaning we do see. When departing have noticed them wiping down all doorknobs, handrails both in hallways and on stairs and the elevator doors and buttons. With the extremely large number of guests who travel each week it is amazing at how low the illness rate really is. Unfortunately some people still get sick occasionally and who knows where your family got sick. How many ports had you visited before they got sick and what kind of places and food were you in contact with off the ship?
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Old June 11th, 2009, 06:13 PM
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Thank you for your comments. Each of the preventative things you mentioned, we had done. We would never use dirty towels. We always used clean ones, washed our hands, had hand wipes, etc but three of the five of us got sick.

There can always be sick people onboard a ship but in this case, we took extra measures because of the flu epidemic and still got sick. We saw lot of people walking around coughing and sneezing without covering it.

I kept a pocketful of hand wipes and used them continually. On our voyage, it was a different scenaio. Not just people here and there sick with sea sickness or whatever - the doctors apparently were overwhelmed with viral and bacterial infections - loads of it.

We had a hunch possibly there were people with these infections who occupied our rooms the week before and they just didn't take care to disinfect it correctly. You can wash you hands, use clean towels, hand sanitizers, etc but if they did not change the pillow used by a sick person the week before and just popped on a new pillowcase, then there is not much you can do to help avoid getting sick. I know, that is a gross thought but it probably is what happened to our family members. They like to turn over the boats quickly and get people onboard early which allows them to begin selling early in the trip.

We are not new to traveling, we have traveled a lot in many parts of the world, by plane, train, ship and never gotten sick. I think simply in this case, it is a different situation out there - lots of flu out there and people still traveling from place to place while ill. Add to that that the ships, hotels or whatever have to do fast turnover and have never really done deep cleaning or disinfecting on a regular basis and this just compounds the problems.

I am glad you have not gotten sick. It is especially confining if you get sick on a ship, the staff is overwhelmed and you cannot leave your room, it is a very distressing scenario. I hope that you and your family never have to experience it!

Take care.
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Old June 11th, 2009, 08:13 PM
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It appears the Adventure is still considered a "sick" ship as it wasn't allowed to port in Antigua and St. Lucia this week.

However, I really feel you are trying to blame the staff of the ship for your illness and as much as I don't make a habit of defending the cruiselines, I believe you must accept that this happens from time to time and there are many reasons. Usually though, it is a passenger/s who bring it onboard.

Yes, they do a quick turn around. And yes, although I have never thought of it before I suppose you are quite right in saying they don't change the pillows each cruise. However and for future reference, you can ask for different pillows. (I'm not really sure that would help.)

Until passengers realize they are pretty well always the culprit with these types of illness and start to stay home (I also believe that is going to happen when the hot place freezes over) this is going to be a continuing problem. The bigger the ship, the more passengers, the more "bugs".
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Old June 12th, 2009, 08:26 AM
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I think it was a combination of widespread illness brought aboard by the passenegers and the staff just not being able to keep up with it. I am not "blaming" the cruise staff, just stating a fact.

We have been onboard ships where lots of people got sick because they ate off the ship, there was loads of sea sickness because of rough seas and the like, but what happened here was a contagious illness being rapidly spread around. There were no screenings at any airport we were at nor coming onboard the ship to check for sick people, so this was also something that maybe could have stopped or at least slowed down what happened.

In this case, we have a worldwide problem with illnesses so it truly is hard to contain and travelers take the risk of catching something as they always do.
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Old June 12th, 2009, 10:45 AM
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The AoS seems to have more problems on average than the other Voyager class ships by far. I wonder why? I know I'm not sailing her again, too many other options.
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Old June 13th, 2009, 01:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoozeman
The AoS seems to have more problems on average than the other Voyager class ships by far. I wonder why? I know I'm not sailing her again, too many other options.
How weird, but I will remember it. I am not sure how long a virus can live on a pillow, especially one covered with a case. This sounded like a virus because it apparently was respiratory given the coughing. How horrible to have a trip ruined. Why wouldn't they be allowed to disembark and fly home? Criminy, sounds like a prison -- I would have just done it. What are they going to do -- sue you for not consuming services for the rest of the cruise -- they got their money.

I do all the usual precautions mentioned, but I have a new weapon in my take on medicine kit -- elderberry capsules. It is supposed to knock out viruses very quickly. I started looking for a natural product when the swine flu started in case the tamiflu was limited, which it would be if the thing went wild.
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Old June 13th, 2009, 10:38 AM
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Elderberry is a great product, we use it ourselves but didn't think to grab it on the way out the door. Now we will probably travel with it all the time.
I will also travel with the disinfecting wipes and just do a quick rundown of the room. It does make you feel like a germaphobe, but I guess it is better than catching something and then being confined to your room.

We could not get the ship's doctor to allow us off the boat. They said if we tried to leave, that an alarm would sound when our cruise card was scanned. So you are pretty much stuck. They did tell us that one man insisted to be let off the boat so he could get home but that the CDC gave them a hard time. Unfortunately, we didn't know what really was accurate and what was being told to us to keep us under their control.

We knew about the stuff going around now such as the flu but like many, you just don't think it can hit you. It certainly did not stop us for going on our trip but we did pick the cruise to the Caribbean, rather than to Mexico, for obvious reasons, but with so many people worldwide travelers, things get spread around.

I heard the other day that normally flu and other things like this wear out as soon as the warm weather comes around, but since the southern hemishpere is going into fall/winter, it might stick around longer since the illnesses are appearing there as well.

Hope you all stay well and if you are going on a trip, that it goes well. Just take precautions, keep those wipes handy for things like the pool area and casino, etc.
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Old June 16th, 2009, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colojd
Elderberry is a great product, we use it ourselves but didn't think to grab it on the way out the door. Now we will probably travel with it all the time.
I will also travel with the disinfecting wipes and just do a quick rundown of the room. It does make you feel like a germaphobe, but I guess it is better than catching something and then being confined to your room.

We could not get the ship's doctor to allow us off the boat. They said if we tried to leave, that an alarm would sound when our cruise card was scanned. So you are pretty much stuck. They did tell us that one man insisted to be let off the boat so he could get home but that the CDC gave them a hard time. Unfortunately, we didn't know what really was accurate and what was being told to us to keep us under their control.

We knew about the stuff going around now such as the flu but like many, you just don't think it can hit you. It certainly did not stop us for going on our trip but we did pick the cruise to the Caribbean, rather than to Mexico, for obvious reasons, but with so many people worldwide travelers, things get spread around.

I heard the other day that normally flu and other things like this wear out as soon as the warm weather comes around, but since the southern hemishpere is going into fall/winter, it might stick around longer since the illnesses are appearing there as well.

Hope you all stay well and if you are going on a trip, that it goes well. Just take precautions, keep those wipes handy for things like the pool area and casino, etc.
Geesh, never thought of the cdc giving a ship trouble, but I can see that happening. I guess the moral of the story is not to tell the ship you are sick, and walk off, and call them from the airport -- it really was a prison for you.

Yes, this swine flu that so many thought was overhyped could come back with a vengeance like in 1918, so the disease experts are tryng to pay close attention to S. America to see what happens, if it mutates, or what.
I read the other day that the UK was in a dither because they were reporting 100 new cases a day, mostly in Scotland, and I have friends who are about to go over there for a huge meeting of clans for a big anniversary that Scotland is holding all year.
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Old June 16th, 2009, 06:57 PM
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I'm still not clear what illness you had as you say you "got sick" - do you mean vomiting, or were you all in the middle of a flu epidemic?
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Old June 18th, 2009, 11:43 AM
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They are now reporting that this ship is quarantained for 1 week.

"Ocean Dream (Pullmantur) will be quarantained for 1 whole week when she gets back this Friday to her homeport of Aruba.

Nobody will be allowed to leave the ship for 1 week. All 1300 crew/passengers will remain onboard!

It is assumed that over 50 people onboard are affected with the mexican flu."
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Old June 18th, 2009, 06:42 PM
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Hello Fellowcruisers,

I got sick on board an RCCL cruise ship (no, not AOS). I did not know which end to administer to first. There was the ship virus making it's way around at that time. Good thing we were on a 12-night cruise!

I stayed in my cabin for a couple of days, and the RCCL ship personnel came into my cabin to clean the bathroom (at my husband's request), which they did.

Needless to say, passengers need to take better care with regards to washing their hands!!

As we headed into the cafeteria (before I got sick), the ship's personnel were handing out wipes to everyone before we reached the food and handled the utensil's. I heard one passenger say she had already washed her hands!! Duh, how many times did this passenger press an elevator button or use the handrales, etc?

Some passengers do not even wash their hands after using the restroom!

It is not the cruiseline that spreads this illness as they do a great job of keeping the ship's as germ-free as possible which is a monumental task.


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Old June 29th, 2009, 04:33 PM
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Matelot, two of our family members were told they had "influenza A" so had bad cold type symptoms of fever, chills, scratchy or sore throat, etc. Our son in law became sick and they told him he had a "bacterial throat infection" - they did not do any culture of his throat, just told him that he did not test postive for flu A and that he had a throat infection and had to stay in his cabin for two days.

One of the two doctors onboard the ship told us that one passenger reported being ill and they said he had influenza B and because he insisted, he was allowed to go home but they refused to let us go, even though we purchased trip insurance just for a reason like this.

Elf, sorry to hear about your illness. We did not have the diahrerra problem with the family members luckily but too bad you had to ask for someone to come and clean your bathroom. I kept washing my hands an kept a pocketful of wet wipes handy at all times. I am sure that the machines in the casino, computer keyboards, elevator buttons - all are very contaminated and the whole time we were onboard, never saw these widely used items being wiped down. The cabin steward made a point to tell us that they wipe off the remote control in each room, but probably little else. They want to turn over these rooms quickly so probably do not do a lot of complete cleaning.
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Old June 30th, 2009, 07:45 PM
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Hello Colojd,

In answer to my reply about the cabin steward's coming into our cabin when I got sick, I requested that they DO NOT because I was so sick. Also, if you are sick in your cabin, the cabin steward's clean your cabin last (so that they do not spread your illness to other passenger's cabins). This was told to me by our cabin steward.

We also purchased trip insurance, but I never thought to leave the ship to go home.

Just for the record, when we went down to the doctor and had to pay for blood work, etc., you must submit these bills to your own insurance company first and whatever your insurance company does not pay for, the trip insurance company should...

elf
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