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Be careful out there ...

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Just returned from a cruise (Jan 18-25, 2014 Caribbean Princess) and we were delayed from boarding due to the "extra cleaning". We got an email prior to departure that advise us boarding will start at 2 pm instead. The reason for the delay: Gastroenteritis on board the last cruise. Through out the cruise, extra steps were taken to limit the potentials of contacting the virus such as no self service anywhere, period. Not even salt and pepper or sugar pouches. Everything was handled by a staff, even the beverage stations. It was a lot of extra work for the staff, and they worked longer hours as stations were manned when it was normally self service.

After we got back home today (Jan 26), this was on the news: CDC reported that as of January 24, 2014, on board the Explorer of the Seas, 281 of 3,050 passengers have reported symptoms that resemble norovirus. In addition 22 of 1,165 crew members have reported symptoms. This is the second Royal Caribbean ship this month to suffer the effects of a norovirus outbreak, with Majesty of the Seas having one last week. It was also reported that between 5-19, 2014, on board the Norwegian Star, 130 of 2318 passengers and 12 of 1039 crew members have reported symptoms that resemble norovirus.

Obviously, the Caribbean Princess's case was either not as wide spread (not reported by CDC yet) or had not hit the reports just yet.

All I can say is that it is all very avoidable if everyone exercise a bit of caution. Attached below is a link to the Centers for Disease Control's feature article on Staying Healthy on a Cruise. If you are new to cruising, you should read and bookmark this page. And for all the seasoned cruisers, it doesn't hurt to remind yourself from time to time the safety precautions.

What else do you do to make sure you do not get sick while on board?

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