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-   -   Beware Norovirus epidemic on Crown Princess! (https://www.fodors.com/community/cruises/beware-norovirus-epidemic-on-crown-princess-916094/)

jacketwatch Dec 29th, 2011 06:34 AM

One thing for cartainis this topic is drawing in a lot of 1st time poster.s

Lbloom. I think you have some good points but also I think as stated you stretched a few things quite a bit as have others who no doubt expected a lot due to these inconveniences. Well you can't anticipate the personal needs bsed on this of so many. No one can. Bottom line is folks were really put out but be reasonable inre to what the cruise line could have done. Fresh flowers? Maybe they were too busy cleaning.

jacketwatch Dec 29th, 2011 07:05 AM

Well dogster looks like you are getting your wish granted. :D I really don't mean to minimize anyone's disappointment. However we too had NV on our last cruise and we both got it. Our responses are no where near what I have read here. You can read my TR to see if you like. For me its a matter of perspective.

We were once on a Princess cruise to Alaska and due to ship conjestion had to tender into Juneau as all the slots were taken. This was unanticipated and let me tell you I thought princess could have done way better in terms of organizing the tender allocation process. Now much of the chaios was b/c many passengers had scheduled private excursions and were in jeopardy fo lsoing their money if they could not exit in time. I heard plent. One guy even said he was going to tell all his friends not to use Princess. Like that would help.


Well we have taken Princess 3 times since then w/o a glitch. If you read my TR you will see the issue we had with the special food request my wife had which has been met satisfactorily on all the other cruises, 8 in all prior to this, that we have been on. The best cruise line to eet this request. Princess by a landslide. Our Alaskan crusie with Princess was our first with them BTW and there ahve been 3 more since then. If we nixed them from our choices b/c of the incident in Juneau we would have missed out on three other wonderful cruises. Like I said its a matter of perspective. Thats my point. JM2C.

dogster Dec 29th, 2011 09:12 AM

Alas, jacket - I fear reason has no part in this discussion. Well, actually, it isn't a discussion, is it? More a series of speeches. This topic has nothing whatsoever to do with 'warning' prospective customers - this is pure pay-back.

Here's more:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1535569

but that's all. For a ship with 3,400 traumatised passengers I'd expect a lot, lot more - but then, probably, this is quite enough.

jacketwatch Dec 29th, 2011 09:20 AM

Buddy this is too correct. I was about to post a sort of Pontius Pilot. :D I hear ya. As the old monk said in the TV series "Kung Fu" when Cain was able (no pun intened:D) to snatch the pebble from his hand, "time to go." Thus the journey began. :-) I wonder if anyone remembers this. Or should they. Some neat trivia I think. :S-

Eschew Dec 29th, 2011 01:08 PM

You can get NV anywhere, example: a college campus, a resort, etc. Any time you have lots of people gathered together, and personal hygiene were not attended to, tehre is a risk of outbreak.

Wash hands often, don't touch anything potentially dangerous (public washroom door handles, railings on stair cases etc). I always dry my hands with paper towel and I use the paper towel to open teh door, not touching the dirty door handle with my clean hand.

Precautions, precautions, orecautions.

jacketwatch Dec 29th, 2011 02:33 PM

BTW if you read what I said I did get NV.

jacketwatch Dec 29th, 2011 03:13 PM

One more thing. If you did read anything I said I did find fault or more aptly found areas that could have been better. And I did note them and point them out and did end up with a satisfactory reply. What I did not do was try to lampoon the cruise line over imperfections. Life isn't perfect. We all are entitled to our opinions dear. When you post them on the www you should, I think expect a difference of opinion and be tolerant. You can't expect everyone to agree with you and get so obviously frustrated if some do. I have an opinion too and have tried to express it w/o getting personal. Unlike you.

That thing about John Carradine is really weird to me but hey, its your opinion.

My last words are (I think) klatu barada nicto. :D

BjorkChop Dec 29th, 2011 05:03 PM

Close enough jacketwatch, what could possibly go wrong?

dogster Dec 30th, 2011 12:48 AM

Awww - I missed the deleted comment. No fun. The personal and abusive posts are always the best.

jacketwatch Dec 30th, 2011 03:52 AM

I could say but best leave it alone. BTW lest someone think the above is somehow profane see below :D
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klaatu_barada_nikto

sideways721 Jan 3rd, 2012 09:55 AM

I was on the Crown Princess December 17th through 24th. I read LBloom's comments on December 25th when we returned home.
It has taken me some time to digest (no pun intended) what occurred before embarkation and during the cruise.

I agree with much of what LBloom commented about the pre embarkation situation. I thought exactly the same thing, we felt like passengers being processed at Ellis Island. Princess should have provided some entertainment and food while passengers waited 4 to 5 hours to board. We did NOT receive an email noting the norovirus outbreak. I feel that we should have been notified, and been allowed to rebook the cruise if we so desired. That is probably not normal booking protocol. I would have rebooked the cruise, because I had a stomach bug December 5th and was miserable for a few days. I really didn't think it through, and did not ask if we could rebook. We had two balcony cabins booked for ourselves and daughters.

So, as LBloom noted,embarkation was disorganized, crew looked exhausted, and dinner was extremely slow the first night. About 2 1/2 hours. Our waitresses were rude. Later in the cruise I requested another table. Service was better. We never ate at our assigned table again. The next morning we arrived to Princess Cays, Princess' private island. We slept in a bit and wanted to go around 11 a.m. Forget it. Line was an hour long trailing through the dining room, international cafe, and piazza area to get a ticket to then wait again for a tender. We were told a couple tenders were out of service. We did wait, although many couples and families did not. By the time we got to Princess Cays, we had a couple hours to enjoy the beach and sunshine.

I am prone to seasickness. On the tender back to the ship, there was the smell of fuel and some rocking up and down (normal stuff). I went to my cabin and was sick. As we were leaving Princess Cays, the captain announced that we would have rough seas ahead. My husband and I discussed whether I should get the seasick injection and maybe some pills. I decided to go to the Medical office (big mistake). I told them I had vomited in my room. I had no fever, and no diarrhea. I was told that if I had vomited more than once ( I told them it was one incident, maybe 3 times in a row...sorry to be so descriptive) that I needed to be quarantined for 48 hours. I couldn't believe it. The nurse said it was required, etc. Well, I argued, but knew it would do no good. I wanted to cry.I got an injection of phenergan. It made me drowsy and I did sleep early and watch a movie that night, while my husband and daughters enjoyed a nice dinner in the anytime dining room.

Luckily, we had a day at sea the next day. I received the medical bill the next morning and the diagnosis was acute gastroenteritis. I called and told them I had motion sickness. I was told if one vomited, it was "acute gastroenteritis." Now, get this. I could only order soup, or poached chicken, or salmon from room service. I called to order a club sandwich and was told "not doctor's recommendation." I felt fine! I told them the sandwich was for my husband. Of course my husband and daughters would have brought me pizza, or cheeseburger, or whatever I wanted if I asked. My daughers ordered cake and cookies one afternoon when we were at sea. We got a call in our stateroom (my husband answered the phone) asking if I had ordered this and it was not allowed! Can you imagine?? I was flabbergasted and infuriated. Well, my sentence was over about 3 p.m. when we got to Curacao. The room was thoroughly sanitized, all cups etc. were removed in red biohazard bags. My husband and daughters took a shore excursion and I met them afterwards.

Seas had been rough going to Curacao. I had no more episodes of seasickness. But, many people did. My husband heard the "buzz" on the ship. Ladies saying "did you hear about the two boys who can't leave their room? Emily is sick but she won't say anything or she will have to stay in her room." Etc. Etc. By the time we left Curacao we were told we would have gale force winds and 6 meter waves. There was a rush on bonine and acupressure bracelets for seasickness. Seasick bags were placed everywhere. People vomited. Were these people quarantined? I don't think so. Half the ship would have been in their rooms. Lucky for me, I got the last three bracelets. I never got seasick again,just the day of the tender. I was told by two crew members that the captain was "new" as the regular captain was on Holiday for that week, and that this captain always "raced" everywhere, had rough seas, etc. I found that strange that two crew members would make these remarks to me unsolicited. One was a lady in the gift shop, and one was our waiter at the Crown Grill.
Wouldn't it have been nice if Princess had waived our surcharge fee seeing that I had been quarantined for two days?

We have been on several cruises. Our Princess cruise to Alaska was great. No seasickness as the waters were cool. Great crew, service, etc. Princess couldn't do anything about rough seas, and rain at the ports, but service could have been improved in all areas. Many rude crew members, probably tired and overworked.

Purell was everywhere. Handwashing was emphasized. But, menus were used and handed to everyone. Also, the life jackets were used and handled, they hadn't been disinfected. I asked our steward about this. He told me the Aloha deck where we were located had been heavily hit the week before with the norovirus.

We were so excited for this Holiday cruise. A fun time planned before daughters go off to college. We are experienced travellers, not newbies, have lived in Europe and the Middle East, not complainers. This cruise was awful.
I don't know if I will ever cruise again because of this experience.

Sassafrass Jan 3rd, 2012 12:05 PM

How awful for you. What a crummy experience.

It was interesting what the crew said to you about the captain "racing" everywhere.

On one of our cruises with Crown Princess, the captain was extremely cautious and some passengers complained about delays. For example, we waited an hour in the harbor at Marseille for a storm to pass. A crew member told us passengers always coplained about that captain, but the captain said he had never lost a ship and did not intend to risk the lives of 5,000+ passengers and crew to try and out run a storm. I very much appreciated that.

He was always making announcements and kept everybody updated on everything going on and why. During that one cruise there was a report of a man overboard (not true but we were delayed while Coast Guard did a search), a person had a heart attack (we had to double back for a medical evacuation) and two passengers went missing, but were found a couple of hours later, plus delay due to the storm. We felt the captain was really in charge of and on top of everything. As a matter of fact, on four cruises so far, that is the only time we felt the captain was such an integral part of the experience. He actually made a difference in our cruise experience - much better because of him and his interaction with passengers.

We would love to be on a cruise with him again. He was also smart, funny and charming. Every crew member we spoke with seemed to know him quite well. They laughingly described some of their meetings with him, but they respected his knowledge and integrity. Even his name is great: Nick Nash - sounds like a name for the hero of a Harlequin Romance.

Would you share who your captain was? I might like to avoid a cruise with him.

sideways721 Jan 3rd, 2012 12:26 PM

Sassafrass, Nick Nash was our captain.
Local pilots were brought in to negotiate the ports. I don't know how much experience he has in the Caribbean. He did say the gale force winds were unusual. I certainly don't blame him for rough seas. We were about an hour late to Curacao.
He made announcements the day we left Princess Cays on way to Curacao that it would be rough (that was when I went to the Medical center) and when we left Aruba that it would be rough.
Other than that, he made an annoucement every day about norovirus and to continue hand washing.

He did seem to be a charming fellow at the Captain's cocktail party. The crew member's remarks were interesting in that they were unsolicited, and occurred after some signficant rocking of the vessel.

I forgot to mention that during the night on the sail to Curacao, my daughter was plopped out of the bed and hit her nose on the nightstand. Blood all over the comforter the next morning.For this, we probably should have went to Medical Center as a precaution. Her nose was broke last Summer when a boy smashed her nose when jumping off a trampoline. Captain Nash did warn everyone not to put their teeth in a glass of water next to them on the nightstand, as they may wake up to Jaws. Or thinking it was Jaws.

Sassafrass Jan 3rd, 2012 01:07 PM

Very funny that we had the same captain and such different impressions.

Captain Nash is one of the most experienced captains working for Princess and is certainly not new to Crown Princess. As a matter of fact, I think he is the main captain for that ship (at least nine months of the year). He may have been on leave and returned in an emergency, but from what I read about him he is probably the most qualified of anyone to sail Crown Princess. He is known for his knowledge of navigational techniques, studied at the Royal Navy School of Navagation and teaches. Port pilots are required in many ports around the world. Each one is the expert in that particular port, so that was normal.

It is still odd, the racing thing. I know reports were written about him when he refused to sail into some place in Alaska because iceburgs were too unpredictable in the area at the time, and he refused to dock in a port when he thought winds were too high to do it safely. I hope he isn't bowing to pressure to sail no matter what. I so appreciated his integrity in doing what he thought was best for our safety on our cruise, it would be sad to think that might have changed. I wonder if any of the "racing" was to avoid some storms or winds. I would like to think that.

It is an obvious bias on my part because he impressed me so much that after the cruise, I read everything I could find out about him, and was even more impressed.

Sassafrass Jan 3rd, 2012 01:42 PM

Sideways, wanted to add, your trip does sound really horrible. Everything came together to create a bad experience. From my limited experience, it seems cruises are more prone to that than other kinds of trips. When they are good, they are wonderful. When things go wrong, you are stuck. It sure wasn't great for many on our cruise to Israel.

jacketwatch Jan 3rd, 2012 02:23 PM

Wow Sass you are back with a fury. :D I see a lot of posts. Good to see you are posting again. BTW can you tell me what is the attraction in Cappodocia? Believe it or not we are thinking of returning to Turkey, loved it so much. Cheers, Larry ;-)

Sassafrass Jan 3rd, 2012 03:24 PM

Hi jacket,

I've been posting, but very lazy about a trip report - yours was so great! I promise to write one in the next couple of days. Don't want to hijack this one too much, but we loved Turkey also and would love to go back. Basically, Cappadocia is a unique landscape with incredible history and culture. You would especially love that part. I will write more in a report, but I am sure you would find the area very interesting because you like to learn about things in depth.

Sassafrass Jan 3rd, 2012 05:54 PM

Had time to think about it. Jacket, I hope Sideways did not think I was posting with "fury." I actually did think it was funny as in humorous that I was going on about how great the captain on our cruise was and asked who hers was and it was the same. It must be hard for a crew to get used to different captains, especially if they have very different personalities.

sideways721 Jan 3rd, 2012 06:41 PM

Hello again! Since Turkey was mentioned... we sailed on the MTS Oceanos ship run by Epirotiki Lines in the Summer of 1986. My husband and I sailed out of Athens to Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodos, and Ephesus. The Oceanos was definitely a 2 star or less in quality.

We were seated at the Captain's table for dinner the night we left Ephesus. Sometime after that, I saw the captain being interviewed on Nightline. He had abandoned ship with other crew when the ship sunk off Cape Horn. Many Dateline, 20/20 documentaries detailed this saga. In case you don't remember
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MTS_Oceanos

Sassafrass, yes, interesting how people's experiences are different. I saw no "fury" in your post by the way. :) Yes, maybe Captain Nash was racing to beat the storm, maybe the crew didn't like him because he had different protocol, etc.
The crew members did behave as if he was the "substitute" for the regular Captain.

There was a death on the Crown Princess the week before our sailing. A man had eaten mussels on shore, and died of anaphylaxis a couple hours later on the ship. My daughter has severe tree nut, latex, and shellfish allergies. She carries an epipen at all times. I was surprised to hear that anaphylaxis can take that long to affect someone.

sideways721 Jan 3rd, 2012 06:43 PM

I also didn't intend to hijack the thread. Sorry.


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