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How concerned are you about Norwalk virus if you are taking a cruise soon?

How concerned are you about Norwalk virus if you are taking a cruise soon?

Jan 25th, 2007, 01:32 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,098
How concerned are you about Norwalk virus if you are taking a cruise soon?

As an RN am aware that Norwalk virus is extremely common and not limited to cruise ships (currently outbreaks in residential facilities, nursing homes, etc in my area) and not reflective of generaly cleanliness of ship.

But am going on cruise next month with husband and daughter and the thought of possibly being sick and quarantined to my cabin is not a pleasant one. Besides hand washing, antiseptic hand gels, anyone taking any unusual precautions. We managed to navigate Egypt without any intestinal woes, and am wondering if we should skip the ship's buffets altogether to avoid getting sick.
gail is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 02:17 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Hi Gail. I am also a licensed R.N., and I avoided crusies for years due to this same thing. But now I have signed up for on my first one, and will not eat in the buffet. I prefer to eat in the main dining room as I have paid big bucks for the cruise and on my ship the main dining is available all 3 meals. It is said to be much higher quality dining experience and much better food than the buffets. And as you say, any ilness is likely more likley to spread in a buffet environment.

I got norovirus in my mother's nursing home a few years ago and ended up in the hospital for 5 days, NPO and sick as a dog. It can happen anywhere, and I've decided not to let that stop me from cruising. The cruise viruses get more press, but there are outbreaks of this everywhere across the U.S. in other captive environments that don't get the press coverage.
emd is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 03:09 PM
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I did worry a little (was on a cruise last week) so I used their anticeptic each time walking into a restaurant.

Other then that, I take daily vit. C and herbal flu prevention pills, get them in Chinatown in San Francisco.

Today in the news, QM2 got the outbreak, and they are coming to my city - San Francisco!! oh, irony
FainaAgain is offline  
Jan 25th, 2007, 03:49 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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We are leaving Sunday for a short one on the new Pearl. We have been on many cruises and so far so good. It is always a worry. I had some sort virus in Nov. right after Thanksgiving right here at home. I hope my luck holds out!!
diann is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 03:37 AM
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Thanks - even in the worst cases, they say only 10% of ship is ill. My opinion is that the reason cruise ships get so much press about this is that people are essentially captive on ship and pass it around to each other rather than staying home and being miserable like they would in the real world.

Now if I can just convince my husband that sushi is not the smartest thing to eat on a cruise ship...
gail is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 05:47 AM
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I am recovering from the virus after being on RCL Serenade of the Seas last week. Fortunately I became ill about midnight of our last night on the boat,but it was a terrible trip home being violently ill. Traveled Asia several time and have never had anything like this. I went to the ship DR. early morning before we got off the boat and was given a shot and immodium. They said I was the 15ith person for the week which is not that bad considering the numbers on the ship. I do think the ship was doing everything possible to prevent this as there are sanitizers everywhere, messages to wash your hands, and a person reminding you to use the sanitizer before you enter the dining room. I have been on 2 other cruises and never the problem-even one RCL one.
One of the guys at my night dining table was quarantined for 2 days so perhaps that was where I contracted it.
I cannot give any advice except maybe as someone suggested avoid the buffet at lunch( I did eat at them) and wash your hands as much as possible.
I wish you a wonderful trip as mine was perfect up to this point of the virus. I think you have to go and trust for the best.
maryanne1 is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 07:45 AM
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Gail, I took a bus tour - bought on the ship - one girl on that tour had to stop the bus in the middle of nowhere to use the bathroom. Her friend said they had clams in a local restaurant.

No, it's not the smartest thing to do to have raw seafood while traveling. But if your husband won't listen (and usually those kids don't ) at least you can be prepared - carry pepto or whatever pills can be taken, the chewable type, just in case.
FainaAgain is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 08:29 AM
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Catching the Norwalk virus is a bit of a concern when we cruise, but I don't avoid the buffets if I want a quick breakfast or lunch. So far (3 cruises) I've been fortunate not to come down with anything.

I do use hand sanitizers while cruising pretty frequently (and carry a travel sized bottle with me at all times) and avoid touching railings and such on the ship.
chepar is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 08:31 AM
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It is not only on cruise-ships, but it can happen also in schools, nursinghomes etc.,places where people gather..
So..why not cruise... just be alert, wash your hands, shake hands as little as possible etc.
Enjoy your cruise!
Ida101 is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 11:23 AM
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We went to Alaska a few years back on the Amsterdam. got the virus second day out; they closed the 'kids' club and made eating in the buffet a nightmare...couldn't touch anything, had to spray your hands when you came in, guards guarding the banisters, etc., and they were forever wiping things down. The put a few sick people off in anchorage, but the cruise enjoyment was hugely diminished for us as our kids couldn't play. I wonder how much spresding of this virul is due to the crew...and who watches them to see if they thoroughly wash their hands, etc. My grandaughter, by the way, is recovering from some 'virus' of the stomach that left her so dehydrated she ended up in the hospital. Not to be sneezed at, for sure (pardon the pun).
clarasong is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 01:46 PM
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Exactly how many friends and family members are hospitalized right now?
starrsville is offline  
Jan 27th, 2007, 08:35 AM
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Two years ago I came down with this virus on the last day of our cruise. The man who cleaned our cabin was sick halfway thru our cruise so I suspect that is where I got it. Anyway, before leaving our home I had asked our physician for suppositories just in case. I was so very glad I had them!
cd is offline  
Jan 27th, 2007, 10:09 AM
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I plan on bringing lysol wipes in a zip lock bag and wiping down the door handles and everything else in our bathroom and bedroom before my dh or kids go in the room. They say the virus can live on surfaces for at least 2 days and who knows who was in that room before us. Then I'm going to be cautious but not hyper-vigilent from then on.
eileyann is offline  
Jan 27th, 2007, 11:31 AM
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I believe that is true it must live for a long time. I think some people do not know they are carrying the virus on them, and spread it to others. By the time they know they are sick they have spread it around.
diann is offline  
Jan 28th, 2007, 10:18 AM
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Getting ready to go to Alaska again (on HAL this time) and hope against hope that this doesn't happen again.
clarasong is offline  
Jan 28th, 2007, 10:27 AM
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Just returned from a 7 night cruise on NCL out of Charleston S.C.
In each public area including the restaurants and buffet areas, NCL had automatic hand sanitizing stations to use before entering the restaurants. They also had people at the piers when we were returning from the destinations spraying our hands before we reboarded.
I realize that this is not 100% foolproof, but it is a step in the right direction and should help prevent some of the bugs that ocassionally happen on cruises.
mersingary is offline  
Jan 29th, 2007, 03:55 AM
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Gail....try taking a containr baby wipes or something like that and clean the surfaces in the cabin and the doors when you get embark. We rarely eat at the buffets either,but on our last cruise we were watched like hawks as we entered any dining room or any buffet area. We were at the chocolate buffet one night (NCL) and the staff was wiping down all all the chairs...I had never noticed that before. We are going to a resort in the D.R. which has a high sanitary grade and I will still do the same thing. Have a great cruise...
ParrotMom is offline  
Feb 11th, 2007, 08:26 PM
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I just returned tonight from a cruise on Holland America on the Westerdam. I am very upset as my mother was infected with the Norwalk virus on this cruise and is still not better. She is 89 years old and came down with the virus on the 3rd day of the cruise. 4 of the 6 of us were very, very sick with the virus. All of us were careful about hand washing as my husband had heard about the problems on cruise ships and my sister's husband, who was with us, is a doctor. The captain made an announcement and said that many passengers had come down with the virus. I suspect that this problem is much more widespread that we had realized.
jaipur is offline  
Feb 12th, 2007, 05:53 AM
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Sorry to hear you were sick. It is frustrating to think we take precautions and still get sick.
Here is the Center of Disease Control site that shows the sanitation inspection rating of the cruise ships.
Feb 14th, 2007, 11:34 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Most cruise ships now take precautions. Always use the hand gel before eating- this is usually provided as you enter the restaurant. Also do not eat at vendors while on shore.
We have gone on numerous cruises and have never has any problems.
itchyfeet80 is offline  

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