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Eschew Nov 8th, 2012 10:21 AM

Norovirus out break
Norovirus is nothing new. But this is a new one. A group of 25 passenegrs in UK are suing RCCL for big bucks. The link to the Wlaes News online is below.

As if there is not enpugh bad news for RCCL, The Celebrity Constellation had to delay their departure due to over 350 passenegrs fell ill from Norovirus over the wekend.

All I can say is that, we, as passenegrs, have to take some responsibilities and precautions to avoid potential health issues.

I do not touch the hand rails when going up and down the stairs; or any railings at any of the public areas. I also don't touch any door handles to any public washrooms. If I must touch it, I wash my hand throughly both before and after. I wash my hands often; and use hand santiziers where needed.

With that said, I am not paranoid enough to use a handi-wipe and wipe down seats and the trays on an airplane. But, I will wipe down the steering wheel of a rental car.

What precautrions do you take to make yourself safe?

Dayenu Nov 8th, 2012 03:31 PM

I wonder if they win!

And I don't do anything special on cruises except washing hands as often as I can, and use the hand sanitizer whenever offered.

Some people say, they would push elevator buttons with a knuckle instead of the fingertip. Come on, if your body have lost the natural strength to fight infection or virus...

But in a hotel room I always wash glasses/cups and coffeemaker before using them. Don't care about the bedspread though, the body fluids are naturally sanitized, right? :))

Sassafrass Nov 8th, 2012 06:03 PM

Interesting issue. Considering the number or passengers, I wonder how that compares with students in schools, people in large offfices, etc.

I've been lucky on cruises, but take more care off the ship on islands, etc. than I do on the ship.

Since I am older (some would say elderly), I do try not to touch things, and DH does use his knuckle instead of his fingertip for buttons. The only thing I do is use my own pen for signing things: on the ship, at Doctor's offices, credit slips, etc. because I once read that the two worst places for bacteria is public pens, phones and tables where people put food; that bathrooms are often more sanitary because they get cleaned more often while pens, etc. never do.

When we were on the CC last year, there was an outbreak, but it seemed to me many people affected had taken long bus excursions and eaten local food and drink.

I did think, however, that the Princess ships we've been on were much cleaner than the CC. I'm not picky, but had to ask for our bathroom to be cleaned a couple of times, and then cleaned part of it myself. Never had to do that on Princess, but perhaps that was just the particular ship or the individual steward.

Dayenu, Don't know about those bodily fluids being sanitized. Yuk anyway! I hate bedspreads in US hotels. I like European hotels where they have duvets with fresh covers.

LBloom Nov 9th, 2012 08:28 AM

We were on the Crown Princess Dec 2011 when about 100 people became sick with norovirus. We were very diligent about cleanliness and managed not to become sick. HOWEVER, it is disconcerting when you are on holiday to see people leaning over and throwing up, or refusing to obey quarantine rules and letting small, sick children run around potentially infecting others.

The measures taken by ship were necessary to protect as many passengers from not falling ill, but are still an annoyance. Only after we returned from our cruise did we discover that a passenger had died the previous week (from a shellfish reaction) on the very floor we were located.

It definitely did affect our vacation and the quality of our time.

While I don't hold Princess personally responsible, it will be a while till I am cruising again.

chepar Nov 9th, 2012 09:19 AM

I usually wipe down the armrests and tray surface on airplanes with an antibacterial wipe once I board. Sometimes I forget, though. It's never occurred to me to wipe down the steering wheel of a rental car.

On cruises I'm much more germ conscious than I am during "regular" land based travel or at home in my everyday life. I don't touch the handrails anywhere if at all possible and use hand sanitizer much more often. I use a knuckle to press the elevator buttons. I'm not normally paranoid about germs but I figure on a cruise ship you're in a somewhat contained environment and as LBloom noted, not everyone on the ship with you obeys quarantine rules if they're sick, so it's much easier for something to spread.

Eschew Nov 9th, 2012 10:06 PM

On any typical room (cabin), remote controls, telephone handset, bathroom facets, bed spreads are usually the worst. Public bathrooms inside door handles are bad, especially seeing pople who failed to wash their hands after doing their business and then grab the door handle to get out ...

For rental cars, the sterring wheel is the worst. Think of where that hand which touched the steering wheel might have touched prior. :-L

As to the airlines, I am more concerned about the air that is being circulated than the armrest or the trays.

Here is something that should scare you. Read the link below regarding hotel cleaniness. And teh Canadians have a reputation of being more deligent on their practices.

DW had an issue with Celebrity on where they store the bed covers ... under the bed (after the turn down service), and we too had to call for the Cabin Steward to clean the bathroom.

Death is a certainty, it is just a matter of time and place. They die at home, they die in hospitals, on cruise ships. Things happens and we try to not let incidents affect us. Unfortunately, some are avoidable.

In 2001, we were on the Carnival Sensation. We knew someone had fell off the ship on the cruise prior (and was lost at sea) as it was all over the news. While we were on board, a glass elevator at the attrium was shut down for a day. We did not think twice about it at the time. We found out afterward that a crew member was in the bottom of the elevator shaft doing something and somehow, the elevator (which should have been taken out of service) came down and crushed him. We didn't hear about it until we read the news after we got off the ship. Many a times, we have seen ambulances waiting at the dock. We have not seen helicopter medi-evac yet but I have heard about them.

Yes, we have immune system, and No, I am not going to be paranoid about it, but better safe than sorry.

AAFrequentFlyer Nov 20th, 2012 06:43 AM

For those of you who think handsanitizers is the answer, read the following

HappyTrvlr Nov 20th, 2012 08:07 PM

My MD warned me about elevator buttons.

Eschew Dec 8th, 2012 09:46 AM

Just got home the other day and it appears norovirus is all over the place.

We were on the Ruby Princess (Nov 25 - Dec 2) and we were not allowed to board until after 12 noon. Typically we board around 10:30 am. When they hold off early boarding, it usually means scrubbing.

Then on Day 3, there was a ship wide broadcast by the Captain announcing that due to an increase of people reporting to the medical center for stomach flu like symptoms, the ship is taking precautions and immediate mesaures to keep the potential sperading in check. The salt and pepper shakers disapapears, even the coffee and water station is staffed. You can't serve yourself anything or help yourself to anything, not even the pamphlet at the excursion desk. All the games in the library disappeared, the library book cases locked. The internet cafe keyboards were "sanitized". All food and beverage were served, salad bar, buns, sugar, no exceptions. Everything is handed to you by staff. Passenegers can't touch anything.

As a result, staff were working extra long hours to cover all the extra work created. We saw the senior staff helping all over from being greeters and manning hand sanitizing station to busing tables at the buffet. It is not too often that you saw officers in white uniform helping out at the actual work stations.

Despite all these, we did not feel the service suffered. The staff were still all smiles and friendly. It was a bit inconvienent but all in all, everything was fine. We didn't anything out of the ordinary except the lock down. There were no kitchen tours and mixology classes were cancelled.

On a separate note, my friend going on his first cruise with his DW, DD, SIL, grand kids and in-laws did not fare as well on the Disney Magic (Nov 24 - Dec 1). He came down with the symptoms on the first day (both ends) and was subsequently quarantined for 24 hours. There were other people in his party of 13 affected as well but after his quarantine, they did not report the illness to the medical center in fear of quarantine. He mentioned that he saw people "chucking" and it did not appear the ship took any extra measure (in all fairness, he wouldn't know what extra measurs were anyway being on his first cruise).

Sad to say, in speaking to his DW, it would be safe to say that would be their last cruise. :(

farrermog Dec 12th, 2012 02:20 PM

DARK_MAGIC Dec 15th, 2012 08:48 AM

I read the article and this is ridiculous. I thought us Americans were the only people in the world that were lawsuit happy over things like this. Look, you got sick on a ship, get over it. It seems to happen quite a bit these days. My dad and I went on a celebrity cruise to central and south America last year, when there seemed to be an unusual amount of "sick" ships coming into port and we had no problem. I agree with Eschew. When you are traveling YOU are your best advocate in not getting sick. Not touching handles, bathroom handles etc. I am not paranoid either, but smart enough to avoid the obvious!! I think that when some people travel they get lost in this state of euphoria and kind of lose some of the normal common sense that they have in their daily lives.

Eschew Dec 16th, 2012 02:56 PM

DARK_MAGIC, I am with you on this one ... sometimes, the bset laid plan doesn't work. Just like the boy scouts motto said: be prepared.

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