Posted April 22nd, 2012, 09:09 PM
Code red means that there has been an outbreak of the noro virus on board. No self service of any kind...
Yes, it was code red. It was code red the week before as well, which was when NY schools were on April Break. Last week, Massachusetts (and perhaps CT) schools were on April Break. I'm a teacher in MA, and there have been lots of bugs going around (including norovirus). I suspect that the extra-high concentration of kids did not help with the sanitation. Just as winter is prime season for the flu because everyone is cooped up inside and touching everything, cruise ships are always prime for spreading germs like norovirus because so many people are crammed in such a small space together.
I heard that something like 300 people were quarantined during the NY vacation week cruise. I have to say, while I do know of a few people who got sick, I think NCL did a fantastic job in containing it during my cruise. I heard that all the wait staff were working 15 hour days to staff the buffets! They needed the extra manpower to have enough people to serve guests from the buffet and drink stations so that guests were not touching food or food serving utensils. They had to add the extra staff after some guests complained about having to wait to long for things like glasses of water. Normally, we would fill our own cups with ice and water. To contain the spread of the GI bug, NCL had servers filling glasses for people.
There was also (what became) the phenomenon of "washy washy." I don't remember this being such a thing on the Epic last summer, but every time you walk into a restaurant or through a buffet, one of the servers (some of whom would say "washy washy!") would squirt hand sanitizer gel on your hands as you entered. The comedian and the second city even added this to their routines and improv skits!
I think many of the teachers on board are considering instituting a "washy-washy" policy on all the kids who enter their classrooms! I know I am!