Norovirus Q&A With Dan Hanrahan

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#1
NJ
862 Posts
Joined May 2004
As reported on Cruise Critic, Celebrity Cruises' Charleston-based Celebrity Mercury experienced a relatively unprecedented bout of sick-ship-syndrome with three successive voyages resulting in at least 10 -- and in some cases 20-plus -- percent of passengers becoming ill.

We sat down with Celebrity Cruises' President Dan Hanrahan and asked him to explain what his team of staffers and crew would do to eradicate the spread of Norovirus onboard.

Here's the Q&A: http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=3756.

Feel free to share your thoughts.
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MelissaP
Director, Product Development
Cruise Critic
#2
Connecticut
9,674 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
Melissa thank you for posting this.

We are scheduled to sail Mercury in 11 days - March 29th. To say we are a bit worried is an understatement. If the ship is not virus free after this last cleaning than it never will be.

I just hope our sailing isn't canceled.

Anne Maria
#3
Charleston, SC
1,046 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Thank you!

We're also leaving March 29 and I'm looking forward to a wonderful honeymoon.
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#4
Outside Chicago
1,846 Posts
Joined May 2004
All one has to do is to listen to the news in Charleston to know that the virus is in the population there. College of Charleston is infected as are several other communities. All that is needed is one person board the ship either with symptoms or at the end of the incubation period and that's it! It spreads.

It's not Mercury, not Celebrity, just a fact of a virus that spreads rapidly. If ALL pax would heed the warnings and adhere to the rules, it may not have gotten as bad as it has. The ship is not the bad guy here. It's a victim just as the pax are.
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#5
Bowling Green, KY
1,488 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
I applaud X for their enhanced cleaning but I do wish that they would pay more attention to the temperature of their food. On the past two cruises most of the food on the buffet line was not hot at all and sometimes even in the MDR. The danger zone for food is either below 40 degrees F or above 140F. Most of the meals were barely lukewarm on the buffet. Time and temperature are very important. That said, I do not know if temp. kills norovirus, but I do know it would keep other "stomach" illnesses down from basic food poisioning.

Also, wearing gloves when serving food does nothing when the server wipes his/her nose or picks up dirty dishes and then grabs a pan of fresh food to serve or then hands over a dinner roll. Gloves do have to be changed and hands washed continually. I don't see it all the time but I also cringe when I see them replacing the food with a new pan and then scraping the old food on top of the new, then they mix it in. If the temp is not correct you have cross contamination.

I do find it interesting that the % of crewmembers is much, much lower then the guest population. To me, that says they are doing something right. I just wish they would work on the time and temp issues. JMHO Scott
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ICOOK4U
#7
Florida
2,418 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Norovirus does not worry me at all. I rely on my own good hygiene practices to keep from getting sick. While I am glad that cruiselines will sanitize the ship as well as employ other measures, I know that good, frequent handwashing on my part as well as never, ever touching my eyes, ears, nose, or mouth with my hands is my best protection. I also limit my consumption of sandwiches and other finger foods in favor of foods that require utensils. I also bring a "pharmacy" with me so that if I were to get sick, I would not need to visit the infirmary for medication.
#8
NJ
862 Posts
Joined May 2004
You've raised an excellent point about the fact that there is a state-wide outbreak: http://www.live5news.com/Global/story.asp?S=12038657. Ships don't get "sick" -- the passengers do. It's just that it is so darn contagious.


Originally posted by alfiemom
All one has to do is to listen to the news in Charleston to know that the virus is in the population there. College of Charleston is infected as are several other communities. All that is needed is one person board the ship either with symptoms or at the end of the incubation period and that's it! It spreads.

It's not Mercury, not Celebrity, just a fact of a virus that spreads rapidly. If ALL pax would heed the warnings and adhere to the rules, it may not have gotten as bad as it has. The ship is not the bad guy here. It's a victim just as the pax are.
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MelissaP
Director, Product Development
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#9
Northern Virginia
965 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
OnCruiseControl....

What medicines do you bring....related to NORO? Thanks
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#10
Bergen County, Northern New Jersey, USA
5,753 Posts
Joined Feb 2006

Noro-Virus is more rampant than we know.

So many people have had this and not reported it.

Is RCL :NYSE Celebrity Cruise Line going now educate the Staff as well passengers with more and basic safety practices?

EG: Washing with Soap and HOT Water, Temperature of foods in the serving trays and at your tables ( HOT Food should be HOT and COLD Food COLD! ), not scraping old food products into new trays..etc..etc...

Besides helping stop the spread aboard the ships of any virus it gives the firm a great PR item too.

Counting the pennies only goes so far Dan.. Ben Franklin did say " A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned " but penny wise and pound ( dollar ) foolish can be as well ..eh.



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truncated American born, bred, proud of it. Garden State growing. Cruise more miles on open water!We are Nautical eh..
1066 a.d William I.Again allied Flanders on ships with King Richard I won England / Scotland.Only I have documented from a.d. 241 so far.
Our N. American Family 1584-1587 Roanok Colony / Croatoan site, first English male child born in N.America, first Permanent Settlement on 05/14/1607 A.D. 2 of the 3 ships, Susan (Sarah) Constant & Godspeed building a fort at Jamestowne, Va.

A few years later also 8 more Kin Folk, aboard on the Dutch Liquor Ship, Mayflower 1621.

June 14th, a.d. 1646 our direct kinsman French first Grand Admiral Jean Armand de Maillé-Brézé killed at the Battle of Ortebello , at Sunset on his Flag Ship Grand Saint Louis . His dad was Marshall of France General Urbain de Maillé-Brézé married Miss Nicole du Plessis-Richelieu only sister of Cardinal Richelieu ...Armand Jean du Plessis, cardinal-duc de Richelieu et de Fronsac .

Site of the Battle ( Orbetello) of Isola del Giglio was near the Friday, a.d. Jan.13th 2012 17 Decked SHIP Costa Concordia Crashed (no deck 13) .
May GOD Bless US of America !
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#11
South Jersey outside of Philly
128 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Your post was right on the money! I got sick on the Mercury last December. I observed the waiters scraping dirty dished from several tables and go directly to touching clean coffee cups for our table. I reported this to the officer in charge of food and beverage. I don't know if they have revised the procedure or not. It does no good to tell passengers to sanitize thier hands to enter the dining room, if the waiters continue to touch dirty dishes and not wash their hands.
#12
ohio
651 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by firstplacechef
I applaud X for their enhanced cleaning but I do wish that they would pay more attention to the temperature of their food. On the past two cruises most of the food on the buffet line was not hot at all and sometimes even in the MDR. The danger zone for food is either below 40 degrees F or above 140F. Most of the meals were barely lukewarm on the buffet. Time and temperature are very important. That said, I do not know if temp. kills norovirus, but I do know it would keep other "stomach" illnesses down from basic food poisioning.

Also, wearing gloves when serving food does nothing when the server wipes his/her nose or picks up dirty dishes and then grabs a pan of fresh food to serve or then hands over a dinner roll. Gloves do have to be changed and hands washed continually. I don't see it all the time but I also cringe when I see them replacing the food with a new pan and then scraping the old food on top of the new, then they mix it in. If the temp is not correct you have cross contamination.

I do find it interesting that the % of crewmembers is much, much lower then the guest population. To me, that says they are doing something right. I just wish they would work on the time and temp issues. JMHO Scott
I have been saying this for years that food in the buffet is not kept at the right temperature. They need to really inspect these areas because you have a lot of people from 3rd world countries working there and there sanitation is not always what it should be. Saw one workers scratching his head with the glove on.
#13
NC
1,023 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
What about the delivery trucks bringing the food into port...could this be a point of entry? If one of these trucks are contaminated it will continue to bring it to the ship. We are booked for April 9 and I have tried to think if the ship has been cleaned thus far what else could it be...so this is my thought.

Missygirl
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#14
South Carolina
1 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
I survived CCL Mercury Cruise #2 !!! However my husband did not emerge unscathed -- his symptoms started on the last day. During the cruise I also saw plastic-gloved servers doing stupid things -- like touching areas touched by ungloved passengers. In retrospect I should have reported it to a superior. I also saw passengers doing questionable things, like scooping up food that had fallen from their plates or forks onto the table, and returning it to their plates. Scariest moment for me -- having to leave the ship in a group with all the other sick passengers (since my husband was sick) and their companions. I was heavily exposed, but never got sick. Research on the internet reveals that people with blood type B or AB have a natural resistance (not immunity) to norovirus, while those with type A or O are more vulnerable. I'm B, my husband is A, so it seems to work!
#15
VA
544 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
From our experience on 3/8 Mercury & from other posters tips:

Prevention: NEVER use the public bathrooms on the ship (think about what has touched faucets). We took a Pepto tablet every morning. Of course wash hands & use alcohol. Keep immune system strong. We take muti & extra Vitamin D.

At first sign of illness: Take Imodium & charcoal tablets/capsules. Charcoal also effective against food poisoning (from previous experience-it worked wonders). We never travel without it.

My wife had stomach pain & diarhea one night, she took above twice & was fine in a few hours. I didn't get sick.

Our approach/experience. Your mileage may vary.
#16
Connecticut
9,674 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
DanL thanks for the tips. I always bring Pepto and Immodium but forgot all about Charcoal. I remember now I did use to always keep them in the house. I will have to pick some up.
#17
NC
644 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
Will Mercury use new pillows for this cruise or should we pack new pillows? What treatments will be used for the comforters and blankets?
#19
New Jersey
3,522 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Wow, fantastic info -- did not know about Pepto or charcoal tablets. Where do you buy charcoal tablets?

This from a criuse journalist who's done something like 150 cruises and had Noro three times (!) though ironically enough -- never from a cruise ship. Who cares where you get it, these tips are terrific for avoiding....

Carolyn

Carolyn Spencer Brown
Editor in Chief
Cruise Critic


Originally posted by DanL
From our experience on 3/8 Mercury & from other posters tips:

Prevention: NEVER use the public bathrooms on the ship (think about what has touched faucets). We took a Pepto tablet every morning. Of course wash hands & use alcohol. Keep immune system strong. We take muti & extra Vitamin D.

At first sign of illness: Take Imodium & charcoal tablets/capsules. Charcoal also effective against food poisoning (from previous experience-it worked wonders). We never travel without it.

My wife had stomach pain & diarhea one night, she took above twice & was fine in a few hours. I didn't get sick.

Our approach/experience. Your mileage may vary.
#20
Bergen County, Northern New Jersey, USA
5,753 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Pharma. Grade Charcoal comes in tablets

Ask at your Drug Store and the head Chemist. Yes they have to keep there licenses up so continue with the education process.









Originally posted by [email protected]
Wow, fantastic info -- did not know about Pepto or charcoal tablets. Where do you buy charcoal tablets?

This from a criuse journalist who's done something like 150 cruises and had Noro three times (!) though ironically enough -- never from a cruise ship. Who cares where you get it, these tips are terrific for avoiding....

Carolyn

Carolyn Spencer Brown
Editor in Chief
Cruise Critic
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truncated American born, bred, proud of it. Garden State growing. Cruise more miles on open water!We are Nautical eh..
1066 a.d William I.Again allied Flanders on ships with King Richard I won England / Scotland.Only I have documented from a.d. 241 so far.
Our N. American Family 1584-1587 Roanok Colony / Croatoan site, first English male child born in N.America, first Permanent Settlement on 05/14/1607 A.D. 2 of the 3 ships, Susan (Sarah) Constant & Godspeed building a fort at Jamestowne, Va.

A few years later also 8 more Kin Folk, aboard on the Dutch Liquor Ship, Mayflower 1621.

June 14th, a.d. 1646 our direct kinsman French first Grand Admiral Jean Armand de Maillé-Brézé killed at the Battle of Ortebello , at Sunset on his Flag Ship Grand Saint Louis . His dad was Marshall of France General Urbain de Maillé-Brézé married Miss Nicole du Plessis-Richelieu only sister of Cardinal Richelieu ...Armand Jean du Plessis, cardinal-duc de Richelieu et de Fronsac .

Site of the Battle ( Orbetello) of Isola del Giglio was near the Friday, a.d. Jan.13th 2012 17 Decked SHIP Costa Concordia Crashed (no deck 13) .
May GOD Bless US of America !
eh..what did ya say?
+ <:><~~


I know we can/may all agree to disagree on cruising but provide learning opportunities for all.

((\/))
Our Ocean current, Favorite's ( Favourite's) Cruise Lines are:Cunard/HAL

Our next Ship Trip now is

*Having quality is so much nicer than quantity at a much lower value.* eCommerce with a conscience!*((\/))