Got sick on NOS last week!!

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#1
San Diego, Calif.
166 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Hey all,

I know this is a bummer, but my DH and I got violently ill on the Navigator of the Seas last week (May 15-22). There were many other passengers that were in the infirmary also. We were quarantined in our cabin for the last 2 days of our cruise with no compensation, or apology.

I was wondering if others shared in this experience? And am worried about future cruisers getting sick also. I know that there is not adequate time to scrub down the ship between sailings.

Also, NO notice was made to the other passengers that there was a virus onboard (which is frightening!! )

Majestic: Oct. '89
Rhapsody of the Seas: May '01
Golden Princess: Dec. '01

Until Navigator---May 15, 2004


#2
63 Posts
Joined Nov 2003
Hello!

Sorry to hear about your illness, but I'm curious as to why and what type of compensation you think you might be entitled to for becoming ill? You didn't mention that it was food poisoning, so I think it has to be chalked up to both bad luck and bad timing. Stuff happens...we just hope not to us on a cruise ship.
#3
High Point, NC
7,015 Posts
Joined May 2000
Gastrointestinal viruse are very common in any enclosed environment, such as nursing homes, cruise ships, schools, prisons and work places. Not uncommon at all. Norwalk virus is second only to the common cold in occcurence. CDC doesn't consider it an "outbreak" unless 2 or 3% of the guests and crew on a cruise become ill. Usually, it is
brought onboard by a passenger. The ship's staff does a great job of containing and even preventing an outbreak. I understand that there is only one test to confirm Norwalk and that is with stool samples and in a lab. CDC and the cruiselines work hand in hand to identify and control these viruses. Sure sorry to hear that you were sick but quarentine is part of the control. Of course the cruiseline is not responsible for guests that board ill. Sometimes the guest knows they feel bad and sometimes not.
#4
Wichita, KS, USA
4,988 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
This is one more reason why I don't like buffets. You just never know if the person in front of you washed their hands after using the restroom. I've seen people come out of a stall and obviously (if you know what I mean) had a problem. Then proceed out of the bathroom without washing their hands.

Coming from a medical background that alone is enough to make me sick.

I really wish the cruise lines would have staff serve the cruisers. If the crew follows proper sanitation and hand washing, I believe the cruise lines could drastically cut down on people who get sick.

As it is, I try my best to wash the heck out of my hands before eating. Unfortunately, if I grap a serving spoon that has been handled by someone who is sick, I'm still at risk. I don't have a lot of faith in those hand sanitizer lotions they sell. That leaves me with the opition of either washing my hands after I've picked up my food (rather inconvenient. I can also just skip the buffet or be the first in line. Of course, it's not just the buffet where you can pick up a virus. Anything an infected person has touched and then you touched can be guilty.

Most of the time, we only eat breakfast in the Windjammer and we are early risers, so we're one of the first in line. To date, I've only had one night in which I got sick. I have no idea why. It wasn't motion sickness. I'm not prone to that and I do know it when it hits me. It wasn't a virus because I tossed my cookies once and was done with it. It may have been a very mild case of food poisoning or it may just have been something I ate that day didn't like me. I'll tell you one thing, I really was worried that I'd blown it and grabbed something that had a virus on it, then didn't get it washed off my hands before eating something with my hands.

I'm sorry you got ill. It really sucks to be sick on vacation and especially on a cruise ship if you're confined to your cabin. But in confined spaces, it's one of the risks you take. The only thing you can do is scrub those hands every chance you get.

Future cruises
Explorer OTS - Easter Caribbean 11/04

Monarch OTS - Mexico Baja 1/05

Brilliance OTS - Mediteranian 10/05



Past cruises
Vision OTS - Alaska 7/03
Legend OTS - Alaska 7/02
#5
The Villages, Fla.
985 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
As far as the hand sanitizers go, I am an RN and I do know that the AMA has sanctioned the use of them for med passes so I think the are good enough to be using prior to eating.
#6
9 Posts
Joined Nov 2003
It just makes me cringe when I hear people knock the Windjammer with all of this Norwalk stuff. It's nice to take precautions, but by having someone serve you in the buffet is NOT the answer. You can pick up the virus ANYWHERE (i.e. touching the elevator buttons, IN THE DINING ROOM by pulling out your chair or touching the pepper grinder, casino chips and slot machines). Do we need crew to run the elevators for us as well so we don't touch the elevator buttons or play the slots for us when we are gambling so we aren't exposed?
#7
Savannah, GA
752 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Another RN here. ilionite is correct, hand sanitizers are tried and true and we've been using them to protect our patients and staff for two years now. On the Brilliance there was a station where staff and guests could get sanitizer on the way into and out of the windjammer. I carry a tiny key ring size purell in my bag and use it after elevators and before eating, etc. Never yet been sick on a cruise.

XOXOXO FRANKI XOXOXO
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#8
ga usa
35 Posts
Joined May 2000
I never leave home without either Frankie. Also an RN and we use them extensively. Was in Ft. Lauderdale this past weekend watching the cruise ships go by and I kept yelling at them to come back and get me, but they didn't :-(

Royal Majesty '89,'90'91
Nordic Empress '95
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#9
East Coast, USA
3,120 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
I'm sorry to hear the OP was ill. It's an unfortunate fact that illnesses spread quickly on ships, and there often isn't anything the staff can do for you other than try to make you comfortable and ask you to refrain from spreading it by confining you to your cabin.

People like me suggest the cruiselines use servers in the buffet because otherwise passengers touch serving utensils and then eat some foods with their hands. If someone were serving the food, that one point of contact would be eliminated. Passengers don't get sick simply by touching the virus; it has to be passed into the body -- usually through the mouth or eyes.

While I agree that the virus can be picked up anywhere, I usually don't touch a handrail or press an elevator button and then stick my finger in my mouth. If I wash my hands before I go to the Windjammer and someone serves me my food, hopefully I've avoided getting a virus onto my hands and subsequently into my mouth via my food.

I'm not sure I understand why the idea of someone serving your food would make you cringe. What makes me cringe is observing how unsanitary some passengers are.

Karen

6/5/05 Brilliance Mediterranean roll call

Infinity in...

Brilliance 6/05, Infinity 12/04, Brilliance 2/04, Adventure 11/03, Brilliance 2/03, Grand Princess 3/02, Dawn Princess 11/01, Ocean Princess 5/00
#10
785 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
Someone had to bring on the virus so it is nothing the cruise lines can do, it happens on all ships, I was on the Caribbean Princess a week ago. I got sick for two days, I do not expect anything from the cruis line, it just was something that happened.

rcicruiser
#11
High Point, NC
7,015 Posts
Joined May 2000
I've been under the impression that hand sanitizers are effective preventing the spread of bacterial infections but have very little if any effect against viral infections. Health care professionals; can you confirm this?
#13
9 Posts
Joined Nov 2003
I have no problems with people serving me in the buffet, however, if people are thinking this is the only area to pick up the virus, they are truly mistaken. I agree that the hand sanitizers are truly a great idea. I use them myself. The point I'm trying to make is ... by having people serve us in the buffet so we don't touch any utensils that have the virus on them is nice, but then should we expect the crew/staff to do all the "touching" for us such as hit elevator buttons, hold handrails, etc so we don't come in contact with the virus??
#14
Wichita, KS, USA
4,988 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by hdawson:
I've been under the impression that hand sanitizers are effective preventing the spread of bacterial infections but have very little if any effect against viral infections. Health care professionals; can you confirm this?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

BINGO! All the anitbacterial hand sanitizers in the world won't kill or remove a virus. That takes handwashing . Handwashing doesn't kill bacteria or a virus. It removes it from your hand by use of friction accompanied by soap and water.

Hand sanitizers aren't able to remove the bacteria or virus's from your hands. You are relying on them to kill them. Anitbacterial may have some limited effect on bacteria but they will not kill a virus. Since you are not washing the sanitzer off you hands and down the sink, it will not prevent the spread of viral infections.

For that matter, I have serious doubts that they will essentially eleminate bacteria from your hands by killing them. What is sold to the public and what is used in the hospital are two different things. Often, what gets sold to the public is watered down versions of the proffesional grade stuff.

Why? Because the public over does it. We tested some of this stuff way back when I was in microbiology. The instructor invited us to bring in all the antibacterial over the counter stuff we could find. The only stuff that worked was bleach. Everything else grew out bacteria like it was nobody's business.

I am an RN as well. Use that stuff if you want to and believe that an antibacterial lotion will protect you from a virus. You can even believe it's as effective as the industrial stuff used in hospitals if you want to. As for me, I'm washing my hands.

Future cruises
Explorer OTS - Easter Caribbean 11/04

Monarch OTS - Mexico Baja 1/05

Brilliance OTS - Mediteranian 10/05



Past cruises
Vision OTS - Alaska 7/03
Legend OTS - Alaska 7/02

[This message was edited by dougp26364 on 05-24-04 at 11:13 AM.]

[This message was edited by dougp26364 on 05-24-04 at 11:14 AM.]
#15
Wichita, KS, USA
4,988 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by billnmarge:
I have no problems with people serving me in the buffet, however, if people are thinking this is the only area to pick up the virus, they are truly mistaken. I agree that the hand sanitizers are truly a great idea. I use them myself. The point I'm trying to make is ... by having people serve us in the buffet so we don't touch any utensils that have the virus on them is nice, but then should we expect the crew/staff to do all the "touching" for us such as hit elevator buttons, hold handrails, etc so we don't come in contact with the virus??<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

While your post is tecnically correct, how often are you putting your hands in close proximity to your mouth while doing anything except eating? Ever lick your fingers after touching a messy hand rail? How about licking your fingers after eating some greasy bacon? For that matter, do you use your hands to eat bacon or do you use a fork? This is why we wash are hands before a meal, to remove unwanted bacteria/virus before we ingest something.

It's not necessary to have someone touch everything on the ship for you. It is necessary to wash your hands prior to putting them in close proximity to you mouth. The Windjammer and other buffets put you at higher risk because you are touching unsanitary objects, then putting your hands up to nice warm mucus membranes that bacteria love and thrive in.

Now, if you're one of those people who are always licking you fingers as you go along, I can't help you.

Think of it this way. With servers, there are fewer people handling the food your about to put in you mouth, they are under regulations and guidelines and are more likely to have at least washed their hands prior to serving guests, and you're not using your own hands to grab several serving spoons that may have been contaminated by someone who is ill.

Future cruises
Explorer OTS - Easter Caribbean 11/04

Monarch OTS - Mexico Baja 1/05

Brilliance OTS - Mediteranian 10/05



Past cruises
Vision OTS - Alaska 7/03
Legend OTS - Alaska 7/02
#16
San Diego, CA
1,556 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
If people would cancel their cruises or their flights if they are sick, beforehand this wouldn't be happeneing. But how many times have I read on these boards, "oh, I'm getting a cold, but I'm not cancelling my cruise".

Having said that, I do realize the dollar and other implications if one canceled their vacation, but if people are going to travel sick than this is going to happen on cruises.

As the nurses have said, wash those hands as many times a day as feasible, if even just with water, as I've heard that water is better than nothing.

On a Thanksgiving cruise several years ago, my husband got ill. He had been feeling fine up until the 2nd day of the cruise and then had fever and aches and pains. He was ill for about 4 days, at which time I had him oredered room service and he although he tried to venture out a few times, after a few minutes, he went right back to the cabin. Strange thing is, we were together in that small cabin a lot of the time and I never had a hint of what he did. Neither of us, fortunately have been ill before or since on our 28 cruises in 15 years.

Sheila
Likes to cruise twice as much for half the price.
#17
274 Posts
Joined May 2004
I guess I have been extremely lucky because I have never gotten sick on 15 cruises. I don't take any special precautions like hand sanitizers or frequent handwashing (other than after the bathroom, of course). Also, I am a habitual nail biter so my fingers are constantly in my mouth!

I never realized this was such a problem. I guess I have just been lucky!
#18
SOMERVILLE, MASS. USA
5,857 Posts
Joined May 2003
IT IS IRONIC...That most of these viruses are caught or transmitted on airplanes because of the poor quality of air circulation. The pax pick up the virus on the plane and then bring it to the ship. It's too bad they don't do follow-up reports on the planes and who and how many got sick after flying on a particular flight.

ROSS

RMS QUEEN ELIZABETH 1965/TS BREMEN 1971/RMS AMERIKANIS 1972/SS FRANCE 1973/SS FRANCE 1973/QE II 1975/QE II 1975/TS LEONARDO DaVINCI 1976/QE II 1978/TS GALLILAO 1984/ MV REGENT SEA 1988/MV ZENITH 1992/SS NORWAY 1993/MV HORIZON 1998/GTS NORWEGIAN SUN 2001/GTS CENTURY 2002/GTS SUMMIT 2003/GTS JEWEL OF THE SEAS 2004
#20
Smarr, Ga, U.S.A.
1,471 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
I had a bad case of the Cocktail Flu one day on the Brilliance, think they'll give me a free cruise or something????
Stretch

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