Norwalk Virus Still A Problem on Serenity!!

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#1
Fullerton, CA
537 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
The Norwalk epidemic on Serenity has not been brought under control yet. At any given time there seems to be about 30 active cases onboard.

My wife has had a difficult time with the bug. It's been a week and she is not fully over the effects yet.

We are not happy campers at this point. The second leg of the cruise has been pretty much of a bust for us.
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Mark
#2
Boca Raton, Florida
6,793 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
Mark, we all hope you and Anita will be feeling much better soon. What is Crystal doing to combat this? Are they doing more than just quaranteeing people?
#3
Fullerton, CA
537 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
The medical staff, one doctor and two nurses, have been doing all they can to get it under control. However, the cruise staff has not been as agressive as they could be, in my opinion, in getting the word out to passengers to be aware of possible symptoms and the need to report them immediately.

There were a couple of messages about Norwalk in Reflections, but other than that the cruise director and his staff are keeping quiet about the situation. That may be good PR, but in my opinion bad public health.

Considering the number of geriatric passengers on the world cruise, it seems to me, that perhaps they need a larger medical staff.
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Mark
#5
2,757 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
is fascinating in that it spreads so quickly. I can imagine
the roll-on nature of the illness, w. new cases cropping up
daily. I agree w. you about the need to be alert to
early symptoms and add, that folks should quarantine
themselves [so to speak] in the interest of getting in
under control.

I'm sorry that Anita is still under its influence...and hope
she soon feels fully recovered.
#7
Fullerton, CA
537 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Originally posted by surfklutz
Did you notice extra cleaning going on?
I'm not sure if there has been extra cleaning going on in the public areas of the ship; however, there have been some changes in food service - hand sanitizers in the Lido lines, some less self service, etc.
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Mark
#8
San Diego
4,221 Posts
Joined Nov 2003
I don't know why all cruise ships don't use hand sanatizers everywhere. I was on the Sapphire princess and they had bottles at doors to every dining room, buffet areas, internet cafe, front desk, library etc.
#9
Fullerton, CA
537 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
When we were on the Westerdam last April, there were hand sanitizers at all the food service locations, at the Internet Center and at the gym.
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Mark
#10
Delray Beach, Florida
5,963 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
We are so sorry to hear about this virus. Unfortunatly no cruise line is immune to it. We hope that you recover quickly and I am sure that Crystal is doing their best to take care of both of you and the rest of the guests that are ill.

Be sure to drink lot's of liquids and perhaps a bowl of the Prego mushroom soup will help. I was very ill on the Baltic crusie a few years back and I had nothing but chicken soup <excellent> for two day's and also green tea. All the fluids helped me get rid of the bug.

We hope the rest of your cruise will be a healthy one.
#12
Vancouver, Canada
374 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
We suggested to the head chef that hand sanitizers are necessary outside ship restaurants especially buffet, & that hand sanitizing before boarding ship from ports isn't nearly sufficient when we did the galley tour on the Serenity last October.

His response was that it isn't necessary & bragged about how their food are always maintained at a safe temperature & that they never had any problems, which is totally unrelated Even mass market lines like Princess have hand sanitizers at their buffet stations.

I hope they learn their lesson.
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My Cruise History:
Crystal Symphony (July 2010 - North Cape Cruise[Norway])
Crystal Symphony (May 2008 - Dubai to Athens) - CRUISE PICTURES, CLICK : http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=785579
Crystal Serenity (August 2006 Baltic/St.Petersberg) - CRUISE PICTURES, CLICK : http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=424962

Crystal Serenity (October 2005 - Mediterranean)-Some pictures of the cuisine on the Serenity:http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/...87757449spwEIt
- and some photo's of the Serenity cruise destinations : http://community.webshots.com/myphot...umID=517170385

Sapphire Princess (2004 Christmas Sydney-Auckland)
Queen Mary 2 (2004 Maiden Carribean Voyage) - Some pics here: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=105432

Celebrity Infinity (2003 Alaska)
Celebrity Constellation (2002 Mediterranean)
Reef Endeavor (2000 Great Barrier Reef)
#13
California
6,209 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by mhshapiro
The cruise staff has not been as agressive as they could be, in my opinion, in getting the word out to passengers to be aware of possible symptoms and the need to report them immediately.

There were a couple of messages about Norwalk in Reflections, but other than that the cruise director and his staff are keeping quiet about the situation. That may be good PR, but in my opinion bad public health.
We sailed Holland America (Westerdam) last November when an outbreak of Norwalk appeared. I believe it was about 50 people on a ship that carried about 1800. The situation was not at all kept hushed, with communication coming from the Captain via the PA system almost daily.

In the Lido, there was no serve yourself food. Everything was plated by an employee. Passengers were not allowed access to self-service beverage machines. If you wanted coffee, you gave an employee your order. Passengers didn't even have access to sugar packets, creamers, etc. All condiments were distributed by employees. In the main dining room, I recall salt & pepper shakers were removed from the tables. The waitstaff would come and add seasonings. Sure, the inaccessibility of simple items was a bit of an inconvenience, but everyone seemed to be understanding of the situation. Although I much prefer the Crystal experience to Holland America, I have to say they seemed to take a serious approach to the Norwalk situation and handled it professionally.
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579 Days at Sea
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#14
2,757 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
As with all of these highly transmissable viruses, it's easier to think about what to do after an attack erupts, i.e. for containment. The bottomline is that if someone arrives in a closed environment, there will be communication/ spread. My husband once picked up Norwalk in the course of travel, either airport or plane. It really is a bummer though...and I feel sorry for all afflicted/infected.
#15
2,941 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
Question:

Are we calling it "Norwalk" any time a flu bug or other virus happens on a cruise ship?

Seems that any school, nursing home, or office will occasionally have 5-10% sick in bed during the peak of the annual bug.

Precautions are sensible, as is quarantine, but special worry about cruise ships seems excessive.

I imagine that the rate of sickness in land vacations is far higher, especially based on my experience.
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--"All too soon..."

19 and counting...
#16
California
6,209 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by All too soon...
Question:

Are we calling it "Norwalk" any time a flu bug or other virus happens on a cruise ship?
Good question.

I wonder if CDC has specifications that require a cruise line to make a formal report when X amount of people have reported symptoms of Norwalk. But then again, do non-US flagged ships fall under the guidelines of the CDC?
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579 Days at Sea
222 - =X=
133 - Crystal
76 - Princess
68 - NCL
36 - Royal Caribbean
17 - HAL
17 - Disney
10 - Cunard
#17
Fullerton, CA
537 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Some good news - the epidemic appears to be on the wane.

While the specific pathogen probably won't be identified, it definitely was a Norwalk-like intestinal virus.

The USPHS requires cruise ships that dock in the U.S. to report outbreaks when more than a certain percentage of the passengers and crew is affected. We had to fill out forms detailing where we were and what we ate before coming down with the symptoms. I believe the outbreak was traced to the Swissotel Hotel in Lima, Peru from these reports. I'd guess that some of the pax who boarded in Lima stayed there before boarding the ship.

Crystal could have been much more aggressive in their attempts to contain the outbreak in my opinion.
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Mark
#18
481 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
I believe it is 5% of total passengers and crew. I agree no cruise ship is immune. lets all hope it is over and they all get well in a hurry. Happy sailing....ALSAS
#19
Phoenix, Arizona USA
1,370 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
That is what we were told on Norwegian Sun when we experienced a small outbreak in 2002. This would mean about 35 people on a fully filled Serenity.
I don't think you would want to wait until 85 people got sick - that's what a 5% basis would mean. Or 150 being ill on an average size 2200 pax-800 crew vessel.
When we were in the Caribbean on Norwegian Sun they flew a CDC team in and gave us all forms which listed every menu item at every regular meal for the first 3-4 days of the cruise, and asked us to check what we had eaten.
Good luck!
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Phil Haggerty and Edith Goble
#20
NYC, Fire Island Pines, NY & Miami Beach
489 Posts
Joined Sep 2000
Although we've taken over 50 cruises on many of the finest ships of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, only one of them has been on Crystal. This was 5 years ago and was an unfortunate experience with rowdy passengers and poor food.

We acknowledge that that cruise may have been an aberation, but we were so put off that we hadn't considered taking another Crysatal cruise until recently. We know many people who love Crystal and we were finally thinking of giving it another chance, especially on the Serenity.

The viral outbreak on the Serenity, however, has put us off once again.

Many of our recent cruises have been on Radisson. On their ships, for several years there have been hand sanitizers outside each dining room and at the gangway. We have been in the kitchens of the Seven Seas Mariner and the Seven Seas Voyager several times; they are spotless.

We have never heard of an outbreak of a Norwalk type virus on a Radisson ship. In fact, we had always thought of these viral outbreaks as taking place on mass market lines such as Holland America, not on luxury lines.

Perhaps in a few years we will be able to consider Crystal again. For the moment, we will stick with Radisson, Seabourn, Silversea and, perhaps, Hapag-Lloyd and the QM2 Queen's Grill.