We are just off a one week cruise (3/9) on the Nieuw Statendam. I wanted to write a little bit about sanitation onboard in light of the ongoing Corona Virus situation. I was disappointed and I think Holland America needs to step up its game if it is going to stay in business.
- Hand santizing stations are abundant and filled;
- Bathrooms are equipped to allow exit without touching door handles after hand washing (paper towel and garbage adjacent to entrance)
- Spray sanitizer encouraged by staff for passengers returning to boat and at first three nights of dinner service
- Our room stewards did not use gloves when cleaning room, touching surfaces in room or changing linens. Current best practices would require a fresh pair of gloves at each new room and washing/sanitizing between rooms.
- The buffet at half-moon cay had an open buffet with open service. The handles for the salads and accompaniments were being touched by tens if not hundreds of passengers enjoying the buffet.
- Dining room stopped offering spray sanitizer after third night. Also, we witnessed multiple people refusing the sanitizer when it was offered and being allowed to proceed in.
- Dining staff touching surfaces (table tops, playing card tricks with guests, etc.) and then serving food.
- Cruise staff hugging passengers. I realize this is a nice touch, but it's time for social distancing and it would be best modeled by these team members.
The reality is that the spread of this virus is only as strong as its weakest link and there are some weak links on Holland America. It's just a matter of time before a crew member or passenger is infected and the spread becomes overwhelming in part because of these lax practices. Just my two cents worth, others may disagree.