Jump to content
,

Boudicca Norovirus outbreak


nanga gaat

Recommended Posts

Received a letter from FO today advising us of outbreak of Norovirus onboard. We are concerned as we are due to join her tomorrow for next cruise.

FO state the ship will have "a complete disinfection" prior to us going onboard.

Has anyone been in a similar situation we are wondering how effective the disinfection procedure really is.:confused:

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Received a letter from FO today advising us of outbreak of Norovirus onboard. We are concerned as we are due to join her tomorrow for next cruise.

FO state the ship will have "a complete disinfection" prior to us going onboard.

Has anyone been in a similar situation we are wondering how effective the disinfection procedure really is.:confused:

Mike

Hi poor you have you had the option to cancel and receive a refund. Seems Boudicca is having a rough trot with the virus. Hope all goes well and you have a virus free cruise. We have booked the Boudicca nxt May to be truthful it has put me off i dont do sickness. Good Luck

Chrissy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been on a couple of Fred. Olsen cruises when the ship has been delayed for a deep cleansing exercise. When we got on board the ship was spotless - as it normally is. I am sure this is what you will find too.

If passengers carrying this bug either cancelled their cruise (and claimed on their insurance) or had the recommended treatment prior to leaving home many of these problems would be eliminated. It's not as if it is a rare illness. It is said to be the second most common malady after the common cold.

It is not only Fred. Olsen which has this problem. Many other lines have the same. Sadly, it is FOCL that gets most of the publicity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actress Anna Friel found a recent stage performance of Breakfast At Tiffany's in the West End, above, interrupted by a member of the audience in the upper circle vomiting over six people below. The person was likely to be suffering from norovirus, the winter vomiting bug, as the Health Protection Agency reports a rise in outbreaks in the past month. Here DR ELLIE CANNON explains what it is and how to deal with it.

 

 

Q: What is the winter vomiting virus?

 

A: It is the name given to a group of viruses called noroviruses that are a common cause of upset stomachs and gastroenteritis. The virus occurs all year round, but there are more cases in winter.

 

 

Q: Why are there more outbreaks of it than other viruses?

 

A: Noroviruses are highly contagious. They not only spread directly from person to person, but the virus particles can also survive on contaminated surfaces for days. This makes it easy to spread quickly, particularly within closed environments such as nursing homes, cruise ships and prisons - there is a suspected outbreak currently at London's Wandsworth prison.

 

 

Q: What is the best way to protect yourself?

 

A: Basic good hygiene is crucial to stopping the spread of the virus. Wash your hands well and often, and disinfect any surfaces, such as the loo, that may have become contaminated. Avoid eating raw, unwashed food as you can catch the virus from contaminated food. Oysters have been known to carry the virus, so always source them from a reliable place. Anybody who has had the virus, should isolate themselves for at least 48 hours after they have recovered.

 

 

Q: Is the only symptom vomiting?

 

A: Vomiting is the predominant symptom usually preceded by nausea. This can start suddenly, and sufferers may often have diarrhoea as well. You can also have abdominal pain, a temperature, headaches and body aches. It normally lasts about two to three days, but the diarrhoea may last longer.

 

 

Q: How do I know it isn't swine flu?

 

A: Some of the features are the same and it may be hard to distinguish clinically between the two. With swine flu, the temperature tends to be much higher than with norovirus, and the achiness really is a major feature with minimal vomiting. The only definitive way would be to take a swine flu swab, but these are not offered routinely on the NHS.

 

 

Q: How do you treat it?

 

A: There is no cure - only treatments to help alleviate the symptoms. Treatment aims to avoid dehydration so sip clear fluids little and often. You should check that you are passing water regularly: this is especially important for infants, as dry nappies can be a sign of dehydration. Eat bland, starchy food such as toast or rice; these will also slow down any diarrhoea. Control the temperature with paracetamol - avoid ibuprofen as it can worsen vomiting.

 

 

Q: Is there a vaccine to prevent norovirus?

 

A: No - but it may be something that is available in the future. Although unpleasant, it is a short-lived illness with minimal consequences so many would argue a vaccine is unnecessary for otherwise healthy people.

 

 

Q: Can you get norovirus twice?

 

A: Unfortunately, immunity to the virus only lasts a few months before you become susceptible again. Also, there are many different strains of the virus so it is possible for infection to occur several times:eek:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As it happens my wife and I both contacted Norovirus towards the end of a cruise on Aurora 3 years ago. We were escorted ashore in Southampton as soon as the first gangway went out. Arrived home and spent the next few days in bed, hence my concerns with Boudicca.

I note this is the 2nd outbreak onboard in the past four weeks.

Agree with everyone it is not necessarily FO at fault in fact on our first FO cruise recently we were both impressed on some of their hygiene measures it just appears Boudicca is unlucky in the past few weeks.

mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, we had this happen on Balmoral last year. We had delayed embarcation due to the deep cleaning of the ship. The bug seemed to be still on there and they kept up their strict hygiene measures (buffets served to you etc.) but when we got into warmer seas it seemed to fizzle out. It is called the 'Winter Vomiting Bug' and the cold weather seems to bring it out. I don't think the cruise line could do much more than they do, after all it is very infectious and many people do not follow the hygiene rules. I noticed many people wiping off the hand sanitiser from their hands after being compulsorily 'squirted'. I also noticed people with walking frames (not all of them) not bothering to rub it into their hands. We did not contract the virus but we did undertake extreme precautions ourselves i.e. using paper towel to open toilet door etc. One lady told me she was only using the toilet in her cabin and that seemed to have kept her free from it. Enjoy your cruise, try not to worry, take all the precautions and have a lovely time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, we had this happen on Balmoral last year. We had delayed embarcation due to the deep cleaning of the ship. The bug seemed to be still on there and they kept up their strict hygiene measures (buffets served to you etc.) but when we got into warmer seas it seemed to fizzle out. It is called the 'Winter Vomiting Bug' and the cold weather seems to bring it out. I don't think the cruise line could do much more than they do, after all it is very infectious and many people do not follow the hygiene rules. I noticed many people wiping off the hand sanitiser from their hands after being compulsorily 'squirted'. I also noticed people with walking frames (not all of them) not bothering to rub it into their hands. We did not contract the virus but we did undertake extreme precautions ourselves i.e. using paper towel to open toilet door etc. One lady told me she was only using the toilet in her cabin and that seemed to have kept her free from it. Enjoy your cruise, try not to worry, take all the precautions and have a lovely time.

 

That's all you can do - be as vigilant as possible and keep your fingers crossed.

It must be a devil to get rid of in such a huge environment. And it may be far more widepread that we are informed about as I understand that (in the US) there is no obligation to inform the public of GI illness on board.

Not only ships have it of course, as noted above. And not only F.O ships!

 

I do wonder if our level of education is sufficient to ensure we stay on our toes even after the main symptoms have gone, one health document indicating that the virus is still in faeces for up to a fortnight. Another source indicated that viral shedding (that might be a different phrase for the same thing) could go on for the same length of time. Anyway, it doesn't hurt to be extra careful for a while longer!

 

I, along with maybe 100 others, had it on the recent Transatlantic cruise. And I was SO careful. It got me in the end (no pun intended) and I did all the things that one is supposed to.

There was some lax and unhygienic behaviour on the part of some travellers, I saw that, and it really can be off putting - and my God, try to point out that they shouldn't be picking up bread rolls with their hands and watch out!!

We arrived back on 5 Nov. Passengers were apparently asked not to board until 17.30 for the Med cruise - this next bit is a ship's story, I don't know that it is a fact - but we heard that all crews' quarters on deck 3 were then to be fumigated.

 

Yesterday someone heard from a Med passenger who said that clearance to go into Athens had been delayed - so unfortunately it seems still to be a problem but I don't know the extent of it.

 

But I also saw that the crew was doing sterling work around the clock to sanitise everything that didn't move and everything that did. I really felt for the poor chaps who had to go into the cabins to clean and fumigate, what an awful task they had so hope F.O gives them a 'dirty and hazardous work' bonus, they surely deserve it. Same with cleaning and laundry staff, they don't get too much recognition for what they do, either.

A little tip I read somewhere was that it is possible to buy an anti-viral spray, might be a good pre-holiday buy? Hope you have a great time and a healthy holiday!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I recently came back off HAL Prinsendam ,they had the virus on board ,only found out because one of the waiters mentioned it.

 

However one evening going back to my cabin came across 3 cleaners waiting to go into a cabin, all doned with masks and full gear,there were passengers in the cabin,on HAL you have 2 stewards to clean your cabin ,one does the bathroom ,one the cabin,all seats on the ship where being sprayed with anti-viral each day.

 

So FO aren,t the only cruiselines ,the others just keep it quiet and yes Balmoral still has a problem.:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I recently came back off HAL Prinsendam ,they had the virus on board ,only found out because one of the waiters mentioned it.

 

However one evening going back to my cabin came across 3 cleaners waiting to go into a cabin, all doned with masks and full gear,there were passengers in the cabin,on HAL you have 2 stewards to clean your cabin ,one does the bathroom ,one the cabin,all seats on the ship where being sprayed with anti-viral each day.

 

So FO aren,t the only cruiselines ,the others just keep it quiet and yes Balmoral still has a problem.:)

 

There we go then! I suppose the day might come on board when numbers of ill persons make it impossible to keep the information away from passengers - and best management to minimise spread will have to include themand their cooperation and goodwilll in minimising spread. Whether we travel on the healthiest rated ships or (unwittingly) the sickest - it can still be the luck of the draw. Sorry for the poor souls still getting it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just returned from a trip to Iberia on Boudicca and yes there is still Noro virus on board. I got it during the last couple of days. Restrictions were in force from the time we came aboard, lifted after two days and then reinforced again. It spoiled the trip somewhat because you could not serve yourself and you were constantly served by waiters during breakfast/lunch with plastic gloves on. Plus the fact that disinfectant was slashed over buttons etc on lifts.

 

I think the quick turnaround of these vessels is to blame for a lot of this. Boudicca seemed to be sailing at 6pm the same day we came into Portsmouth. They looked after us well when we were confined to our cabin so no complaints there but would not lift the quarantine until we were to leave the ship - not sure I will travel with this company again. The virus has been on the ship at least 3 weeks - I didn't get a letter informing me of that otherwise I would probably have cancelled as I have underlying health problems. Fortunately for me the attack was not too bad but it could have been very different.:confused:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...
Received a letter from FO today advising us of outbreak of Norovirus onboard. We are concerned as we are due to join her tomorrow for next cruise.

FO state the ship will have "a complete disinfection" prior to us going onboard.

Has anyone been in a similar situation we are wondering how effective the disinfection procedure really is.:confused:

Mike

 

From what I have read it wasn`t at all effective. How did you get on?

In an earlier post Nanga Goat said he/she "Obtained aa full refund"

My partner and I are in the same position. We are booked to sail on Boudicca on the next but one cruise and again she has a serious medical condition. However Olsen say they won`t refund unless there is a serious outbreak (More than 5%) on the immediately preceding trip. Can anyone advise me please?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From what I have read it wasn`t at all effective. How did you get on?

In an earlier post Nanga Goat said he/she "Obtained aa full refund"

My partner and I are in the same position. We are booked to sail on Boudicca on the next but one cruise and again she has a serious medical condition. However Olsen say they won`t refund unless there is a serious outbreak (More than 5%) on the immediately preceding trip. Can anyone advise me please?

 

From a practical point of view, the first questions that spring to mind are however would you know what the incidence of sickness was? How could you prove that it was over 5%? That would be over 40 people taken ill. (though recent sickness figures are reported to have been 50, 200 and 286, according to various sources).

 

Maybe FO has changed its policy very recently to include this 'over 5%' proviso.

 

The BBC website wrote on 22 12 09 about these continuing infections on the Boudicca and the article did not mention that.

 

It quoted FO as saying that, prior to the 4 day mini cruise,18 - 22 Dec, on Boudicca (when 50 people were taken ill), passengers were 'warned before they set sail for Amsterdam'.

 

The spokeswoman said that passengers were sent letters to advise that they should see their family doctor if they had medical concerns; further to that she added that "passengers would only be eligible for a refund after cancelling the trip if their GP had advised against taking it".

 

A post on another site this week points to another BBC report

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/suffolk/8476623.stm This report refers to 50+ passengers already seeking legal advice about contracting illness after travelling with FO.

 

So surely it would be a cynical and foolhardy company who would go against the written advice of a medical practitioner, IMO.

 

It is difficult to advise, I can speak only for me in my situation; I have to take care of my health and welfare and try to keep it intact. Would I risk it again? No. There are plenty who would, I'm sure, whose experience has been different.

 

But there is more (potentially) to this infection than a couple of days of the 'squits', as medical advice will point out, for the vulnerable - the young, the old and for anyone whose immune system is not robust. From what you write, it might be that your partner's medical condition would fall into that category ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for your thoughts.

If I understand FO Cust. Rel. (Who incidentally, were very open and forthcoming on the topic) an outbreak exceeding 5% is a "reportable" outbreak. Also FO said they get a daily update and agreed they would make that available if asked.

I understand that by the third or fourth day, it is usually known that a potentially serious outbreak is in progress and cancellation refunds will be considered when medical evidence is produced. My problem is that my partner will be taking a serious risk with an outbreak below the 5% and we would like to cancel now.

Any one with success in claiming?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for your thoughts.

If I understand FO Cust. Rel. (Who incidentally, were very open and forthcoming on the topic) an outbreak exceeding 5% is a "reportable" outbreak. Also FO said they get a daily update and agreed they would make that available if asked.

I understand that by the third or fourth day, it is usually known that a potentially serious outbreak is in progress and cancellation refunds will be considered when medical evidence is produced. My problem is that my partner will be taking a serious risk with an outbreak below the 5% and we would like to cancel now.

Any one with success in claiming?

 

I have done a bit of research. What you describe above seems very strange to me.

 

Firstly to try to answer your question, I searched through a couple of threads on here on the News section and in the FO section.

 

It seems that Nanga Gaat did get a refund; Seannie did not get a refund; and in Mikey 393's parents' case, there has been no feedback.

 

Similarly I went onto the Cruise Reviews section in the other big forum (cr.co.uk - you know the one) and searched for Boudicca posts back as far as October 2009. That resulted in nothing being written regarding cancellations but many descriptive posts about compensation claims and legal actions.

 

That is not to say, of course, that refunds have not been sought or granted. Just that such information hasn't been shared within the cruise forums; and I suspect that the majority of passengers do not post here anyway, though some might be 'lurkers'.

 

I also looked at the Terms and Conditions of the booking contract. Passengers can cancel but there is a high proportion deducted from the refund for what FO calls a 'cancellation fee'. This % depends on how far in advance you cancel.

They point out that the 'cancellation fee' might be 'insurable'.

But you'd still have to get a GP's letter to convince the insurance company that your partner's health would be at risk. And you'd have to watch out for pre-existing medical conditions clauses.

But that's another option, though a more complex one, I suspect.

 

The bottom line in your case is surely this - do we go (and take the risk) of infection) or do we get a medical certificate now to apply for a refund?

 

I am not qualified in law to say if FO can use this 5% sickness level perameter before giving a refund on medical grounds.

It is not in their Terms and Conditions in the 2009 brochure. Sounds suspiciously like making it up on the hoof to me.

 

If you have a free legal advice line attached to your employment or to your house/car policy, or you can access a free half hour slot with a local solicitor, it might be worth a quick chat.

 

Another other free information source, very informative, quick to respond and user friendly advice via the telephone, is a website called Holiday Travel Watch (hope this is allowed). And hope this is useful!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have done a bit of research. What you describe above seems very strange to me.

 

Firstly to try to answer your question, I searched through a couple of threads on here on the News section and in the FO section.

 

It seems that Nanga Gaat did get a refund; Seannie did not get a refund; and in Mikey 393's parents' case, there has been no feedback.

 

Similarly I went onto the Cruise Reviews section in the other big forum (cr.co.uk - you know the one) and searched for Boudicca posts back as far as October 2009. That resulted in nothing being written regarding cancellations but many descriptive posts about compensation claims and legal actions.

 

That is not to say, of course, that refunds have not been sought or granted. Just that such information hasn't been shared within the cruise forums; and I suspect that the majority of passengers do not post here anyway, though some might be 'lurkers'.

 

I also looked at the Terms and Conditions of the booking contract. Passengers can cancel but there is a high proportion deducted from the refund for what FO calls a 'cancellation fee'. This % depends on how far in advance you cancel.

They point out that the 'cancellation fee' might be 'insurable'.

But you'd still have to get a GP's letter to convince the insurance company that your partner's health would be at risk. And you'd have to watch out for pre-existing medical conditions clauses.

But that's another option, though a more complex one, I suspect.

 

The bottom line in your case is surely this - do we go (and take the risk) of infection) or do we get a medical certificate now to apply for a refund?

 

I am not qualified in law to say if FO can use this 5% sickness level perameter before giving a refund on medical grounds.

It is not in their Terms and Conditions in the 2009 brochure. Sounds suspiciously like making it up on the hoof to me.

 

If you have a free legal advice line attached to your employment or to your house/car policy, or you can access a free half hour slot with a local solicitor, it might be worth a quick chat.

 

Another other free information source, very informative, quick to respond and user friendly advice via the telephone, is a website called Holiday Travel Watch (hope this is allowed). And hope this is useful!

 

Many apologies, I should have added that, according to that BBC report on 25 January where they were discussing the infections on Boudicca and Balmoral, they write:

 

' Fred Olsen said norovirus had been brought on board both ships and 50 people had been ill.

 

"It should be noted that currently there is not an outbreak on either ship," it said in a statement.'

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks again - your effort is appreciated and I`m sure will be of widespread interest.

My partner has now requested the GP letter and armed with that I plan to hold off until about 4th/5th Feb by which time the ship will be well into the cruise.

Certainly the Travel Agent involved didn`t seem at all surprised when I called to talk cancellation and they homed in on the medical evidence angle.

More later

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks again - your effort is appreciated and I`m sure will be of widespread interest.

My partner has now requested the GP letter and armed with that I plan to hold off until about 4th/5th Feb by which time the ship will be well into the cruise.

Certainly the Travel Agent involved didn`t seem at all surprised when I called to talk cancellation and they homed in on the medical evidence angle.

More later

 

I think that's very wise. People I met are still ill from the Oct 09 Balmoral cruise and having to go for investigative test this week. Cancellation is something to consider very carefully if your underlying health is less than 100% - not only on cruises of course - but these come with a built in risk factor at the moment IMO.

 

Anyway at that stage (4 - 5 Feb) it might be worth having a look at cruisejunkie dot com

This is a website run by a Canadian sociologist and his site often contains bang up to date information about what is happening on ships, (as well as epidemiological hygiene report data from the US' CDC and other links), information sometime emailed from passengers on the ship.

 

Just go into Events at Sea for 2010 and scroll down - whatever info he collects is there on a day to day basis i.e 30 Jan - a bomb scare!! (Not on Boudicca). That would be the last straw, maybe!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks again - your effort is appreciated and I`m sure will be of widespread interest.

My partner has now requested the GP letter and armed with that I plan to hold off until about 4th/5th Feb by which time the ship will be well into the cruise.

Certainly the Travel Agent involved didn`t seem at all surprised when I called to talk cancellation and they homed in on the medical evidence angle.

More later

 

Duplicate post

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that's very wise. People I met are still ill from the Oct 09 Balmoral cruise and having to go for investigative test this week. Cancellation is something to consider very carefully if your underlying health is less than 100% - not only on cruises of course - but these come with a built in risk factor at the moment IMO.

 

Anyway at that stage (4 - 5 Feb) it might be worth having a look at cruisejunkie dot com

This is a website run by a Canadian sociologist and his site often contains bang up to date information about what is happening on ships, (as well as epidemiological hygiene report data from the US' CDC and other links), information sometime emailed from passengers on the ship.

 

Just go into Events at Sea for 2010 and scroll down - whatever info he collects is there on a day to day basis i.e 30 Jan - a bomb scare!! (Not on Boudicca). That would be the last straw, maybe!

 

 

 

As of Friday 5th Feb FO says about eighty people infected on the present cruise. The ship will again be "deep cleansed" on its return. FO will write to all next group passengers setting out the position and presumably the options.

My partner and I have strong recommendations from our GPs not to risk it and I am cancelling and requesting refunds.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Received a letter from FO today advising us of outbreak of Norovirus onboard. We are concerned as we are due to join her tomorrow for next cruise.

FO state the ship will have "a complete disinfection" prior to us going onboard.

Has anyone been in a similar situation we are wondering how effective the disinfection procedure really is.:confused:

Mike

We have had a letter as well and due to join the ship onj15/02/10. we have contacted FO to try and transfer to another cruise but they would nt let us. Will never use FO again

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: Experience more Co-op Holidays
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...