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RMSeadog

Veedam Sick

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Just received a phone message from member C 2 C. They are onboard Veedam in the Caribbean. The ship is sending many guests home form Grand Cayman. They did not say what the illness is or how long it has been going on. They where to visit us enroute to Zenith out of JAX but canceled the visit because they don't want to us ill. That's all the info I have. They may email later today. If I get any new info I'll pass it on.

 

 

Rick

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Please pass on whatever info you have Rick. We are set to leave on the Veendam Feb. 5th. Guess there is not a lot we can do. Tickets are bought and maybe we won't get sick. Seems like they have had a lot of trouble lately with sickness on the Veendam. Guess it is difficult to get rid of once it starts.

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Wed, Jan. 26, 2005

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/business/national/10733306.htm

 

Sickness reports double

 

With the winter cruise season in full swing, the CDC warns that noroviruses are on the rise. Ten ships have reported stomach-flu outbreaks in the last two months.

 

BY JIM WYSS jwyss@herald.com

Copyright 2005 Knight Ridder All Rights Reserved

 

Talk about seasick. Over the past two months the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has received reports of 10 cruise ships stricken with outbreaks of gastrointestinal problems -- more than double the number recorded during the same period a year ago.

 

The latest case is Holland America's Veendam, which sailed out of Tampa on Jan 15. According to the CDC, on Sunday the vessel reported that 107 of its 1,220 passengers -- or 8.8 percent -- had become sick. Illness rates of 3 percent or higher are considered an outbreak.

 

Earlier this month -- during a different leg of the cruise -- the same boat reported 70 ill -- 5.6 percent. Some of those passengers tested positive for norovirus, a hard-to-kill bug that causes symptoms associated with the stomach flu, such as diarrhea and vomiting.

 

''The norovirus, historically, has been cyclic over the course of a year, and some [years] are worse than others,'' said Dave Forney, chief of the Vessel Sanitation Program at the CDC. ``And we usually see more in the winter months than in the summer months.''

 

While researchers aren't certain why the seasonal trend exists, Forney said when lots of people close themselves up in confined spaces for extended periods, there is an elevated risk of noroviruses. College campuses, hotels and cruise ships are all prime breeding grounds.

 

Nick Schowengerdt, Holland America's director of policy and planning, said the Veendam would return to Tampa on schedule this Saturday.

 

''Typically you have one or two passengers that come on board and bring [the virus] with them,'' he said. ``Which is not to criticize them -- they usually don't know -- but it shows you just how easily it can be transmitted person to person.''

 

The norovirus is notoriously resilient, able to survive for weeks at a time on surfaces and then spread like wildfire through social contact. It's biggest foe: a bar of soap and frequent hand washing.

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Please pass on whatever info you have Rick. We are set to leave on the Veendam Feb. 5th. Guess there is not a lot we can do. Tickets are bought and maybe we won't get sick. Seems like they have had a lot of trouble lately with sickness on the Veendam. Guess it is difficult to get rid of once it starts.

Don't fret too much. I doubt this has anything to do with the Veendam as an individual ship. I was on the Sun Princess earlier this month and we had an outbreak there too.

 

It's just that a ship is a confined area, and all you need is one passenger to bring the virus onboard (and most of the time they do so unknowingly because they don't even have any symptoms yet), and you could be faced with a shipfull of sick passengers.

 

Just take precautions ... wash your hands repeatedly, especially before and after eating, using the toilet, etc. ... and you'll maximize your chances of staying well. Also, try to keep your distance from passengers who are clearly coughing, have runny noses, etc. Norovirus is not the only thing that will ruin your vacation ... a lousy cold could wreck it too.

 

Blue skies and have a wonderful cruise!

 

--rita

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I've been trying to post all afternoon, but it won't let me. My parents are on another HAL ship right now that has skipped a port and is ending a day early, because there is so much illness on board. One of the medics told my mother that close to 50% of the ship has been stricken. None of us can believe that it hasn't made the news! My father felt weak for a few days, but never got nauseous. Mother has been fit as a fiddle.

 

They are supposed to continue on this ship for another cruise (back to back) and the staff keeps telling them, "We haven't decided what to do with you yet" because they will spend at least one day in port sanitizing the ship. Will their cruise be cut in half? Will they be sent home? Will they be put up in a hotel until the ship is ready to sail again?

 

I don't want to say the name of the ship my parents are on, because I don't want the press to pick up on it. Seems like when they do, then the next cruise is even more likely to be canceled so they can fumigate or whatever, and I'd rather not be the one to be responsible for that. Suffice it to say, things are in a terrible mess on board.

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We were on the RCCL Enchantment 10 days ago and the previous cruise to ours had had an outbreak. We were incredibly impressed with RCCL's steps to break the cycle. There was an army of crew wiping down the surfaces with chlorine throughout our cruise. And plenty of hand sanitizer machines throughout the ship. There were only a few passengers getting ill and as long as they voluntarily stayed in their cabin as quarantine they were issued a hefty refund.

The cycle can be broken!

 

Next up Zuiderdam 4/02/2005

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Oh my Lord, we are sailing on the Westerdam on 2/13.... I sure hope that's not the sick ship:eek: :( ! Better start loading up on the Purell. We usually use that and spray the entire cabin with Lysol. We sailed the Carnival Legend in Dec and were kind of lax about it. Lulled into a feeling of confidence with no outbreaks reported, SO we will be very very careful this time around.

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I don't want to say the name of the ship my parents are on, because I don't want the press to pick up on it. Seems like when they do, then the next cruise is even more likely to be canceled so they can fumigate or whatever, and I'd rather not be the one to be responsible for that. Suffice it to say, things are in a terrible mess on board.

 

Don't worry about the press picking up on it from your post. They more than likely already have all the info. When a certain percentage of people get sick on a ship, it must be reported to the CDC. The press always gets ahold of this information.

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Oh my Lord, we are sailing on the Westerdam on 2/13.... I sure hope that's not the sick ship:eek: :( ! Better start loading up on the Purell. We usually use that and spray the entire cabin with Lysol. We sailed the Carnival Legend in Dec and were kind of lax about it. Lulled into a feeling of confidence with no outbreaks reported, SO we will be very very careful this time around.

 

 

Sorry to tell you, but Purell was not the magic solution for me. Neither were all of the hand sanitizers which I used every time we passed by one....nor were all of the multiple hand washings over and over and over.

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I would have thought so, but there's been not an inkling anywhere on the internet (I've searched news, groups, and cruise message boards) about what's happening on board.

 

A couple days ago they picked up tons more medical personnel to help deal with the number of sick passengers. I thought that surely would get the ship in the news, but so far nothing. HAL must have some very good PR people to be able to keep this hushed (NOT that I blame them, I don't really care for all the news stories myself), but how do they do it?

 

Also, anyone have an opinion of what they'll do with my parents? They're not exactly elderly and infirm, but as their grown daughter, I'd like to know what's to become of them when the ship gets to port...

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I would have thought so, but there's been not an inkling anywhere on the internet (I've searched news, groups, and cruise message boards) about what's happening on board.

 

A couple days ago they picked up tons more medical personnel to help deal with the number of sick passengers. I thought that surely would get the ship in the news, but so far nothing. HAL must have some very good PR people to be able to keep this hushed (NOT that I blame them, I don't really care for all the news stories myself), but how do they do it?

 

Also, anyone have an opinion of what they'll do with my parents? They're not exactly elderly and infirm, but as their grown daughter, I'd like to know what's to become of them when the ship gets to port...

 

 

You certainly have gotten our attention and peaked our interest.

 

I'm a bit confused about

"they picked up tons more medical personnel to help deal......" Tons more?

 

HAL ships normally sail with a physcian and two (to - I think - four) nurses) for pax. There is also a physician for crew.

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Sorry to tell you, but Purell was not the magic solution for me. Neither were all of the hand sanitizers which I used every time we passed by one....nor were all of the multiple hand washings over and over and over.

Nope. All it takes in one dope to sneeze without covering their mouth and those little germies are airborne and all over the place. Such folks were obviously raised by wolves!

 

All the precautions you can take are good, but as Sail says they are no guarantee.

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"tons more": My mother emailed me that they had taken on quite a number of additional "white suits", which is her term for medical professionals, while they were stopped at a port a couple days ago. I apologize, perhaps the word "tons" was hyperbole, but it was unintended.

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I would have thought so, but there's been not an inkling anywhere on the internet (I've searched news, groups, and cruise message boards) about what's happening on board.

 

A couple days ago they picked up tons more medical personnel to help deal with the number of sick passengers. I thought that surely would get the ship in the news, but so far nothing. HAL must have some very good PR people to be able to keep this hushed (NOT that I blame them, I don't really care for all the news stories myself), but how do they do it?

 

Also, anyone have an opinion of what they'll do with my parents? They're not exactly elderly and infirm, but as their grown daughter, I'd like to know what's to become of them when the ship gets to port...

 

Oh just say what darn ship its on.. We are leaving tommorrrow to drive to Ft. Laudedrale for Sundays Westerdam embarkation and you've tantalized my interest- hope your not just getting a kick out of spreading rumors..

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Indeed I am not just "getting my kicks". It's not the Westerdam, it's not any ship that any of you have mentioned, and I'm sorry if I'm getting people upset. That was not my intention. My intention was to get an opinion on what you all (more experienced with HAL than I) think they will do with my parents. Like I said in my original post on this thread, I tried to post a separate new thread first, but it kept getting eaten. I probably tried eight times, and then had to wait five minutes in between each attempt. When I saw this thread, I'm afraid I "hijacked it" by butting in. I do apologize.

 

Again, while I can't say that I'm worried per se about my parents and what shall be their lot come the day the ship arrives at port, I am...vaguely concerned, and would like to have some idea. I know that none of you work for HAL, and so anything you would say would be simply prognostication, but as I said, you are also more familiar with HAL and their practices than am I.

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What is the quarantine period that the ship's med personnel are requesting of sick pax? I would presume a certain number of days from the time you become ill or what period of time after you are feeling well again?

 

In other words, what are the parameters of quarantine that would protect healthy pax from catching the virus from pax who have contracted it? Do any of you recent pax from the Veendam cruise remember?

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We are leaving Sat. on the Veendam and last night received an email from them that they will come in early on Sat. and that they will not have early embarkation. Embarkation is set for 2 p.m. and they plan to sail at 5 p.m.

 

We have all the goodies packed to take care of things. Hubby got sick on Zenith last March...which we think was food poisoning but he was confined to cabin for 24 hrs. He was fine after taking some medication. He another lady who were in the infirmary had the same dessert the night before..her husband was fine and so was I. Always take precautions with hand washing etc. As a matter of fact they had hand sanitizers at beginning of buffet line and outside of Dining Room. At first they insisted passengers use it before handing out trays..but then did not and we saw people who just skipped doing it.

 

It could happen anywhere. When I was teaching we always had outbreaks of it and no big deal was made, but since cruise ships have to report to the CDC the media makes a big deal out of it.

 

I think it was the Ryandam...read an article in one of the posts that the BVI wouldn't let them in port until they checked. Only those passengers who were not quarantined were allowed to disembark in Tortola and given warnings about hand washing etc.

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What is the quarantine period that the ship's med personnel are requesting of sick pax? I would presume a certain number of days from the time you become ill or what period of time after you are feeling well again?

 

In other words, what are the parameters of quarantine that would protect healthy pax from catching the virus from pax who have contracted it? Do any of you recent pax from the Veendam cruise remember?

 

 

 

72 hours from onset of symptons

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What meds should be packed just in case?

 

General penicilin?

 

 

Antibiotics are ineffective. It is viral; not bacterial.

 

You may wish to ask your doctor if he/she thinks you should bring something with you just in case.

 

I had 'just in case' meds with us. I chose to let the virus run its course .....it wasn't easy keeping meds down!

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There's virus on the Ryndam. My parents are on this cruise. Dad called this afternoon from Half Moon Cay Bahamas to let us know they are arriving in Ft Lauderdale a day earlier than planned; tomorrow Fri.01/28. He didn't go into much detail about the virus, more concerned with us picking them up on a friday afternoon at the atlanta airport.

 

This cruise originated in San Diego, middle of january, going thru Panama Canal, & ending up in Lauderdale.

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KM, you might notice that Ruffin's post is now GONE.

RE your parents situation, I believe they would likely put them up in a hotel if this would be an overnight situation. There is another post regarding the Ryndam. ( if that is the ship your parents are on) Check it out. There is a letter that was sent to travel agencies about the ship arriving early and embarking later. You parents might ask for a tour of the port to take up the time. HAL should accommodate them IMHO. Glad that your parents are OK so far!!

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We sailed on the Zaandam over New Year's. We always used the hand sanitzers in the dining rooms and also when we boarded the ship after going ashore in a port. BUT - we saw a considerable number of people who completely ignored the hand sanitzers. Also, people used their hands rather than the utensils to pick up food on the Lido Buffet especiallly things like cookies or bread. That was pretty disgusting!

Someone told us not to use the public restrooms on the ship as an extra precaution. We followed that advice too.

I do think that some people get on the ship not knowing that they are sick but others are clearly ill when they board. Unfortunately, they infect other passengers. We know for certain one person who boarded with the flu.

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I must say that for the most part a huge percentage of pax on Veendam seemed to regularly be using the hand sanitizers. There were many of them spread around the ship including at the gangway to be used when we reboarded coming back from a port.

 

They certainly placed a good number of them throughout Lido and in front of the dining room.

 

My DH and I remarked that we were happy to see so many people using them.

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