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QE II norovirus?

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My daughter is currently on the QE II cruising NY to Caribbean to NY. I just received a message from her indicating that the Norovirus is active on board. She reports that "all outgoing calls, including that on my cell phone are bouncing back as ~restricted by agency~. we were not informed of the severity of the outbreak until today." She also learned that 500 people are sick.

 

Does anyone have more information? I can't find anything about it on the internet. Can they really stop all outgoing calls??? Is this all a bad joke? Thanks.

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Actually, the ship's name is the QM2 ( Queen Mary 2 ). I googled for a norovirus outbreak currently on the QM2 and also went to the CDC website and so far there are no notices about it. If you find out more, please post it here. There is no reason at all to block calls.

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My daughter is currently on the QE II cruising NY to Caribbean to NY. I just received a message from her indicating that the Norovirus is active on board. She reports that "all outgoing calls, including that on my cell phone are bouncing back as ~restricted by agency~. we were not informed of the severity of the outbreak until today." She also learned that 500 people are sick.

 

Does anyone have more information? I can't find anything about it on the internet. Can they really stop all outgoing calls??? Is this all a bad joke? Thanks.

I am currently on the Queen Mary 2 and there is a big outbreak. I don't know about the phone calls but tons of people are sick and they are putting more restrictions on us every day. Rumor has it that they may shut down the buffets. From what I have heard, a bunch of people were sick on the transatlantic crossing that preceded our cruise so Cunard knew there was a problem.

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Actually, the ship's name is the QM2 ( Queen Mary 2 ). I googled for a norovirus outbreak currently on the QM2 and also went to the CDC website and so far there are no notices about it. If you find out more, please post it here. There is no reason at all to block calls.

Trust me, it is definitely happening. I am on the Queen Mary 2 right now.

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I happened to be reading the roll call for the QM2's December 22nd cruise and there are a couple of posts on there about it being a sick ship. What a shame!

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I have never felt as sorry for the staff as I do now. They are working round the clock battling this situation. It is serious, but in my opinion it is being handled very well. The festivities continue and those of us who have avoided this virus continue to enjoy the many offerings we come to expect and appreciate.

 

For those passengers who have been exposed, they are confined to their cabins until declared safe to come out. I do not believe anyone's life is in danger. If there is a communication issue at present, I am not aware of the reason, but please do not be frightened.

 

Jeanne

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My daughter is currently on the QE II cruising NY to Caribbean to NY. I just received a message from her indicating that the Norovirus is active on board. She reports that "all outgoing calls, including that on my cell phone are bouncing back as ~restricted by agency~. we were not informed of the severity of the outbreak until today." She also learned that 500 people are sick.

 

Does anyone have more information? I can't find anything about it on the internet. Can they really stop all outgoing calls??? Is this all a bad joke? Thanks.

 

Hi macsback. I don't know what the problem is with making phone calls on board QM2, but when your daughter reaches the next port, she should be able to phone you from there. Because passengers have posted from the ship on this thread, we know that the internet connection is working. So, I don't think it would make much sense for phone calls from the ship to be intentionally blocked when the internet is working and calls can be made at port stops.

 

To those all on board who are ill, best wishes for a speedy recovery. My sympathy to passengers and crew dealing with the disruption. Regards, -S.

Edited by Salacia

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This is so unfortunate for all concerned and strange as it happened on the QM2, same destination, same time in 2010.

Best wishes to all concerned for quick recoveries, so that you can get to enjoy the rest of the voyage.

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This is so unfortunate for all concerned and strange as it happened on the QM2, same destination, same time in 2010.

Best wishes to all concerned for quick recoveries, so that you can get to enjoy the rest of the voyage.

 

Wow, that's a coincidence. I wonder if 'patient zero' made a return.

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From what I have heard, a bunch of people were sick on the transatlantic crossing that preceded our cruise so Cunard knew there was a problem.
I was on the QM2 transatlantic departing Southampton 15th Dec that arrived New York 22nd Dec.

 

An outbreak of Noro on a P&O ship in Southampton two days before we departed had made national TV headlines.

So naturally Cunard were keen to be seen to be tackling any potential threat.

For three days we had restrictions (in the Kings Court for example, and no handshaking with officers during the entire voyage) and I observed constant cleaning of handrails etc by crew in all public rooms (much more so than normal, even while the rooms were in use).

We were assured that we had beaten any outbreak and the restrictions were relaxed, but we were urged to continue to take every possible precaution. Everyone I was able to observe, seemed to comply.

There was no reported outbreak or re-introduction of restrictions while I was on the crossing, and if we had had an outbreak I feel certain there would have been new restrictions placed on us, esp in the buffet.

Any rumoured sickness on the transatlantic voyage was, I am sure, caused by sea-sickness as the crossing was "very-rough" to "storm-force" almost all the way across (I saw people people being sick in Illuminations for example).

If there is Noro on board QM2 now, then it may have come on board in New York.

I urge everyone to remember the basic rules taught us as children and take extra precautions (on handrails and when in lifts/elevators).

 

Hope this helps.

Edited by pepperrn

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I'm also onboard, and I think there is a bit of misinformation in this thread.

 

Yes, there is a persistent outbreak of noro onboard.

I don't think it's anywhere near 500 (e.g., 20% of passengers). I think reporting is mandatory at a much lower level of outbreak.

The restaurants are still full.

The Captain last night recommended that people take all of their meals in the full-service restaurants rather than the buffet, but the buffet remains open as of this morning.

 

We've been kept informed daily of the persistent cases, although there has been no official word on the number of cases (just that "cases have been continuing to be reported"). Again, it's nowhere near 500 to my observation.

 

We ate lunch with some passengers who had made the crossing and they said that after the normal 3-day period at the start of the voyage when things are more restrictive it was more relaxed than there was no apparent outbreak on the crossing.

 

In my opinion this is not really unusual in a winter cruise, especially considering the current European outbreak. You bring a lot of people together from around the world and confine them for a few days at sea and there is bound to be some exchange of sickness. The crew has justifiably been reacting to this but I think the quickness and extent of their reaction suggests a more widespread outbreak than is the case.

 

If I were to guess I'd say the extent is 75 people, or about 3%. Just a guess based on the number of cleaners I've seen in the passageways outside of staterooms.

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Wow, that's a coincidence. I wonder if 'patient zero' made a return.

Now that the Mayan Calender hype has fizzled out, time to turn our attention to The Riddle of The Norovirus.

Seriously though, still thinking of all aboard the QM2.

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I was on the Transatlantic which departed on 15th Dec and while there were a few restrictions initially there were no cases of Noro on board. As has been said there were several cases of seasickness due to the rough crossing, but that was all. I highly doubt the accuracy of the original post here and I'm still looking forward to re-joining the ship on the 3rd Jan!

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It can't be easy for any cruise line to know the total number of passengers stricken with a gastrointestinal virus because not all infected report to the Medical Centre. But "The CDC requires "an immediate special report … when the percentage of gastrointestinal illness cases in either passenger or crew reaches 2 percent," wrote Vazquez, a CDC health communication specialist, in an e-mail." quoted from http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/fl-emerald-princess-virus-20121227,0,3050426.story

 

I don't know how many passengers or crew members are currently on board QM2, but if 2% of either are stricken, my guess is that the CDC website* would reflect that information - and currently there is no mention of an outbreak on QM2 (not to doubt that there is a problem, only that it appears not to have reached the 2% threshold). Of course, that doesn't explain why the passengers on board have not been informed of the reported number of cases to date, thus quelling any speculation.

 

Best wishes to all concerned. Regards, -S.

 

*http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/vsp/surv/gilist.htm

Edited by Salacia

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I am also onboard. Yesterday evening While waiting in line at the pursers desk I overheard a woman complaining very loudly about the Norovirus. From what I could hear her father had been ill and the number of ill passengers was over 200. Her initial complaint was about poor service but she became very vocal when she mentioned the Norovirus. As of last night's announcement the Captain was urging everyone not to eat in the King's Court but to use the dining room for meals.

 

We have also been urged to NOT use the public restroom but to use our cabin. Anadimo (Jeanne) is right the crew are working like crazy to service all the guests. At lunch today i noticed the hand rails on the promenade deck were wiped three times in about 1 hour.

 

Bruce

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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It is passengers who bring Noro onboard and they should not be hassling the staff who contain things very well. I do wonder how many actually have the virus and how many simply have sea-sickness or tummy upsets? Oh well, hopefully it will be contained by next week! :(

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I have never felt as sorry for the staff as I do now. They are working round the clock battling this situation. It is serious, but in my opinion it is being handled very well. The festivities continue and those of us who have avoided this virus continue to enjoy the many offerings we come to expect and appreciate.

 

For those passengers who have been exposed, they are confined to their cabins until declared safe to come out. I do not believe anyone's life is in danger. If there is a communication issue at present, I am not aware of the reason, but please do not be frightened.

 

Jeanne

 

Hi Jeanne......so glad to read you are not affected, and are still able to enjoy the festive season....keep it that way!! Not a fun thing to deal with over the holidays for passengers and especially the hard working staff.

 

Hope our mutual friends are OK..not heard from her which is odd. Will email her but if you see them tell them I was concerned.

 

Have a great time.....Happy New Year! :D

 

Cheers, Penny

“You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water” Rabindranath Tagore

 

Penny’s “Affair to Remember” QM2 Review Dec. 2006

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=471053

November 10,2007...QM2 to the Caribbean again

October 16,2008...QM2 transatlantic in tandem with the grand QE2 on her final transatlantic voyage.

December 9, 2008...QM2...back to the Caribbean

July 30, 2009....QM2....transatlantic again...

August 7, 2009....QM2... “home” to Norway

Feb. 7, 2010....Emerald Princess to the Caribbean

Aug 14, 2010...QM2... return to Norway, all the way to the top!

Aug 22, 2011...Diamond Princess....North to Alaska!!

Dec 2,2011...Noordam to the Caribbean...outstanding! http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1544173

2012...Assorted land trips in my own stunning country

Oct 2012....OBX

2012...Booked on the lovely Noordam again

 

Several North Atlantic crossings from childhood thru college on ships of the old Norwegian America line and Swedish America Line...RIP to those marvelous old ships

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It is passengers who bring Noro onboard and they should not be hassling the staff who contain things very well. I do wonder how many actually have the virus and how many simply have sea-sickness or tummy upsets? Oh well, hopefully it will be contained by next week! :(

 

Just a thought...Considering the precautions the Captain is recommending to passengers (i.e. avoid the buffet and public area washrooms, etc), I doubt it is due to "sea-sickness or tummy upsets".

 

Clearly, there is an outbreak of gastrointestional illness on board. (We're calling it Noro here because that is most often the cause, but that hasn't been confirmed yet, nor has the extent of the outbreak.) When and how the virus came on board is also an open question, but passengers are not the only possible source. At this point, I imagine what matters most to passengers and crew is that it is contained as soon as possible. I'm sure every effort is being made to have that happen.

 

 

BTW, does anyone know if cruise lines are required to inform passengers waiting to board if there has been an reportable outbreak of gastrointestinal illness on the previous voyage? And if so, is their any compensation regarding their fare for those who decide not to board?-Thanks, -S.

Edited by Salacia

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BTW, does anyone know if cruise lines are required to inform passengers waiting to board if there has been an reportable outbreak of gastrointestinal illness on the previous voyage? And if so, is their any compensation regarding their fare for those who decide not to board?-Thanks, -S.

 

If it gets to a very serious level where the CDC board the ship and get involved, then the usual practice is that passengers for the next voyage will be informed. At that point, if you do not wish to go on the cruise, Cunard will give a full refund if your travel agent gets in touch with them and asks for a refund. I have found them very fair on this. However, the outbreak would need to be very serious before this happens.

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Wonder what cruisejunkie would make of the fact that the retirement/assisted living facility across the road from me has had an outbreak of Norovirus. So much so that they cancelled many of their Holiday social events.

 

Susan

 

I don't know, are they all on a cruise?

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They probably wish they were.... the care would probably be better.

since everyone seems to feel that on a cruise you have to report it (which of course you do), I would assume that everyone would be equally alarmed about Noro at a home, or a school, or wherever. But people just say "ah, the tummy bug"... I have some friends (more like acquatinances) who will not cuise for fear of being sick ... but they eat salad from the salad bar at the local grocery which is wonderful way to pick up a bug or two.

 

Susan

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Wonder what cruisejunkie would make of the fact that the retirement/assisted living facility across the road from me has had an outbreak of Norovirus. So much so that they cancelled many of their Holiday social events.

 

Susan

 

Hi Susan. Don't know what cruisejunkie would make of that, but from what I have read, it is standard procedure to cancel social events, and not gather large groups of people together when there is an outbreak of gastrointestional illness. So it seems the retirement/assisted living facility across the road from you followed standard procedure. Apparently, cruise ships are extremely reluctant to do that - for obviou$ reasons.

 

 

Salacia

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If it gets to a very serious level where the CDC board the ship and get involved, then the usual practice is that passengers for the next voyage will be informed. At that point, if you do not wish to go on the cruise, Cunard will give a full refund if your travel agent gets in touch with them and asks for a refund. I have found them very fair on this. However, the outbreak would need to be very serious before this happens.

 

Hi Louise D. Thanks for your response. I became curious last August when waiting to board a Holland America Cruise for several uncomfortable hours after assigned boarding time, standing in the Manhattan Terminal. The reason given for the delay was "due to technical problems". After two hours of standing and waiting, I asked a HAL rep if there was a problem with Noro virus on the previous cruise.

 

"NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT, if there was Noro on board, we would be required to tell you!" the HAL rep holding a clipboard responded. (Long story, but boarding for all passengers was delayed for several hours due to problems found by CDC Health Inspectors. Passengers boarding were not informed that the ship had just received a failed inspection report. Apparently, that was not something that the cruise line was required to tell boarding passengers.)

 

And so, I wondered what, if any rules applied had there been a Noro outbreak. BTW, there was no way to contact my travel agent at that time, nor could I get internet access to post on this forum to seek advice. Also I'm not clear on what is meant by "a very serious outbreak".

 

Thanks again, regards -s.

Edited by Salacia

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Last night the Captain emphasized the importance of remaining in your cabin if you are suffering from the gastro-intestinal upset (they're calling it "suspected norovirus" but only because they don't have proof, I think). He said that from now on people not staying in their cabin would be reported to him, and he would then have to consider the consequences.

 

The plank?

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And so, I wondered what, if any rules applied had there been a Noro outbreak. BTW, there was no way to contact my travel agent at that time, nor could I get internet access to post on this forum to seek advice. Also I'm not clear on what is meant by "a very serious outbreak".

 

Thanks again, regards -s.

 

Salacia, I am recalling a situation where the CDC had boarded QE2 at an earlier port, was trying to work with Cunard on ways to lessen the numbers of people affected and there were rumours that the next voyage might need to be cancelled to enable extreme sanitising measures to be undertaken.

 

Louise

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Last night the Captain emphasized the importance of remaining in your cabin if you are suffering from the gastro-intestinal upset (they're calling it "suspected norovirus" but only because they don't have proof, I think). He said that from now on people not staying in their cabin would be reported to him, and he would then have to consider the consequences.

 

The plank?

 

Are you calling the captain a plank?:eek::D

 

Sir Martin

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It is passengers who bring Noro onboard and they should not be hassling the staff who contain things very well. I do wonder how many actually have the virus and how many simply have sea-sickness or tummy upsets? Oh well, hopefully it will be contained by next week! :(

 

I take you've never had the Noro? There is a big difference, I had it on our November cruise and my god I have never been so ill, I was confined to my cabin for 24 hours they sent a cleaner to supposedly deep clean my cabin but if wiping a few things and changing the bedding is a deep clean then I can understand why it keeps spreading.

I was given a special room service menu with low fat bland foods and chicken but the food was awful I could not eat anything, luckily it was the last full day onboard, I was escorted off the ship making sure I went straight off. Not the best experience.

 

Cunard QM2 need to clean more..IMO

Edited by Jason12

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I take you've never had the Noro? There is a big difference, I had it on our November cruise and my god I have never been so ill, I was confined to my cabin for 24 hours they sent a cleaner to supposedly deep clean my cabin but if wiping a few things and changing the bedding is a deep clean then I can understand why it keeps spreading.

I was given a special room service menu with low fat bland foods and chicken but the food was awful I could not eat anything, luckily it was the last full day onboard, I was escorted off the ship making sure I went straight off. Not the best experience.

 

Cunard QM2 need to clean more..IMO

 

What has that got to do with incorrect reports? The fact is that people mistake other symptoms with Noro ( which is a non-specific virus) and post on forums that they had it when they didn't. On the crossing on the 22nd Dec I had people telling me they had Norovirus when clearly they did not. I'm sure your experience was real and it must have been awful. What I was referring to was the conflictling and incorrect reports of numbers in the current outbreak. Figures have varied from over 500 to the "official" number of 75! All I am saying is that some folk are prone to exaggeration. Anyway, I will see for myself on my return journey on the 3rd.

 

Sent from my GT-P5110 using Tapatalk 2

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When I went on Independence of the Seas in October, we were informed beforehand that check-in would be delayed due to cleaning after an outbreak of norovirus during the previous cruise. Crew stood by gangways or eating places handing everyone a wipe the entire cruise. We had a couple of cases on ours but it was quashed fast. Last year on QM2 we had hundreds, with cases still being reported when we returned to Southampton 8 days after the first. We were told nothing except we had it aboard. People continued ignoring Captain Oprey's advice about cleanliness. Unfortunately, as well as those not washing hands, there were no cleaners before then except at night. Suddenly we were overwhelmed by them. Last month, tables were not wiped in Kings Court or the Golden Lion when clearing away, resulting in them being disgusting. The passengers and cruise lines have an equal responsibility towards hygiene.

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The ships can always hide behind the excuse that "someone brought it onboard". If I were struck down with it I would want a blood test to prove it was actually Noro and not some other food poisoning bug! Wonder what is the incubation period is for Noro:confused:. The Daily Mail said passengers started to fall ill the first night. Seems unlikely that they all boarded with it and fell ill at the same time. Sounds more of a case of something they ate!

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How's posted incorrect reports?

 

I was referring to the unsubstantuated figures being quoted here and elswhere.

 

However we have just received this email from Cunard:

 

 

Dear Guest,

 

We wish to draw your attention to a change to the embarkation schedule for your forthcoming voyage from Brooklyn Cruise Terminal on Queen Mary 2. During the current voyage, Queen Mary 2 has experienced an increase of gastrointestinal illness on board. The ship will therefore undergo an additional and extensive sanitisation once all guests have disembarked. Embarkation will be delayed in order to allow a thorough disinfection of the ship.

 

We kindly ask that you arrive at the Cruise Terminal four hours later than your previously published check-in time. We appreciate that this may not be possible for all guests and limited seating is available in the terminal. A bag drop facility will be made available at the cruise terminal to allow you to take advantage of a complimentary shuttle which will operate a return service into Manhattan. Thank you for your attention to this notification.

 

 

 

 

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The CDC report is now posted for the current outbreak on the QM2.

 

Investigation Update on the Queen Mary 2

 

As of now, the reported number of cases are

Passengers: 194 of 2,613 (7.42%)

Crew: 11 of 1,255 (0.88%)

 

Regards,

John.

 

So a great deal less than the 500 previously quoted. Cunard seem to be taking all the appropriate actions and I hope that those who are ill recover quickly. From our point of view, we will take advantage of the free shuttle and spend more time in New York!

 

Sent from my GT-P5110 using Tapatalk 2

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I suspect if they would interview the passengers that first came down with the virus they might find a common cause. ie, stayed at the same hotel pre cruise is my best guess.

 

That would give time for the incubation by the first night of the cruise.

 

Example's, I will never ever eat ham or anything with an egg based dressing on flights. My SIL never learns and gets sick each time. I told her not this next cruise. The ham is green and she goes ahead and eats it? I don't think so.

 

Baked beans is my second thing. In Atlanta heading towards a cruise. A large pre cruise group of us, from the hotel, went to a famous BBQ place. All that ate the baked beans got sick including my wife. Same here in Phoenix, when a large party went to a restaurant for dinner. I was the only one that didn't eat baked beans. The next day the same group was going to a lake for the weekend. Everyone had it hit them at the same time. Not Moi. My guess is the pork is bad. They all tried to blame it on the rattle snake with ranch dip we had. That did not work, as I was the only one to pass on the baked beans.

 

I will only eat my wife's baked beans now.

 

Just thinking, if they did several detailed surveys on different ships they might track down where it starts.

 

I suggest the first 20 get sick can narrow down the where, when, and how. One needs to look at what all the first 20 say what they did prior to getting sick when questioned. They might do surveys but, why then are they not finding a common cause?

 

I have a hard time, seeing people use restrooms and walk out without washing their hands pre cruise and or on the cruise. They put us all at risk.

 

People can spend a small fortune for a cruise and have it ruined by people who don't care about their restroom habits or grabbing things from the buffet with their hands that have not been washed.

 

Example, the four of us are going into Miami the night before our TA 3/31 cruise. Perfect time, just after winter, for this to happen. Low vitamin D for most, due to no sun, bad rest room habits pre cruise and on the cruise and you can start to see the picture.

 

Not all of this is the ship fault by a long shot.

 

Gene

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So a great deal less than the 500 previously quoted. Cunard seem to be taking all the appropriate actions and I hope that those who are ill recover quickly. From our point of view, we will take advantage of the free shuttle and spend more time in New York!

 

Sent from my GT-P5110 using Tapatalk 2

 

mallorscaint, thanks for posting that info regarding delayed boarding, and kudos to Cunard for making the announcement in advance and for putting on a free shuttle to Manhattan.

 

Since not all passengers with gastro-intestional symptoms report it to the Medical Centre, it seems likely that the total number of cases would be greater than the reported number of cases, so I understand how estimates given previously by passengers on board vary. Anyway, best wishes to all concerned...sorry for your troubles. Regards, -S.

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