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Sick ship ? 3 times is too many...


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While 3 cruises in a row is not the norm, it is also not unusual. Once noro has hold, and in this season, it can be tough to clear. But if you are worrying about a cruise 8 months from now, that's just silly. Even if they clear the ship for the next 12 cruises, your cruise may have a noro problem. As PP stated, it comes from the passengers, not the ship, though a 3 week problem usually indicates that a significant amount of crew have been infected.

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My parents are booked on the Adventure out of Southhampton next Sunday the 2nd. Fingers crossed all is good. They always take precautions anyway- plenty of hand sanitizer and they never use the public bathrooms- they said they've seen way too many people not washing their hands after using the facilities (EWWWW :eek:). They also bring their own plastic gloves to use on the buffet line if it is self-service. They said they get funny looks sometimes, but it's worth it to be extra safe.

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While 3 cruises in a row is not the norm, it is also not unusual. Once noro has hold, and in this season, it can be tough to clear. But if you are worrying about a cruise 8 months from now, that's just silly. Even if they clear the ship for the next 12 cruises, your cruise may have a noro problem. As PP stated, it comes from the passengers, not the ship, though a 3 week problem usually indicates that a significant amount of crew have been infected.

 

 

3 weeks in a row 'is' unusual!

Maybe in the beginning it came from the passengers, or the crew, or the supplies brought on board, but after the first cleaning, and change of passengers from the first week(and checking those staying over on a B2B), its the ship, the crew, or new passengers!

And you are both wrong, it doesn't come from the passengers only, it 'mostly' comes from the passengers! It can come from the crew or supplies!

We do agree that a cruise 8 months away shouldn't be a problem!

Edited by American Bear
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3 weeks in a row 'is' unusual!

Maybe in the beginning it came from the passengers, or the crew, or the supplies brought on board, but after the first cleaning, and change of passengers from the first week(and checking those staying over on a B2B), its the ship, the crew, or new passengers!

And you are both wrong, it doesn't come from the passengers only, it 'mostly' comes from the passengers! It can come from the crew or supplies!

We do agree that a cruise 8 months away shouldn't be a problem!

 

While there are 3 "deep cleanings" in a row, since this is happening in the UK, where the reporting requirements are different, we don't know how many people are being affected each week, and/or whether the mitigation measures are mandated by the government or is a pro-active action by the line.

 

What I'm saying is that the "ship" is not sick. Even after a thorough "deep cleaning" or sanitizing, just one person spreading virus 10 minutes after the sanitizing is done, can re-infect the ship. And I believe I said that a multi week problem indicates a significant crew infection, as they are the ones who remain onboard week to week.

 

Now, again, given that the ship is not calling on the US, USPH requirements may not be followed (WHO regulations apply outside the US), so I cannot comment on food safety. I will say that ships that follow the USPH requirements for food safety have almost no incidence of noro from food sources.

Edited by chengkp75
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We were on a post noro cruise. Ours was actually the 2nd sailing after a deep cleaning. We had no problems. Practicing good hygiene is a big factor. After washing hands with soap and hot water, do not touch door knobs, railings, elevator buttons...

 

Friends were on board during a noro situation and the crew served all of the food right down to the salt and pepper. Passengers were basically not allowed to touch anything that another passenger touched.

 

Conditions on any ship can change by next week so there is no need to worry about a June sailing now.

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While there are 3 "deep cleanings" in a row, since this is happening in the UK, where the reporting requirements are different, we don't know how many people are being affected each week, and/or whether the mitigation measures are mandated by the government or is a pro-active action by the line.

 

What I'm saying is that the "ship" is not sick. Even after a thorough "deep cleaning" or sanitizing, just one person spreading virus 10 minutes after the sanitizing is done, can re-infect the ship. And I believe I said that a multi week problem indicates a significant crew infection, as they are the ones who remain onboard week to week.

 

Now, again, given that the ship is not calling on the US, USPH requirements may not be followed (WHO regulations apply outside the US), so I cannot comment on food safety. I will say that ships that follow the USPH requirements for food safety have almost no incidence of noro from food sources.

 

Eliminating the ship might be the problem!

There is no absolute in cleaning a ship, you hope you get everything!

If the crew wasn't the problem, its the ship!

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Very hard not to touch elevator butons or do you shout out your deck and wait for someone else to do it for you?

 

I always use my knuckle to push the elevator buttons, no matter where I am. 15 cruises and never been sick (except a touch of seasickness). Wash your hands, don't pick your nose or pick at your teeth with your fingers. Basic, simple hygiene.

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Eliminating the ship might be the problem!

There is no absolute in cleaning a ship, you hope you get everything!

If the crew wasn't the problem, its the ship!

 

Really? Eliminate the ship? There is no absolute in anything in life. "If the crew wasn't the problem, its the ship"? Aren't you making that an absolute? What about the clean ship that is re-infected by a new passenger? Do you know what goes into a "deep cleaning"? Have you done one?

 

Since I agree with you that there is no absolute in cleaning (not just a ship, but anywhere), noro is known to be virtually everywhere. Again, as long as personal hygiene keeps the virus from entering your GI tract, the mere presence of the virus is not harmful. Cruise ships, along with college dorms and retirement homes are susceptible to noro because the same people are in close association with the same people for extended periods of time.

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It's not the ship, it's the passengers! This is "noro" season, and folks can feel just fine, but have the virus and board the ship before any symptoms appear...that's why this particular bug is so contagious.

 

You can touch the elevator buttons, or hand rails...as long as you don't touch YOUR FACE...eyes, nose, mouth are all entry points. You can't catch it just because it's on your hands...you have to give the virus entry into your system!!!

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We did a 10 Night Southern Caribbean on Celebrity Mercury out of Charleston, SC back in 2010... The two cruises before us had a lot of noro onboard, our cruise was delayed one day and all of us had the option of sailing and getting a 25% discount on a future cruise or not sailing and getting a full refund and a 10% discount on a future cruise.

 

My wife, an ER Nurse, and I decided to take the cruise, very glad we did as 50% of the cruisers cancelled and the staff to guest ratio went way up..

 

Now here is what is really important, IT WAS NOT the ship that was sick, It was the City of Charleston... You see, cruise ships have to report when there is a certain level of Noro/GI issues onboard, Hospitals do not... My wife's ER and others around the city were overflowing with sick people.. Just coming through the city would give you the chance to spread the virus onboard...

 

The ship went to some extremes to keep everyone from getting ill. No self serve anywhere on the ship. No salt/pepper shakers anywhere. Waitstaff would hand you individual packets. The same for coffee condiments. There was nothing passed from guest to guest at meals. All coffee was served to you. Even in the casino, if you played black jack, you had to sanitize your hands before getting any chips..

 

Just another story.... Sometimes it not the ship to be blamed...

 

Dennis & Sue

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There has been at least a dozen ships in and out of Southampton port in the last two weeks. Including the Queens, Eclipse, Indy, P&O, Oceana and others, but no reports of mass illness. The passengers stayed at the same hotels - so rule that out. All ships use the same shore side vendors - rule that out. Planes, coaches, car services and public transportation are the same - rule that out. The only constant is the crew!

 

I taught Biology for forty years and was a health department instructor - look for the obvious to find the solution not the transient passengers, nurovirus has an incubation period of two to five days.

AOS needs to monitor the crew more closely, they live together in very close quaters and are all over the ship. and of course who is doing the cleaning, food handeling - the crew!!

 

We are on the Nov.2 sailing from Southampton to San Juan, and expect that the RCCL will make every effort to prevent the continued outbreak of this illness. This might mean doing a complete cleaning of all crew quaters, and crew stations and any where crew members might gather by/with an outside independent vendor.

 

In another post on roll call, there are a couple of hundred people that are getting off AOS on Nov.2 and swithching to the Quantum; it will be interesting to see if the virus follows.

 

Hal

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There has been at least a dozen ships in and out of Southampton port in the last two weeks. Including the Queens, Eclipse, Indy, P&O, Oceana and others, but no reports of mass illness. The passengers stayed at the same hotels - so rule that out. All ships use the same shore side vendors - rule that out. Planes, coaches, car services and public transportation are the same - rule that out. The only constant is the crew!

 

I taught Biology for forty years and was a health department instructor - look for the obvious to find the solution not the transient passengers, nurovirus has an incubation period of two to five days.

AOS needs to monitor the crew more closely, they live together in very close quaters and are all over the ship. and of course who is doing the cleaning, food handeling - the crew!!

 

We are on the Nov.2 sailing from Southampton to San Juan, and expect that the RCCL will make every effort to prevent the continued outbreak of this illness. This might mean doing a complete cleaning of all crew quaters, and crew stations and any where crew members might gather by/with an outside independent vendor.

 

In another post on roll call, there are a couple of hundred people that are getting off AOS on Nov.2 and swithching to the Quantum; it will be interesting to see if the virus follows.

 

Hal

 

From my understanding of other threads there is/has been a problem on Indy as well and that sails out of Southampton

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There has been at least a dozen ships in and out of Southampton port in the last two weeks. Including the Queens, Eclipse, Indy, P&O, Oceana and others, but no reports of mass illness. The passengers stayed at the same hotels - so rule that out. All ships use the same shore side vendors - rule that out. Planes, coaches, car services and public transportation are the same - rule that out. The only constant is the crew!

 

I taught Biology for forty years and was a health department instructor - look for the obvious to find the solution not the transient passengers, nurovirus has an incubation period of two to five days.

AOS needs to monitor the crew more closely, they live together in very close quaters and are all over the ship. and of course who is doing the cleaning, food handeling - the crew!!

 

We are on the Nov.2 sailing from Southampton to San Juan, and expect that the RCCL will make every effort to prevent the continued outbreak of this illness. This might mean doing a complete cleaning of all crew quaters, and crew stations and any where crew members might gather by/with an outside independent vendor.

 

In another post on roll call, there are a couple of hundred people that are getting off AOS on Nov.2 and swithching to the Quantum; it will be interesting to see if the virus follows.

 

Hal

 

Do you think that when a "deep cleaning" is done, it is only done in the guest areas? That is so far from the truth. Crew quarters get sanitizing at least as thorough as guest areas. I haven't looked at the roll calls for the latest cruises, but do we know what the status is of illness on these cruises? Is the incidence increasing, decreasing, or static? These are the important metric.

 

What, if any, are the reporting requirements for illness, or are we relying almost solely on individual reports? And, as I say again, a multi-week problem does tend to implicate crew, there is still potential for passengers to re-infect. Crew are more aware of personal hygiene in regards to ship's sanitation, and while no one is perfect, the crew tend to be more careful because they DO live there all the time.

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We were on Adventure at the height of the Noro outbreak on board and we were fine. Good personal hygiene ( constant hand washing, not touching hand rails, rest room doors, etc) kept us safe- it's not the ship, it's the people who bring the virus on board and then poor hygiene ensures it spreads.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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After 35 years at sea in a professional capacity I was a little surprised to get NV for the first time in Celebrity Eclipse a few years ago. However the ship was generally quite grubby and public area were not as well cleaned as they should have been. (That said by someone with a long experience of checking out ships) The worst feature was the smell of a public sewer misbehaving along the cabin areas of a couple of decks. The Doctor to whom I pointed this out was not interested in that feature.

I am now due to join AOS next week and have concerns noting that reports from that vessel suggest there are unfortunate smells in some accommodation areas.

My suspicion is that the prime cause is most likely the crew plus occasionally mechanical failure of sanitary systems. The crew live very close together and in many cases come aboard during a frequent & continuous cycle of changeovers arriving from distant tropical countries some possibly near to third world in nature where cleanliness standards are not universally high. I have the feeling that the standard of cleanliness amongst passengers is probably almost by definition higher in most cases than that of the crew when you consider the kind of background and life experience of those who have acquired or earned the money to spend on cruises. Visits behind the scenes to crew quarters, very rare of course, reveal a quite different standard to passenger areas. Crew are confined to small areas and do not get much if any fresh air and rarely see daylight! Frequently one sees crew members not obeying basic hand cleaning rules. Not a healthy situation.

If the problem continues then one has to suspect that there is a high probability that the crew are the carriers of the virus.

Hopefully we will get some feedback during the next week on how things are then.

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After 35 years at sea in a professional capacity I was a little surprised to get NV for the first time in Celebrity Eclipse a few years ago. However the ship was generally quite grubby and public area were not as well cleaned as they should have been. (That said by someone with a long experience of checking out ships) The worst feature was the smell of a public sewer misbehaving along the cabin areas of a couple of decks. The Doctor to whom I pointed this out was not interested in that feature.

I am now due to join AOS next week and have concerns noting that reports from that vessel suggest there are unfortunate smells in some accommodation areas.

My suspicion is that the prime cause is most likely the crew plus occasionally mechanical failure of sanitary systems. The crew live very close together and in many cases come aboard during a frequent & continuous cycle of changeovers arriving from distant tropical countries some possibly near to third world in nature where cleanliness standards are not universally high. I have the feeling that the standard of cleanliness amongst passengers is probably almost by definition higher in most cases than that of the crew when you consider the kind of background and life experience of those who have acquired or earned the money to spend on cruises. Visits behind the scenes to crew quarters, very rare of course, reveal a quite different standard to passenger areas. Crew are confined to small areas and do not get much if any fresh air and rarely see daylight! Frequently one sees crew members not obeying basic hand cleaning rules. Not a healthy situation.

If the problem continues then one has to suspect that there is a high probability that the crew are the carriers of the virus.

Hopefully we will get some feedback during the next week on how things are then.

 

I think you're absolutely right. A member of our dining table called a crew member back after leaving the cubicle of a rest room without washing his hands ( he was mortally embarrassed and apologetic but still) and I myself told a young lady off ( wearing the Windjamner uniform) because she just dipped the tips of her fingers in just water for two seconds. I told her very politely that her 'hand washing' was not sufficient given the gravity of the Noro situation on board.

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I've thought long and hard before posting again to this thread, feeling the need to bite my tongue over a few comments. Anyway, here goes, and we'll see if this survives my own censorship and actually gets posted.

 

It is a known observation that ships that do not call on US ports, tend to relax away from the USPH sanitation culture, and when they return to the US, will have a poor inspection score at the first inspection. This happens across many lines, but I know that at NCL they will require the supervisory staff to maintain USPH standards even on ships that do not call on US ports, so that the crew will be able to move between ships without problems. My work experience on cruise ships has only been on ships that were inspected by the USPH, so I will comment on standards based on this.

 

There was a comment on another thread about hand sanitizers, as to why the cruise lines don't put a row of sinks outside the buffet, and that this was because the ships didn't want to deal with the added water consumption. Really? When you can't get people to use the sink after using the toilet, even in the midst of a noro outbreak, what makes you think they will use a sink before entering the buffet? The real reason is the logistics of carving out space for the sinks that would be ignored anyway.

 

As I've stated, a repeat outbreak tends to point towards significant crew infection, but that is not always the case. If the crew were solely to blame, then the outbreak would be continuous, trip after trip after trip, and would virtually never be cleared up.

 

For the poster that mentioned the instance of a passenger talking to a crew member after the crew used the restroom, standards must have fallen for a crewmember to feel free to use a guest restroom, at least from my experience. And for the instance of the poster themselves "calling out" a crewmember, again, was this in a guest restroom? This is unacceptable. However, I would say that most of the food service staff wash their hands more often in a day than 90% of passengers, though no one and no system is perfect. I will give a few examples of hand hygiene that is required by USPH:

 

Wait staff that clear dirty dishes must wash their hands before handling clean dishes. So, when they take the dishes back to the galley, there is a hand wash sink for them to use before they go to the clean side of the galley and get the next course's dishes.

 

The dishwasher that handles dirty dishes and loads them into the dishwashing machine must wash his hands before going to the other end of the machine to remove clean dishes. This is why there will be at least two people at every dishwash station, one dirty, one clean.

 

The most common source of "sewer" odors onboard ship are not "mechanical failure of sanitary systems", but the simple fact that the U-traps in deck drains (the most common one is the bathroom floor drain (not the shower, the one usually by the door in the dry zone)) dry out from the A/C reducing the humidity in the cabins, so that the smell has no block to coming back up the pipe (this is what the U-trap under your sink, shower, tub, and toilet at home are for).

 

Crew are aware of what an outbreak will entail, including the fact that they will be called on to work extra hours, serving in the buffet, or fogging the public spaces in the middle of the night, without any extra compensation.

 

I cannot find a roll call for the current AOS cruise, but I did look at the last couple of posts on the one for the previous cruise, and they seemed to indicate that the incidences were dropping, and the cleaning was continuing.

 

I'm still not sure I can respond to the denigrating, elitist comments about the difference between crew from countries "third world in nature where cleanliness standards are not universally high" and those passengers who have "the kind of background and life experience of those who have acquired or earned the money to spend on cruises." The great British class system survives. I can't tell you how many "first world" passengers who don't have the basic sanitation standard to wash their hands after using the toilet.

 

I apologize to the CC public for the last paragraph, as I try not to get personal or flame folks, but that poster's comments really set me off with regards to attitude towards crew. And for the record, I've sailed as a ship's officer for 39 years, with 4 years on cruise ships, so I also know what to "check out" on a ship.

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