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Do You Disinfect (Sanitize) Your Cabin Before You Unpack?

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What surfaces, the floor.

the nightstands, the table, the shelves, the lamp bases, the phone. Everything in the bathroom.

Everything that can be wiped, gets wiped.

 

And believe me, we aren't really germaphobes - we have two dogs that sleep in the bed with us, and drag lots of dirt and mud into the house, and we aren't afraid of regular dirt. But kids are so good at spreading the germs around... They cough, they sneeze, they wipe the snot on their friends, they puke, they don't wash their hands like ever....

 

DS did get sick on a cruise once, with a high fever and horrible cough, and if you are at home you just deal with it - it's just regular life, but when you are on a once a year vacation and you paid a ton of money to go to nice places, and now your kid is miserable and can't breathe, and y'all can't sleep at night, and you no longer care about going to a nice beach and just want to get a couple of hours of sleep - that's different. Being sick at home and being sick while cruising are two different animals. So, we take precautions - and there is nothing wrong with that. If you are trying to convince me that I am a fool for doing so - you are wasting your time.

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Just so you are aware Norovirus is a very hearty virus and the wipes you can buy at the grocery store are not designed to be 100% effective against them. Here is the EPA list of registered wipes effective against Norovirus List G: EPA’s Registered Antimicrobial Products Effective Against Norovirus (PDF). They are hospital grade and it is recommended you wear gloves when handling and have good ventilation. All surfaces should be throughly wet for minimum of 4 minutes when used. They can only be used on hard nonporous surfaces and they will stain/bleach any fabrics they come in contact with. Your best protection is through hand washing with warm water and soap for 20 seconds.

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Nope. Plus I lay on the top of the bed and use the tv remote while in a hotel. I also use public restrooms. I've even been known to drink water from the garden hose now and then. ;)

 

I'm with you. I've even been known to hold onto the bannister onboard ship and to use my actual finger to punch the elevator buttons.

 

And I lived to tell the tale!

 

(In summary, no -- I never wipe down my cabin, hotel room, OR airplane seat.)

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the nightstands, the table, the shelves, the lamp bases, the phone. Everything in the bathroom.

Everything that can be wiped, gets wiped.

 

And believe me, we aren't really germaphobes - we have two dogs that sleep in the bed with us, and drag lots of dirt and mud into the house, and we aren't afraid of regular dirt. But kids are so good at spreading the germs around... They cough, they sneeze, they wipe the snot on their friends, they puke, they don't wash their hands like ever....

 

DS did get sick on a cruise once, with a high fever and horrible cough, and if you are at home you just deal with it - it's just regular life, but when you are on a once a year vacation and you paid a ton of money to go to nice places, and now your kid is miserable and can't breathe, and y'all can't sleep at night, and you no longer care about going to a nice beach and just want to get a couple of hours of sleep - that's different. Being sick at home and being sick while cruising are two different animals. So, we take precautions - and there is nothing wrong with that. If you are trying to convince me that I am a fool for doing so - you are wasting your time.

I'm not trying to call or convince you of anything. Just asking a simple question.

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I'm brave enough to eat in the buffet, so I don't bother to wipe down my cabin. Sometimes it crosses my mind to look for bedbugs, though. But I'm not consistent about that.

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Never in 38 cruises...

I cannot disinfect whole ship so why bother with my cabin?

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Nope.

 

BTW, there is a lot of research showing the being overly "clean" can lead to more issues. You remove some of the challenges to your immune system, that it needs to keep you healthy.

 

And Oh, if do a lot of travel to 3rd world countries, and don't do it there either.

 

And interestingly, I have had less trouble with minor illnesses since I started this job with lots of international travel. I figure I have a WELL EXERCISED immune system.

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Yes to the first (no on the mattress). I’m not the anxious type, but I must have seen 500 of those news episodes where they go into a hotel room with a black light. Egads! Not to mention all the media stories on the ship viruses. I can’t control the latter completely, but I can wipe down the surfaces where people’s hands most often go (door handles, phone surfaces, and remote controls). Same for the pre-cruise hotel 😷

 

@SRF - totally true! But I think what many people are doing isn’t that type of cleaning (at least I’m not) - but it just makes sense to do the most likely places (like handles, remotes - there is often E-Coli and Staph on those things, seriously). But to me some of the cleaning gets crazy - like insisting someone sanitize before holding a child - I foresee lots of illness and allergies in that kid’s figure. I think those are different though :D

 

Happy Sailing!

Lynn

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This topic certainly generates lots of comments every time (which is often) it surfaces on CC. Yes, there are some folks who simply obsess about germs and their issue is one for the mental health professionals, not us here on CC. But lets put aside our obsessions and talk facts, science, etc. Cruise ships are very .large vessels. Some ships can have nearly 1 million square feet of space, but most have somewhat less. So lets assume a modern cruise ship has about 500,000 square feet of space. Your cabin represents about 170-220 feet of that total. Yes, you can wipe down your cabin and if you do it with an effective agent such as bleach it will certainly further disinfect your cabin (which has already been done by your cabin steward). But then we assume you are going to step our of your cabin...and others including your cabin steward are going to come into your cabin. Cross contamination will immediately ensue. And are you going to walk around hundreds of thousands of square feet trying to continuously wipe down every surface with powerful chemicals that can actually kill norovirus (and perhaps blister your own skin)?

 

And how about your various dining venues. Will you wipe down your chair, table, etc? And do not forget the most dangerous part of most trips which is air travel where germs and viruses thrive in airports and on aircraft? So you are likely more contaminated before you even get to your cabin...then is the cabin which has already been sanitized by a trained professional (your cabin steward) using powerful cleaning agents not even available to the general public. And what do you think happens when you get off a ship in a port? Do you think the port is sterile? So even if you could somehow wipe down an entire ship you would have to start all over again after each port. And you cannot wipe down the thousands of other souls on the ship...all of whom carry their own germs and viruses which they constantly shed everywhere they go.:mad:

 

Is there a health risk being on a ship? Of course...just like there is a risk in any public space frequented by many folks. So short of sanitizing your home, sealing it off from the world, and never going out the door. you are still going to be living in a world of germs and viruses.

 

DW and I have spent more than 1000 days on various cruise ships. Yes, we have caught common colds and DW has had a few bouts of so-called cabin cough. But in all that time (over 100 cruises all over the world) neither of us has ever had Noro or any other serious infection on a ship. What do we do to prevent a problem? Simply wash our hands and do it often. We also try to avoid touching our faces with our hands. We also do our best to avoid folks who are obviously sick. Another pet peeve is to avoid elevators as much as possible since you are trapped in a closed chamber where any cough or sneeze puts you at high risk. Consider that even if you touch spaces that are contaminated it will not become a problem until you touch your face or somehow transfer that bad stuff into your mouth. Washing your hands and not touching your face are the two best things you can do to minimize your risk. Just ask any health professional who works in a hospital.

 

As to wiping down a cabin we see it as a futile effort akin to using a glass to deal with a broken dam. Some have argued that the stress involved in worrying about germs and viruses likely does more harm to one's health then the actual germs/viruses.

 

Hank

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We do.. Have gotten noro once on a ship. Once was one too much. It takes a couple of minutes for peace of mind.

 

Since it takes SUBMERSION in alcohol for 15 minutes or 5 minutes for bleach, just exactly what commercial antiviral sprayer do you bring on board? There is no "retail" product that kills the Noro in a normal 10 second spray and wipe.

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As someone who has gotten bed bugs twice once from a cruise line and once from a hotel and whose best friend works for a prominent Las Vegas hotel company who talks endlessly about bed bugs and housekeeping lax... Always.

 

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Forums mobile app

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No I don’t wish to suppress my immune system, I will need it someday don’t want it to get bored and give me an autoimmune disorder.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Yes. I wipe down the phone, remote, toilet, door knobs and faucets when we board. I also do a quick check of the sheets and mattress joints. Overall, it takes about 10 minutes while my wife unpacks the clothes.

 

Sent from my SM-G950U using Forums mobile app

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We were recently on a Celebrity cruise which encourages the use of a paper towel to open the door once finished. Grand idea.

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Before my cruise in October, I would have said never. In the cruises I took, the rooms were always clean and we never saw signs of anything wrong. We always washed our hands and the crew members were always at the door of the buffet handing out sanitizer or we would get it from the stands. However in October, 2017 we flew cross country and the person behind me the whole way (on both flights by chance) was coughing the whole way. I was fine but I have a history of asthma. The next day we boarded the cruise ship and due to a bad knee, I needed to sit for the muster drill and low and behold, the lady that coughed the entire flight behind me was sitting right next to me in the muster drill! The cruise was fine for about 7 days and my mom started getting a cold. My mom and I were sharing a room. Within 2 days of my mom getting sick, I was getting sick with a cough and shortness of breath. While touring Quebec, I was having to use my inhaler a whole bunch. We debarked the next day and had to travel for 13 hours to get home. 8 hours of flying and the rest of waiting. The next day I ended up in the hospital. And for 6 months I was on oxygen, breathing treatments, medications to help me breathe. In fact, the whole ordeal made me so sick and made my body so debilitated that my genetic condition went into a huge flare up and caused my body to shut down to the point that I am no longer able to work. I am now medically retired and permanently disabled. In fact 1 month ago my pulmonologist just told me that she is happy I am still here because honestly she thought I wasn't going to survive until July. So now, my whole thought process on cleaning my cabin especially on the remote, telephone, desktops, toilet handles, shower handles, door handles and things that don't normally get cleaned. And to wear a mask at the muster drill!

Now my lungs are getting better and I am saving up for a 2019 Christmas Market river cruise.

 

Sent from my SM-G955U using Forums mobile app

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Before my cruise in October, I would have said never. In the cruises I took, the rooms were always clean and we never saw signs of anything wrong. We always washed our hands and the crew members were always at the door of the buffet handing out sanitizer or we would get it from the stands. However in October, 2017 we flew cross country and the person behind me the whole way (on both flights by chance) was coughing the whole way. I was fine but I have a history of asthma. The next day we boarded the cruise ship and due to a bad knee, I needed to sit for the muster drill and low and behold, the lady that coughed the entire flight behind me was sitting right next to me in the muster drill! The cruise was fine for about 7 days and my mom started getting a cold. My mom and I were sharing a room. Within 2 days of my mom getting sick, I was getting sick with a cough and shortness of breath. While touring Quebec, I was having to use my inhaler a whole bunch. We debarked the next day and had to travel for 13 hours to get home. 8 hours of flying and the rest of waiting. The next day I ended up in the hospital. And for 6 months I was on oxygen, breathing treatments, medications to help me breathe. In fact, the whole ordeal made me so sick and made my body so debilitated that my genetic condition went into a huge flare up and caused my body to shut down to the point that I am no longer able to work. I am now medically retired and permanently disabled. In fact 1 month ago my pulmonologist just told me that she is happy I am still here because honestly she thought I wasn't going to survive until July. So now, my whole thought process on cleaning my cabin especially on the remote, telephone, desktops, toilet handles, shower handles, door handles and things that don't normally get cleaned. And to wear a mask at the muster drill!

Now my lungs are getting better and I am saving up for a 2019 Christmas Market river cruise.

 

Sent from my SM-G955U using Forums mobile app

 

While I certainly feel sorry for you, none of the medical issues that you suffered were caused by or impacted by the fact that you did not wipe down your cabin. You could have been in a medical bubble for all the time you were in your cabin and it would not have eliminated your medical issues.

 

They were perhaps caused by the person near you who coughed all the time. However, even that is not certain. My wife sometimes coughs a lot because she has allergies and not because she has any other medical issues. If you sat next to her when she has one of her coughing spells, you would have assumed that you got sick from her coughing when in fact she does not have a cold or any other germy problems.

 

DON

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While I certainly feel sorry for you, none of the medical issues that you suffered were caused by or impacted by the fact that you did not wipe down your cabin. You could have been in a medical bubble for all the time you were in your cabin and it would not have eliminated your medical issues.

 

They were perhaps caused by the person near you who coughed all the time. However, even that is not certain. My wife sometimes coughs a lot because she has allergies and not because she has any other medical issues. If you sat next to her when she has one of her coughing spells, you would have assumed that you got sick from her coughing when in fact she does not have a cold or any other germy problems.

 

DON

Perhaps you are right and more than likely it was the woman, but I am just going to be a little more careful when in confined spaces with several people (like during muster drills) and if my mom or I develop a cough during a cruise. Just a eye opener due to how fast I got sick and my next cruise will be in the winter in Europe. I live in Southern California where winter is 2 days.

 

Sent from my SM-G955U using Forums mobile app

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No. Do not do it in hotel rooms, on public transportation, theatres and entertanment venues, in restaurants, or in other public areas where we might be sitting for a little while.

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