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Recent Cruisers - Noro, Corona, and Viking - Any Changes Since Last Year?


SargassoPirate
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I posted the following after a Viking Ocean cruise in April 2019.  Just wondering if their practices have changed?

 

 

"First couple of days on our first Viking Ocen cruise but I am getting creeped out.

 

We went to the World Cafe on boarding day and noticed the tables were all pre-set with plastic placemats, siverware rolls, and tumblers and coffee cups placed upside down on the plastic placemat.  I decided to enjoy a beer with lunch and watch to see how the tables were cleaned between PAX. It was gross. 

 

The same people that cleared the tables then reset them. There was no handwashing sink or santizer station for them to use between handling dirty and clean eating utensils. The placemats were "cleaned" with a swipe of the used cloth napkin and left on the table.  Then clean tumblers and coffee cups were placed inverted on the "clean" placemat.  If one person sat at a table for two, the extra tumblers and coffee cups were removed and returned to the clean supply and used to set another table.  The next morning at breakfast, the same practices were observed, plus then the clean silverware was placed directly on the placemats and the open-topped container of coffee cream was left on the table between seatings. 

 

Ever wonder how norovirus can spread through a ship so fast?"

Edited by SargassoPirate
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I think you should stay home and not go on another cruise. You'll be worrying so much you won't be able to enjoy yourself.

Usual precautions, wash your hands frequently. try to avoid putting your hands near your mouth and eyes and the rest is just luck. You're just as likely to get a bug riding in an airplane or in a restaurant as you are on a cruise ship. The one or two times I was on a ship with Norovirus they made the staff serve the food in the Lido buffet, they made everyone sanitize their hands when they came to an eating area and wiped down any areas such as handrails with extra cleaning. This was on ships with about  3,000 people with about 300 people getting sick max. I don't worry about it as I figure I've probably been exposed to a lot of bugs since I live in a highly populated area.

 

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12 hours ago, NordicPrince said:

I think you should stay home and not go on another cruise. You'll be worrying so much you won't be able to enjoy yourself.

Usual precautions, wash your hands frequently. try to avoid putting your hands near your mouth and eyes and the rest is just luck. You're just as likely to get a bug riding in an airplane or in a restaurant as you are on a cruise ship. The one or two times I was on a ship with Norovirus they made the staff serve the food in the Lido buffet, they made everyone sanitize their hands when they came to an eating area and wiped down any areas such as handrails with extra cleaning. This was on ships with about  3,000 people with about 300 people getting sick max. I don't worry about it as I figure I've probably been exposed to a lot of bugs since I live in a highly populated area.

 

 

No need to stay home, I just expect basic safe food service sanitation practices on board and pre-setting tables with drinkware and then leaving some of them on the table for the next passenger is not one of them.  Wiping down a table between passengers with a used cloth napkin from the previous patron is not one of them.  Using the same people to bus tables and then reset the tables and serve beverages without a handwashing station for them is not one of them.  

 

Oh, but they are wearing gloves!

 

I also expect that if someone in a food service operation is wearing plastic gloves that they don't touch their face, their hair, their cellphone, a food ladle, or wipe down a countertop, clear away dirty dishes, and then go back to touching or serving food.  That's gross, and I've observed it during so-called enhanced procedures during noro outbreaks on ships.  All those gloves do is keep the wearer's hands clean.

 

A static inspection when a ship is in port is nice, but unless the inspectors are on board and observe actual operating procedures they won't catch the things I've described.

 

And yes, take the precautions you described and more to protect oneself.  It's a dirty world and you need to break the chain of contamination between it and you.

 

 

 

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It isn't the food or the staff on the ship that worries me.  It is visiting the ports that have an out brake of the virus and not being able to visit the tourist sites in the country because they are closed down.   The ship could also not be allowed to dock and then be forced to another country and then trying to fly home from another airport where you do speak the language or flights may be cancelled all together.

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