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We are just off a one week cruise (3/9) on the Nieuw Statendam. I wanted to write a little bit about sanitation onboard in light of the ongoing Corona Virus situation. I was disappointed and I think Holland America needs to step up its game if it is going to stay in business. 

 

THE GOOD:

- Hand santizing stations are abundant and filled;

- Bathrooms are equipped to allow exit without touching door handles after hand washing (paper towel and garbage adjacent to entrance)

- Spray sanitizer encouraged by staff for passengers returning to boat and at first three nights of dinner service

 

THE BAD:

- Our room stewards did not use gloves when cleaning room, touching surfaces in room or changing linens. Current best practices would require a fresh pair of gloves at each new room and washing/sanitizing between rooms. 

- The buffet at half-moon cay had an open buffet with open service. The handles for the salads and accompaniments were being touched by tens if not hundreds of passengers enjoying the buffet. 

- Dining room stopped offering spray sanitizer after third night. Also, we witnessed multiple people refusing the sanitizer when it was offered and being allowed to proceed in. 

- Dining staff touching surfaces (table tops, playing card tricks with guests, etc.) and then serving food. 

- Cruise staff hugging passengers. I realize this is a nice touch, but it's time for social distancing and it would be best modeled by these team members.

 

The reality is that the spread of this virus is only as strong as its weakest link and there are some weak links on Holland America. It's just a matter of time before a crew member or passenger is infected and the spread becomes overwhelming in part because of these lax practices. Just my two cents worth, others may disagree. 

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1 hour ago, Alaska DogCat said:

We are just off a one week cruise (3/9) on the Nieuw Statendam. I wanted to write a little bit about sanitation onboard in light of the ongoing Corona Virus situation. I was disappointed and I think Holland America needs to step up its game if it is going to stay in business. 

 

THE GOOD:

- Hand santizing stations are abundant and filled;

- Bathrooms are equipped to allow exit without touching door handles after hand washing (paper towel and garbage adjacent to entrance)

- Spray sanitizer encouraged by staff for passengers returning to boat and at first three nights of dinner service

 

THE BAD:

- Our room stewards did not use gloves when cleaning room, touching surfaces in room or changing linens. Current best practices would require a fresh pair of gloves at each new room and washing/sanitizing between rooms. 

- The buffet at half-moon cay had an open buffet with open service. The handles for the salads and accompaniments were being touched by tens if not hundreds of passengers enjoying the buffet. 

- Dining room stopped offering spray sanitizer after third night. Also, we witnessed multiple people refusing the sanitizer when it was offered and being allowed to proceed in. 

- Dining staff touching surfaces (table tops, playing card tricks with guests, etc.) and then serving food. 

- Cruise staff hugging passengers. I realize this is a nice touch, but it's time for social distancing and it would be best modeled by these team members.

 

The reality is that the spread of this virus is only as strong as its weakest link and there are some weak links on Holland America. It's just a matter of time before a crew member or passenger is infected and the spread becomes overwhelming in part because of these lax practices. Just my two cents worth, others may disagree. 

I hope you put these suggestions on the comment forms provided in each room.  Those comment forms get prompt attention and these are issues for the cruise staff to address while you are onboard.  You can also make the suggestions on your HAL online review but the onboard comment cards will get immediate results.  Someone will probably come talk to you about your concerns which are valid, especially now!

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We were on the same cruise and I agree with you.  The stewards should be changing thier gloves between rooms.  All you need is the people in the room that they are also servicing to be sick.... Someone threw up one day in front of the Neptune Lounge a few doors away from us.  We are fine and home.  Had a wonderful week but was glad to be off of ship on Sunday and not quarantined. 

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We also were on this cruise and I think it was a remarkably clean ship. The cleanest by far of the 20 I have been on.  You can always find fault in process and procedures.  Did they make some mistakes?  Yes. I hear what you are saying. We also observed the buffet at HMC and were surprised. I didn’t watch my room steward clean my bathroom but agree. They should wear gloves. The chemicals they’re using would kill disease on their hands when dusting. So your comments are valid. 

 

But I was amazed at what they did well.  They were insisting on sanitizer whenever we boarded the ship. And it was everywhere.  I saw very few people not use it.  The crew had an abundance of microfiber rags in multiple colors meaning they used them for specific things to prevent cross contamination.   They were using all the right chemicals.  They were constantly wiping down surfaces floor to ceiling.  Every high touch area.  The ship was spotless. 

 

Yes. Maybe staff was too friendly.  Too close. Didn’t think about practicing social distancing.  But that’s their nature.  They’re wonderful warm people who often work 70 hours per week and work largely from tips. It’s what keeps it affordable for us. 

 

I am am sure that HAL will continue to refine and adjust.  At this point, the best way to stop the spread of the disease is to stay home. And that’s what we will all be doing anyway. 

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Poor crew.  They’re damned if they do and they’re damned if they don’t.  Some things will just never be enough for some people.  I imagine quite a number of them will be looking for other sources of employment soon.  Everyone knows it’s a bad idea to cruise at the moment.  Just don’t go if you have a critical eye.   (Or are in the danger group.)

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