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Ruby Princess police investigation


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5 hours ago, BRANDEE said:

How about the menus at mealtimes?  Salt and pepper shakers, sugar container.  This looks like a passenger to passenger spread. And there were not a lot of coughing sneezing people.  Asymptomatic passenger had to be the start.

The original source of the infection could easily have been a passenger who was either asymptomatic (as you say), or who had slight symptoms. Apparently that is not uncommon. From reports, there were cases of flu on board, so an extra person with an occasional cough or sneeze wouldn't be noticed and COVID wouldn't be suspected. Even the person themselves probably wouldn't consider COVID.

 

I don't think the menus would be source of infection. The covers are wiped down by the waiters, likewise for the salt and paper shakers and the sugar container. With the extra sanitation measures you and others have reported on the Ruby cruise, I am sure that these items used in the dining room would have had extra cleaning.

 

I keep returning to places like the Captain's cocktail party, crowded lifts, the Princess Theatre, events like trivia, queueing to disembark at ports, buses and tours on shore.

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9 minutes ago, Aus Traveller said:

I keep returning to places like the Captain's cocktail party, crowded lifts, the Princess Theatre, events like trivia, queueing to disembark at ports, buses and tours on shore.

Though I have defended Ruby and still do (the ship didn’t do this a human with the virus did) agree some factors made it possible for the spread to happen. For this perhaps Princess are at fault, but the Crystal Ball was down on power for this cruise:

 

1: the buffet - but the seating not the food area, the seating available for the ship size has far too many large round 6 & 8 tables - taking up space. Need to take a look at the new layouts in P&O Aus Pantry’s - brilliant.

2. IC - again, far too cosy with the seating - IMHO. Def not 1m apart, had these lovely window lounges to share with others?
3. Crooners - still a bit too cosy. Just my opinion.
This all of course with hindsight - except the Buffet - this went into our review. 
 

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10 minutes ago, Porky55 said:

Though I have defended Ruby and still do (the ship didn’t do this a human with the virus did) agree some factors made it possible for the spread to happen. For this perhaps Princess are at fault, but the Crystal Ball was down on power for this cruise:

Even though the virus spread widely through the passengers on board, I cannot see that it is Princess' fault. I can't see how it could be any different on any other cruise ship.

 

Infections spread easily where people are in close quarters and I wonder whether older people contract the virus more easily than younger people whose immune systems would generally be stronger. (I was 'jumped on' on the Princess forum for suggesting this!!) The general demographic is 'older' on Princess cruises and on cruises to  NZ. Nursing homes in Australia and other countries (particularly the UK) have been hit hard.

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3 minutes ago, Aus Traveller said:

I cannot see that it is Princess' fault. I can't see how it could be any different on any other cruise ship.

It is not the fault of the cruise lines. The ultimate blame lies with:

1. The chinese communist party - deceit and deception and allowing international departures while stopping all domestic travel protecting their own country.

2. The WHO for neglect, pandering to the chinese communist party, failing to take action early enough and initially downplaying the pandemic giving false hope to people and companies to continue business as usual.

3. NSW Health and the NSW and Federal Government need to take a collective share of the blame for allowing people into our country with the virus, allowing them onto a cruise ship and then for their neglect and actions when they realised what was going on.

 

Princess and Ruby Princess are just pawns in a blame game from people higher up who do not want to take responsibility or do not want to blame the real culprits through fear.

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Exactly right Aus traveller. It actually was nobody's fault because, as lots of people seem to be forgetting, is that scientists did not how how the virus behaved in March and they still don't know exactly. That's scientific knowledge for you - it constantly evolves.  Protocols by authorities on how to handle the spread were changing on an almost daily basis. So Princess were absolutely not at fault. The only potential fault I can see is that NSW health let everyone off the ship before the test results came back. But Dr Chant said that was the correct protocol at the time. I don't why anyone thinks they have a case for a lawsuit against Princess on this cruise.  Claiming that Princess should have done something differently because of what went on in Japan with the Diamond Princess is absurd if there was no reason to believe there was Coroavirus on board.

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58 minutes ago, Porky55 said:

Though I have defended Ruby and still do (the ship didn’t do this a human with the virus did) agree some factors made it possible for the spread to happen. For this perhaps Princess are at fault, but the Crystal Ball was down on power for this cruise:

 

1: the buffet - but the seating not the food area, the seating available for the ship size has far too many large round 6 & 8 tables - taking up space. Need to take a look at the new layouts in P&O Aus Pantry’s - brilliant.

2. IC - again, far too cosy with the seating - IMHO. Def not 1m apart, had these lovely window lounges to share with others?
3. Crooners - still a bit too cosy. Just my opinion.
This all of course with hindsight - except the Buffet - this went into our review. 
 

4. The PES happy hours in Skywalkers

5. Trivia in Club Fusion - all those teams huddled over their trivia answer sheets

6. The MDRs, especially the Anytime Dining ones. Lots of big tables so sharing with lots of different people each night, few tables for two and those are close together.

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I've just come across a very interesting interview on FB between Jodi McKay MP snd Paul Holmes who is one of the Crooners entertainers on Ruby. It's worth watch if you have FB. I don't think I can post the link here but you should be able to find it if you search on "Jodi McKay MP" in FB.

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50 minutes ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

I've just come across a very interesting interview on FB between Jodi McKay MP snd Paul Holmes who is one of the Crooners entertainers on Ruby. It's worth watch if you have FB. I don't think I can post the link here but you should be able to find it if you search on "Jodi McKay MP" in FB.

Thanks for mentioning this interview. I don't 'do' Facebook, so I typed 'interview Jodi McKay MP and Paul Homes' into my search engine. I could listen to the interview cut into a few separate segments on Twitter without having to sign in.

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On 4/18/2020 at 8:18 AM, christodan said:

Interesting read. The title of the article is completely wrong of course. Other inaccuracies such as the ship was deemed medium risk is there. It was deemed  low risk as I saw the Dr Chant from NSW health  on TV say that herself.

But I am glad they are pointing out that people from the gov here are putting lives at risk by sending the ship out of Australian waters. 

Also at the end of the article  they would like to hear from anyone who knows more about this. It would be good if anyone who was on it gave their side of the story which could give more balance.

https://www.smh.com.au/national/company-knew-virus-was-running-rampant-on-ruby-princess-court-told-20200417-p54kx0.html

 

The article is correct in stating the 1st cruise was deemed medium risk, despite Princess apparently failing to declare any illness to NSW Health (they did declare to federal Dept of Agriculture though). The 2nd cruise was somehow inexplicably deemed low risk...

 

https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/health-wellbeing/coronavirus-australia-explosive-developments-in-ruby-princess-cruise-ship-saga-c-957325

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7 minutes ago, Scromes said:

 

The article is correct in stating the 1st cruise was deemed medium risk, despite Princess apparently failing to declare any illness to NSW Health (they did declare to federal Dept of Agriculture though). The 2nd cruise was somehow inexplicably deemed low risk...

 

https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/health-wellbeing/coronavirus-australia-explosive-developments-in-ruby-princess-cruise-ship-saga-c-957325

Channel 7 as usual, sensationalizes the story.

 

This extract is interesting:

NSW Health then requested passengers or crew with flu-like symptoms should be isolated, given hand rubs and masks and that announcement be made.

Passenger Bill Beerens told a different story. “The only thing they done was keep their mouths shut,” Beerens told 7NEWS.

“Not one word was said about anyone on board having the virus and everything was A-OK. The only thing they did say was if you are feeling sick, if you’ve got a temperature or if you’ve got a cough go and see the doctor during business hours.”

From what I have read, people with flu-like symptoms were isolated. The Channel 7 story said that a passenger, Mr Bill Beerens told a different story, but he doesn't contradict the item about sick people being isolated, probably because he didn't know. Who would, unless it was a friend or relative who was in isolation. Mr Beerens said said that no-one on board said anything about anyone having the virus (how could they: they didn't know!). Passengers were told to go to the doctor if they had a temperature or a cough. (Surely that is the ship taking precautions?)

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1 hour ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

4. The PES happy hours in Skywalkers

5. Trivia in Club Fusion - all those teams huddled over their trivia answer sheets

6. The MDRs, especially the Anytime Dining ones. Lots of big tables so sharing with lots of different people each night, few tables for two and those are close together.

Re trivia. Boxes of pencils for anyone to use? If that's the case on Princess, as it is on HAL, were the pencils sanitised after each session or locked up.

Was the library cleared of books as is done when norovirus rears its ugly head?

Handrails on stairs? Yes, they are continually cleaned by crew but every passenger using them can't be followed by a cleaner.

 

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From what we read, the investigation seems to be focusing on the previous cruise with the claim that Princess didn't properly declare the ill people on board. When it is obvious that there was no COVID, I can't see why the previous cruise is relevant, other than to consider the way that NSW Health treated the 8th May cruise compared with the 24th Feb one.

 

On returning to Sydney on 8th May, the authorities say that Princess didn't properly declare the ill people on board, but they did declare them to the Department of Agriculture. NSW Health attended the ship at 6am and (according to one of the 'Porky55') saw/examined 600 passengers. Swabs were tested for COVID and were negative. Passengers waiting to embark were delayed many hours (it is reported to be seven hours).

 

Ruby Princess cruised for 11 days, during which time the worldwide pandemic gathered momentum.

 

What is totally inexplicable is that when the Ruby came into Sydney on 19th March, having declared that there were people with flu-like symptoms on board, and having requested ambulances to take two ill passengers to hospital, NSW Health decided they need not attend.

 

The ship's medical centre had taken swabs from some of the ill passengers (from memory 13 or 15). These were taken for testing and four were positive. However, by that time, the passengers had disembarked in the normal way and were heading to their homes, many of them taking the virus with them.

 

If NSW Health had admitted at the start that they should have acted differently on 19th March (or that they stuffed up), we wouldn't be having these protracted inquiries and the expense involved. I think politics got in the way as soon as they realised they'd made a mistake.

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9 minutes ago, lyndarra said:

Re trivia. Boxes of pencils for anyone to use? If that's the case on Princess, as it is on HAL, were the pencils sanitised after each session or locked up.

Was the library cleared of books as is done when norovirus rears its ugly head?

Handrails on stairs? Yes, they are continually cleaned by crew but every passenger using them can't be followed by a cleaner.

 

I don't know if the pencils are sanitized between trivia sessions, but I doubt it. When we have been on a ship when there is a red alert for noro, we used pencils we have kept from a previous session.

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"The article is correct in stating the 1st cruise was deemed medium risk, despite Princess apparently failing to declare any illness to NSW Health (they did declare to federal Dept of Agriculture though). The 2nd cruise was somehow inexplicably deemed low risk..."

 

 

The second cruise being classified as low risk  is not "inexplicable" as Dr Chant from NSWHealth explained why they classified it so. I watched the news conference. It was to do with being below the threshold for a certain number being reported with flu like symptoms and other criteria. The first ship must have had a higher number of people with flu like symptoms (which obviously turned out to just be the flu)  than the second one . Dr Chant admits in hindsight that they should not have deemed the ship low risk, but  she stressed they did the correct thing at the time.

Really, I don't know why everyone is being so hard on everyone  involved (especially a cruise company ) when scientists didn't understand the virus very well themselves.

Edited by christodan
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I read this morning of a woman from overseas being in NSW hotel isolation becoming unwell. She was examined but not tested as it was deemed unnecessary. She was let out on Day 13. She then did get tested and was positive. How many others like her out there? 

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26 minutes ago, Aus Traveller said:

I don't know if the pencils are sanitized between trivia sessions, but I doubt it. When we have been on a ship when there is a red alert for noro, we used pencils we have kept from a previous session.

 

Being a bit of a germophobe I've always made sure I never put my hands near my face when touching things other people have (not just on cruise ships). And I rarely got sick. Even when I worked in hospitality being exposed to lots of people.

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1 hour ago, lyndarra said:

Re trivia. Boxes of pencils for anyone to use? If that's the case on Princess, as it is on HAL, were the pencils sanitised after each session or locked up.

Was the library cleared of books as is done when norovirus rears its ugly head?

Handrails on stairs? Yes, they are continually cleaned by crew but every passenger using them can't be followed by a cleaner.

 

Yes, pencils are provided for Trivia on Princess but I don't know if they are sanitised. We always use our own pens anyway.

 

Handrails anywhere are a problem. Lots of people stand on deck, looking out to see, leaning on the handrail. The ship does it's best to keep them clean but there is always some risk. I've learnt to use the outer edge of my forearm against the handrails to stabilize myself, rather than my hand.

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24 minutes ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

Yes, pencils are provided for Trivia on Princess but I don't know if they are sanitised. We always use our own pens anyway.

 

Handrails anywhere are a problem. Lots of people stand on deck, looking out to see, leaning on the handrail. The ship does it's best to keep them clean but there is always some risk. I've learnt to use the outer edge of my forearm against the handrails to stabilize myself, rather than my hand.

I do the same on escalators too.

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4 hours ago, Aus Traveller said:

Even though the virus spread widely through the passengers on board, I cannot see that it is Princess' fault. I can't see how it could be any different on any other cruise ship.

 

Infections spread easily where people are in close quarters and I wonder whether older people contract the virus more easily than younger people whose immune systems would generally be stronger. (I was 'jumped on' on the Princess forum for suggesting this!!) The general demographic is 'older' on Princess cruises and on cruises to  NZ. Nursing homes in Australia and other countries (particularly the UK) have been hit hard.

 

Actually, the opposite. The number of cases is much higher amongst younger ages, reducing as you get older, which is the opposite of the death rates.

 

Although I posit that is more likely due to younger people more likely to have social contact of varying forms than older ages. Hence I suspect there is actually as much chance between age groups of contracting it.

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4 hours ago, DiamondFour said:

It is not the fault of the cruise lines. The ultimate blame lies with:

1. The chinese communist party - deceit and deception and allowing international departures while stopping all domestic travel protecting their own country.

2. The WHO for neglect, pandering to the chinese communist party, failing to take action early enough and initially downplaying the pandemic giving false hope to people and companies to continue business as usual.

3. NSW Health and the NSW and Federal Government need to take a collective share of the blame for allowing people into our country with the virus, allowing them onto a cruise ship and then for their neglect and actions when they realised what was going on.

 

Princess and Ruby Princess are just pawns in a blame game from people higher up who do not want to take responsibility or do not want to blame the real culprits through fear.

 

You're spreading blame around, but inaccurately. It's fine if you want to defend Princess, but then you should equally look at others before assigning blame to them.

 

1) The Chinese did not stop all domestic travel, so there was no inconsistency with international travel.

2) WHO took action early on, and were leading the international effort. It is not their fault many did not respond. (This does not mean they had perfect foresight, nor weren't compromised in some way, but it's a simplistically false argument to blame them in such way.)

3) If it's a blame game then it's reasonable for them to share that - though based on knowledge at the time they didn't downplay it either.

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5 hours ago, Porky55 said:

For this perhaps Princess are at fault, but the Crystal Ball was down on power for this cruise:

I don’t think Princess are at fault - was a cryptic comment, hence the Crystal Ball. My humour missed the mark, my apologies.

 

Think all cruise lines in the future could give us all a little more space on board 🤔 

Edited by Porky55
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2 hours ago, christodan said:

"The article is correct in stating the 1st cruise was deemed medium risk, despite Princess apparently failing to declare any illness to NSW Health (they did declare to federal Dept of Agriculture though). The 2nd cruise was somehow inexplicably deemed low risk..."

 

 

The second cruise being classified as low risk  is not "inexplicable" as Dr Chant from NSWHealth explained why they classified it so. I watched the news conference. It was to do with being below the threshold for a certain number being reported with flu like symptoms and other criteria. The first ship must have had a higher number of people with flu like symptoms (which obviously turned out to just be the flu)  than the second one . Dr Chant admits in hindsight that they should not have deemed the ship low risk, but  she stressed they did the correct thing at the time.

Really, I don't know why everyone is being so hard on everyone  involved (especially a cruise company ) when scientists didn't understand the virus very well themselves.

 

The amount of ill disclosed were similar, more with high temperatures. The inexplicable, however, is that the global pandemic situation had advanced exponentially from the 1st cruise to the 2nd yet somehow the 2nd cruise is less riskier than the 1st?!?

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43 minutes ago, The_Big_M said:

 

You're spreading blame around, but inaccurately. It's fine if you want to defend Princess, but then you should equally look at others before assigning blame to them.

 

1) The Chinese did not stop all domestic travel, so there was no inconsistency with international travel.

2) WHO took action early on, and were leading the international effort. It is not their fault many did not respond. (This does not mean they had perfect foresight, nor weren't compromised in some way, but it's a simplistically false argument to blame them in such way.)

3) If it's a blame game then it's reasonable for them to share that - though based on knowledge at the time they didn't downplay it either.

I thought WHO let the world down. When Australia closed its borders to China WHO criticized them significantly. Didn’t declare the pandemic when they should have. Praised China when in reality they were concealing. 

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I was a passenger   (And have not received the Police Survey  )on the Ruby Princess which disembarked on 19th March  - 2 days not 3 ahead of schedule -  and not on the 14th March  or any other date that the media plucks out of the air  as in many reports I have read.   In fact it has been most troubling to see the media debacle . I don't believe I have read one report that does not contain factual errors.   Disappointing the Police give the survey to the media before the passengers.

It has been very frustrating and disturbing to see the calibre of the Australian authorities who are being assigned to investigate this. And the passengers who are giving incorrect  ( or their info is being twisted) info to the media  have just added to the .

It is so distressing that so many people have died and become sick after disembarking.    I am at a loss to figure this out.

Fortunately I did not get sick.  I did take a lot of precautions the usual handwashing and not sharing tables and not going to the buffet.  I concur with BRANDEE's "review"  on 17th April. There was virtually no sign of illness aboard  - actually far less than usual on cruises. I have been on 30 cruises and  on the Golden Princess in December/ Jan roundtrip Melbourne  there was so much flu / colds on board.    I also kept all the paperwork and have all the notifications NSW Health and Australian   plus 2 notices from Princess about on board hygiene = one specifically about Covid 19. We were also told at the safety drill to minimise physical interaction such as handshaking and hugging,  It could not have been clearer unless someone was deaf and blind  that it was necessary to be circumspect.   I was disgusted at some of the passengers total disregard of some of these instructions-  and I am sorry to have to say it frequently older people  and particularly the men - deliberately avoiding sanitisers coughing into hands or into the air.   To top it off I saw a group of people all hugging just prior to disembarkation    " lovely to have met you   we'll keep in touch "    I couldn't believe it,  However  the fact is the Australian authorities  should have been more diligent in checking  given that the pandemic was declared on 11 March.  I can see how people thought there was nothing to worry about  .  The day of departure Sydney ;s cafes were humming the Rocks market in full swing  no sign whatsoever of any social distancing or health advisories in the city.  

But still there was not the usual coughing sneezing that I had come to expect in the theatre prior to the start of the show and I went to the 3 production shows the last three nights of the cruise.

Just a thought to add to the possible transmission mechanism   - may the onboard scanners  people put hats phones all sorts of personal belongings in the trays.  Maybe even the Port authority scanners prior to boarding ?

This cruise was wonderful 

 

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1 hour ago, Pushka said:

Didn’t declare the pandemic when they should have. 

 

WHO did declare COVID19 a PHEIC (which is one step down from a Pandemic) end of January. They have only made that declaration five times in its history with illnesses that proved to be deadly though luckily not contagious enough to get to pandemic stage. Really the world should have been on alert when that announcement was made. 

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