Precaution to take

By Bill Holman
This item appears on page 22 of the January 2013 issue.
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As we all know, one of the problems that can occur on a cruise ship is an outbreak of norovirus. Cruise lines go to great lengths to keep that from happening. I have been on 30-plus cruises, and one constant on ships lately has been hand-sanitizer dispensers anywhere food is consumed, plus crews continuously disinfecting handrails, doorknobs, elevator buttons, etc., which can be vectors for the virus.

Upon embarking the 14-day Ft. Lauderdale-Rome cruise that my wife, Joan, and I took aboard Princess Cruises’ Crown Princess, April 29-May 12, 2012, we did not see any hand sanitizers nor anyone cleaning the areas that could harbor norovirus.

Four or five days into the cruise, all passengers got memos in their cabins informing them that there was an outbreak of norovirus.

Over a period of days, hand-sanitizing dispensers started to appear in the dining rooms and other places where food was served, but it was too little, too late, I think. The medical facilities were becoming overwhelmed by the epidemic, and there were daily notices on how to wash your hands to prevent infection.

Rumors started to circulate among the passengers that the Crown Princess had gone through two norovirus outbreaks* within the previous few months and had been taken out of service at one point due to the epidemic.

Shortly after disembarking, my wife developed all of the symptoms of norovirus. Can you imagine being in a foreign country for a day and a half with that and then spending 15 hours flying back home?

I sent the above information in an e-mail to Princess Cruises (customerrelations@princesscruises.com). In their reply, I was thanked for calling the matter to their attention. They went on to say that Princess always provides hand sanitizers and goes to great lengths to keep everything sanitary. They also stated that the best way to prevent norovirus is to wash your hands.

BILL HOLMAN
Gresham, OR

ITN e-mailed a representative of Princess Cruises (24305 Town Center Dr., Santa Clarita, CA 91355, 800/774-6237) and received no reply.

*On two sailings of the “Crown Princess,” in late January and early February 2012, more than 500 passengers and 60 crewmembers became ill with norovirus. The Centers for Disease Control oversaw extensive sanitization of the ship after each cruise. The second cruise, which departed Ft. Lauderdale on Feb. 4, was cut short and returned to port on the advice of the CDC.

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

As we all know, one of the problems that can occur on a cruise ship is an outbreak of norovirus. Cruise lines go to great lengths to keep that from happening. I have been on 30-plus cruises, and one constant on ships lately has been hand-sanitizer dispensers anywhere food is consumed, plus crews continuously disinfecting handrails, doorknobs, elevator buttons, etc., which can be vectors for the virus.

Upon embarking the 14-day Ft. Lauderdale-Rome cruise that my wife, Joan, and I took aboard Princess Cruises’ Crown Princess, April 29-May 12, 2012, we did not see any hand sanitizers nor anyone cleaning the areas that could harbor norovirus.

Four or five days into the cruise, all passengers got memos in their cabins informing them that there was an outbreak of norovirus.

Over a period of days, hand-sanitizing dispensers started to appear in the dining rooms and other places where food was served, but it was too little, too late, I think. The medical facilities were becoming overwhelmed by the epidemic, and there were daily notices on how to wash your hands to prevent infection.

Rumors started to circulate among the passengers that the Crown Princess had gone through two norovirus outbreaks* within the previous few months and had been taken out of service at one point due to the epidemic.

Shortly after disembarking, my wife developed all of the symptoms of norovirus. Can you imagine being in a foreign country for a day and a half with that and then spending 15 hours flying back home?

I sent the above information in an e-mail to Princess Cruises (customerrelations@princesscruises.com). In their reply, I was thanked for calling the matter to their attention. They went on to say that Princess always provides hand sanitizers and goes to great lengths to keep everything sanitary. They also stated that the best way to prevent norovirus is to wash your hands.

BILL HOLMAN
Gresham, OR

ITN e-mailed a representative of Princess Cruises (24305 Town Center Dr., Santa Clarita, CA 91355, 800/774-6237) and received no reply.

*On two sailings of the “Crown Princess,” in late January and early February 2012, more than 500 passengers and 60 crewmembers became ill with norovirus. The Centers for Disease Control oversaw extensive sanitization of the ship after each cruise. The second cruise, which departed Ft. Lauderdale on Feb. 4, was cut short and returned to port on the advice of the CDC.