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About SargassoPirate

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    The Sargasso Sea
  • Interests
    Raiding and Plundering

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  1. I've trekked and camped in bear country over 29 times and I've never been eaten by a grizzly. That doesn't mean that I don't take precautions or that I am not aware of my surroundings. You have been 29 days lucky and I hope your luck continues, even when you sit down to the World Cafe and the previous guest sneezed all over the table and the waiter sanitized the placemat by using sneezy's napkin to wipe it off before putting your tumbler and coffee cup upside down on the mat. Yum yum
  2. In talking to the restaurant manager, Viking's corporate standard is that the tables in the World Cafe, the Pool Cafe, and the Explorers Lounge be preset with the plastic placemats and that the tumblers and coffee cups be inverted so that the rims rest on the mat. Further, the standard is to place the silverware directly on the mat. He got nervous when I started asking him about returning tumblers and coffee cups to the stacks to be reused to preset another table and why the same staff clear the tables and then reset them. Suddenly he remembered an appointment and left. These sub-standard practices are done in full view of passengers, the vast majority of whom are clueless and have to be told to wash their hands like children. These sub-standard practices are the corporate standard, as evidenced by observation and photo illustrations used by VO to entice one to cruise and dine with them. Corporate cultures are slow to change and usually only after some catastrophe - after which there will be an intense search for guilty parties.
  3. Nope, I don't think a clean napkin would kill germs.😵
  4. My big box warehouse club travel department's website lets me browse multiple cruise lines for a convenient cruise. Once I've picked the cruise, I can browse the deck plans and pick a cabin by location and price. Always pick cabin with cabins above, below, and across the corridor and away from elevators and stairways. I also stay away from blank walls on the deck plan since it may be a scullery or mop closet across the corridor. I then call the big box warehouse club travel department and have them mark my reservation "no upgrades" since a higher class of cabin may be right below the pool deck or above a boomety boomety night club venue. Signed, The Voice of Experience
  5. My own balcony is usually my first choice. She Who Must Be Obeyed is the only chair hog I have to worry about and she gets first choice anyway. Her cabin boy rises early and gets two thermal mugs of tea (we prefer coffee not made from coffee syrup) and we are all set. No over-amplified pool band to contend with either. We see no benefit from the melanoma deck.
  6. Here's a photo from the VO app to entice you to the Chef's Table. Notice the glassware inverted on the placemats.
  7. So much for Save The Waves. I'm gonna stop reusing my towel and dump it on the floor. Sheesh.
  8. We carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer and resanitize our hands after handling food ladels, menus, chairs, community condiment containers, etc. and just before we eat. Think about how many things you touch after handwashing up until you pick up that roll and butter it Overkill? Perhaps, but 35+ cruises and we've never caught the GIs on board. .
  9. According to the CDC, norovirus can live on surfaces for several days, even weeks. I'd say highly likely placemats are an ideal host.
  10. We are bringing water bottles from our mini bar and using silverware "burritos" in the World Cafe. We are usually able to find some in the pool deck area. I am still flabbergasted at the lack of sanitation practices after a noro incident on this cruise. We are taking every extra precaution we can to protect ourselves, as should anyone who plans to cruise with VO.
  11. Well, they haven't learned from the noro cases. The World Cafe tables were pre-set with placemats, the silverware was placed on the placemat, but the tumblers and coffee cups were right side up (still inverted in the pool cafe area). We grabbed some silverware "burritos" from the pool deck cafe so as not to use the silverware laying on the mat in the World Cafe and found a table. The waiter removed our tumblers after we declined juice and returned them to the stack of "clean " tumblers for reuse. After our breakfast and we vacated the table, I lingered several feet away and watched as the server knocked some crumbs off the mats with my used napkin and lay fresh silverware on the mats we had just used. He left our apparently unused coffee cups on the table and set some "clean" tumblers on the mats - rightside up. For all he knew, I blew my nose in my napkin, sneezed on the table and drank a little water from my coffee cup. No santizing of anything and several opportunities for cross contamination. (I did advise the folks who sat down after us about the coffee cups before I left) The cruise is almost over, and I've already raised a fuss to no apparent avail while on board, so I think my next course will be a letter to corporate. Not sure if we'll ever book VO again.
  12. On the cruise we are on, the World Cafe uses plastic tumblers and ceramic coffee cups. In The Restaurant (the MDR) glass tumblers are used for water and ceramic cups are used for coffee. According to the cruise director's afternoon announcement yesterday, no new cases of noro have been reported, so they will start relaxing some of the restrictions. Last evening, we could push the button on the coffee machines ourselves.😃 Prior to that, there was a staff member stationed there to operate the machine for me. It will be interesting to see if the placemats reappear in the World Cafe on this cruise and if so, how the tables will be cleaned between guests. I'll have to wear a disguise since the restaurants manager knows me on sight and practices will be tightened if they see me lingering in the cafe.😁 They have been jumping through hoops with extra staff on duty and extra cleaning practices, all of which likely could have been avoided had they been following good sanitation practices to start with.
  13. Docked next to the Jupiter today. According to PAX from that ship that we ran into in a coffee shop, they are still pre-setting the tables. I overheard two crew members talking this morning at breakfast and they were discussing that there were either 14 or 40 cases and that we would remain under special procedures for the rest of the voyage. That info is unconfirmed. Personally, I would rather the special procedures continue rather than seeing tables pre-set and shoddy sanitation. Maybe it will take another incident or two before corporate gets the message
  14. Check the CDC website for further information on how norovirus is spread. Touching contaminated surfaces is included and it can live on surfaces for hours. It's interesting to note that the incubation period is 24 to 48 hours - just about what the ship is experiencing from boarding day and failure to clean and sanitize between food service patrons to the outbreak. Hmmm.
  15. Since this is our first Viking Cruise, I don't know if corporate monitors these boards. I will, however, send a letter to VO when we return home, especially since the restaurants manager said Viking's standard is to pre-set the tables. They are asking for a noro outbreak.
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