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NOROVIRUS ON CRUISES – CAN WE JUST DISCUSS

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Well call me clueless - was on a cruise last year and at some point all the salt-shakers & condiments disappeared from the tables.  I just thought they hadn't planned well and were running short of supplies!

Anyway, I didn't get sick from that - only allergy issues (please people - don't bathe in perfume!!!)  but after thinking about what people have said, I do think I'll start packing a few extra items in the future. I always travel with a small salt-shaker anyway, after my earlier experience but planning to hit the $$store for a small quantity of masks and gloves to go along with some medical-grade wipes and a set of pillow-cases already ordered from Amazon.

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Greetings from South Beach, Everyone. Noro virus is extremely common, and an obvious problem should it surface on a cruise. That said, if people feel anxious about cruising, don't.  We have taken many cruises, in all seasons, and everywhere. In over fifty sailings we have never encountered noro virus, Planes are another source for it, but the symptoms don't show till later. I don't know if people who have symptoms and say so can easily get a refund for their cruise if they don't have insurance for it. It would help if that policy existed. If not, it is reasonable to get on board and hope the condition will pass. Just a thought.

Mary

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After being on the Crown Princess during their January 2016 noro outbreak and watching DM get ill because they thought the casino had been cleaned and then my falling ill when we returned home  -- I take precautions.    I bring individual packets of the Chlorox healthcare hydrogen peroxide cleaner disinfectant, which is to my knowledge the only cleaner that works on noro, and  gloves.     No guarantee that wiping everything down will work but at least I know I tried .   I am also bringing DM on the cruise, so I try to be extra careful.

However, precautions should extend beyond cruises. The plane seat belt and tray table are as germ laden as a tv remote. Hand hygiene is critical everywhere but the statistics are dismal - even in healthcare where it is stressed, a point of education and an inspection item. 

Last flight, an attendant smiled as I was going through my disinfecting routine and told me as we exited that I had forgotten one thing - a mask, as the person next to me sneezed and coughed with no consideration to anyone around him.   And yes, I got sick.   Ironically almost everyone on that flight, including my row mate, a hospital CEO, were  on our way to a healthcare meeting - he knew better.  

You can try but no guarantees

Healthy, noro free cruising to all! 

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It's funny how everytime I see a post on "Norovirus" on CC it's like a copy and paste of 100 threads before it.  Nothing new to see here 😲

 

One thing that is never mentioned is taking care of yourself in the first place.  Eating healthy foods, staying fit and in shape, drinking less alcohol and consuming foods high in electrolytes and anti-oxidants as well as keeping a healthy gut will minimize the chances of getting sick.

 

@jennyb1977 at least takes vitamin C (I hope its more then 2g 😁 ).  It won't stop it all together but helps to prevent it and certainly recover faster.  If you are a drinker you need to make sure you stay hydrated and not just drinking water but replacing electrolytes is a big part of that puzzle.  Your body cannot function properly without them.

 

And if you are healthy and get sick the affects of the virus will be greatly minimized and last for a shorter amount of time if your health is well maintained.  If you eat waffles for breakfast, fried food for lunch and your eating hot dogs, mac and cheese and chips and cheese for dinner while drinking all day you have already given your body zero chance to succeed at fighting off any kind of sickness.

 

Its foolish to never go outside, never exercise, eat crap food, smoke, drink and then wipe everything down so you don't get sick. 

 

If I was on a ship with Noro, I would continue to wash my hands and maintain a good level of hygiene but I certainly wouldn't lock myself up in the room wrapped in pure clean sheets afraid to touch anything in fear of sickness.  I'd rather get it and be done with it in 24 hours than waste 4 days of a cruise in fear of getting sick. 

 

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3 hours ago, njhorseman said:

Yeah, the chief has a long history of debunking factually incorrect posts from people who like to post as if they have expertise in areas that they are actually know little or nothing about. It's great for Cruise Critic that he does. He's one of the greatest assets this community has.

 

If you think for one second your original post isn't written in a way to suggest that you are an expert I'd just simply suggest you think again.  He has every right to be " 'rousing'' in response to your post. 

 

You are wrong.  The OP was not a factual requirement.  But, I now see, deca-posters should have an 'expert only board.

 

Yikes.

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3 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

And I say, okay, there is no social media coverage about noro on a particular ship/cruise, and there is no noticeable change in procedures onboard, yet nearly 2% of passengers could be ill with noro, and your "precautions" would be meaningless since there was no "notification" about any illness, and you could be just as likely to catch it on that cruise, where there was no notification as one where everyone posted about it.  Also, the most important data point is not the raw number of reported cases, but the trend of those cases, and a report of an outbreak on one cruise does not necessarily translate to another cruise, especially if they have done a deep clean.  Even after the most extensive deep clean, one new embarking passenger with poor personal hygiene can "re-infect" the ship.  In 95% of the cases, the trend of reported cases rises during the cruise, and then starts to fall off towards the end, as remediation measures take effect.  Now, if the level of cases remains constant across the end of one cruise and the beginning of the next, then it is likely a crew member spreading it.  If, however, the number of cases drops towards the end of the cruise, but then starts to rise again on the next,  it is most commonly a new passenger who has brought it back onboard. 

 

Well, you stated that you would demand to know if the cabin had been treated, and whether after treatment and inspection it was safe.  If you don't know what those methods are, then anything they say in response to your demand could be just gobbledygook, and you would have no idea of whether you are "protected" or whether your demand for a new cabin (and whether that cabin is "safe"), so this is a meaningless "precaution".

 

Hot tubs are not "over-chlorinated", the CDC does not find that the levels mandated pose any significant health risks, but some folks have more sensitive skin.

 

I'm not talking about people with disabilities using the handrails.  I'm talking about everyone.  An old, old, sea adage is "one hand for you (your safety), and one hand for the ship (your drink in this case).  On a moving vessel, it is always prudent to either use a handrail on a stairwell, or be prepared to do so in an instant, should the ship suddenly shudder or roll.

 

I'm not going to 'engage you.  I've lost all respect.  Take care.

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2 hours ago, julig22 said:

Well call me clueless - was on a cruise last year and at some point all the salt-shakers & condiments disappeared from the tables.  I just thought they hadn't planned well and were running short of supplies!

Anyway, I didn't get sick from that - only allergy issues (please people - don't bathe in perfume!!!)  but after thinking about what people have said, I do think I'll start packing a few extra items in the future. I always travel with a small salt-shaker anyway, after my earlier experience but planning to hit the $$store for a small quantity of masks and gloves to go along with some medical-grade wipes and a set of pillow-cases already ordered from Amazon.

 

It's OK to be clueless; the board experts say we shouldn't worry.  But we stay prepared at such little cost or effort.

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2 hours ago, 17cruisesnsl said:

After being on the Crown Princess during their January 2016 noro outbreak and watching DM get ill because they thought the casino had been cleaned and then my falling ill when we returned home  -- I take precautions.    I bring individual packets of the Chlorox healthcare hydrogen peroxide cleaner disinfectant, which is to my knowledge the only cleaner that works on noro, and  gloves.     No guarantee that wiping everything down will work but at least I know I tried .   I am also bringing DM on the cruise, so I try to be extra careful.

However, precautions should extend beyond cruises. The plane seat belt and tray table are as germ laden as a tv remote. Hand hygiene is critical everywhere but the statistics are dismal - even in healthcare where it is stressed, a point of education and an inspection item. 

Last flight, an attendant smiled as I was going through my disinfecting routine and told me as we exited that I had forgotten one thing - a mask, as the person next to me sneezed and coughed with no consideration to anyone around him.   And yes, I got sick.   Ironically almost everyone on that flight, including my row mate, a hospital CEO, were  on our way to a healthcare meeting - he knew better.  

You can try but no guarantees

Healthy, noro free cruising to all! 

 

Thanks.

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3 hours ago, Nic6318 said:

Hi

 

I agree with the OP on "one" point. It is your choice as to how to deal with this. 

 

Honestly, if I felt as concerned as the OP, I wouldn't even bother travelling. In fact it would be really hard to feel safe stepping out of one's own home, considering this virus is everywhere and the same people that cruise are your neighbors and co-workers. Taking public transport would seem out of the question. Handling money would be really scary. 

 

I am sure if you really looked into the statistics there would be many more reasonable things to be concerned about. 

 

OK, well, we travel multi-continents, and cruise, 7+ months per year.  We have only encountered Norovirus on "potential" or actual Norovirus cruises.

 

so, we continue to travel.

 

So, we leave our home(s).

 

We engage, dine, drink, dinner an socialize with out neighbors.

 

We did the same with our employees.

 

We use public transportation.

 

We handle ""money.""

 

THE OP WAS ABOUT CRUISES ON SHIPS WITH POTENTIAL OR ACTUAL NOROVIRUS OUTBREAK RISKS.

 

YIKES.

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The bottom line for precautions. Is to eat NOTHING with your hands.   Which I NEVER do.  Yep- I manage just fine with sandwiches etc.   

 

the spit swapping is rampant in the buffet with all the eaters in the line and finger lickers.    All of them are handling the Utensils.     Worse are the idiots who bring their dirty plates up and refill them.   Contaminating everything.     

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We bring hand sanitizer and sanitizer wipes.

We take zinc and vitamin c to build up our immunity.

Flu shot.  
Eat in MDR and avoid the buffet. 
Practice yoga and meditation.

Constantly washing our hands.

Try to avoid crowds.

Fist bumps no handshake.

Ginger chews for the stomach.
Alcohol drinking lowers your immune system so moderation is key.

Smile from time I board until I leave the ship.

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19 hours ago, Formula280SS said:

 

Again, if on a ship with a potential or actual Norovirus outbreak, it is not only not paranoia or in the extreme.

 

Wait until you're on one and you see what the ships' Captain requires.

 

If you don't comply, you, your stateroom guests get a free "off load" at the next port.  We've seen it.

 

Also again, not for a normal cruise, for a cruise with a potential or actual Norovirus outbreak.

 

Appears to be a lack of understanding, comprehension and situational circumstances as elaborated in the OP.

 

Thanks.

 

 

Also again, not for a normal cruise, for a cruise with a potential or actual Norovirus outbreak.

 

Appears to be a lack of understanding, comprehension and situational circumstances as elaborated in the OP.

 

Thanks.

I summarized your post for my wife and predicted the usual CC response....attack and demean....I think your ideas are great, we will not do all but got some great tips..I know we would have a cleaner safer ship if more people thought like you..we have 30 cruises and never sick yet, but that may be just dumb luck...e can’t control everything, but an oz. of prevention is worth a pound of cure....thanks for your effort

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33 minutes ago, bostonfred said:

I summarized your post for my wife and predicted the usual CC response....attack and demean....I think your ideas are great, we will not do all but got some great tips..I know we would have a cleaner safer ship if more people thought like you..we have 30 cruises and never sick yet, but that may be just dumb luck...e can’t control everything, but an oz. of prevention is worth a pound of cure....thanks for your effort

 

 

The OP asked for both positive and negative feedback in his first post. 

 

 

Comments, thoughts and other recommendations and cautions VERY WELCOMED.

 

Also welcomed, CHIDING for "eliminating all the cruising experiences."

 

 

Edited by ColeThornton

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For the average cruisers that unluckily catch norvirus, somehow, it's not the end of the world - the "illness" isn't life threatening unless one has immune-compromised system and other pre-existing medical conditions, and with bed rest (yes, it stinks to be "confined" while on a cruise or on vacation, etc.) - fluid (water & juices) & a bland diet - the symptoms will work its way thru the body, recover & be well again in a few days.  Stay away from others (well, aside from your "mate(s)" sharing & using the same cabin, stateroom or suite, etc.  

 

Everyone that cruise and travel has their own best practices on how to prevent & deal with norovirus - there are illness, sickness & communicable disease that are far more dangerous and deadly out there.  This isn't one of them, not on my list ... I actively worked in health care for 10+ years, in mental health but mostly in primary or ambulatory care, walk-in clinic setting as administrator - seen my share of acute emergencies, including SARS (2003 outbreak) and other pandemic emergencies involving travelers, like measles.  To put matters into perspective, there is always a need to practice personal hygiene, proper & frequent hand-wash, minimize the spread of germs & viruses, bacterial "contacts" and take steps to isolate and avoid, etc. ... to each her/his own on what works & feel right. 

 

More ideas: (we/I don't and won't do these for norovirus ...) go walk around the ship with a N95 mask and several pairs of latex gloves, sanitizers and Clorox/disinfectant mini-sprays ... just not me.  Don't forget to clean the cabin's HVAC vents and inspect the filters ... oh, wait, it doesn't have negative air pressure/filtration and not allowed to bring UVDI light.  How about a set or two of PPE, Level D (at least) ... imagine walking into a Halloween party wearing "full" gear, easily freak a few people out.  

 

The seasonal flu is far more serious ... of course, see & consult with one's own PCP (family doctor) for advice and precautions to take while on a trip.  And, don't forget - check your medical coverage while abroad, some plans covered it (out of network ?) while most do not.  Safe travel & happy cruising.  

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I recall a man estimated 60 years old exiting Spice H2O on Escape recently, around 11 am. He was in the hallway obviously confused and looking for a bathroom, apparently drunk. He wore swim shorts and feces were all over the back of his legs.

 

I have no clue how soneone can lose control like that, and I wondered where he had smeared his excrement already... for sure I understand how norovirus spreads.

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On 11/27/2019 at 8:35 AM, ColeThornton said:

I find most of that to be overkill.  In all my cruises I've never done anything more than perhaps wash my hands more than I normally do on land.  If I were to be that paranoid and did all of the things suggested I wouldn't even consider stepping on to a cruise ship.

 

I appreciate your thoughts though.

 

Absolute overkill. Before I get that OCD,  I’ll quit cruising.

 

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I'm on the Joy Dec. 15th and since it is on it's second consecutive cruise with a Noro outbreak (Panama Canal cruise confirmed by CDC, current week "reported" on social media but obviously not on CDC website yet), I appreciate the tips.  I can't see carrying around gloves, but I will carry wipes with me that are on the EPA list of disinfectants that kill Noro (https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-06/documents/list_g_norovirus.pdf) and obviously wash my hands all the damn time.  My fear is getting noro at the beginning of the cruise and being confined to the cabin for the entirety!  So we will wipe down the cabin and be very vigilant about what we touch.  I agree with Deeliteful - how in the world do they disinfect ALL of the casino chips between cruises?  Does anyone know what they do in that area?  My husband plays a lot of blackjack!

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On 11/28/2019 at 10:13 AM, ColeThornton said:

 

 

The OP asked for both positive and negative feedback in his first post. 

 

 

Comments, thoughts and other recommendations and cautions VERY WELCOMED.

 

Also welcomed, CHIDING for "eliminating all the cruising experiences."

 

 

Typical isn't it?  An OP, not just this one, but anyone who asks for bot positive AND negative replies gets them and suddenly doesn't like the negative ones. 🙄🤷‍♂️

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I found that putting lots of things in "quotes" by the op really helped make the points.  But to really put it over the top, they should have added lots of words IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. 😉

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I typically bring the wet ones antibacterial wipes, and use one on my door, closet handles, sink, shower etc... a few times on the cruise. Also, I bring them to the buffett, when I eat etc..

 

I got sick on my last 2 cruises but think that was more from UBP + 3 hours of sleep a night, also the Canada/New England trip had lots of varying weather which didn't help.

 

Maybe avoiding the buffet could be a good thing? 

What about drink glasses? I had started to request plastic to go cups.

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Just now, HowardK said:

What about drink glasses? I had started to request plastic to go cups.

 

 

People are going to be handling your drinks whether it's glass or plastic.

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