Seems to be quite common with major cruise ship lines that their big ocean cruisers are infected with outbreaks of the Norovirus. The latest incident: Star Princess sailing from Vancouver on September 19th, 2015 to several Hawaii Islands’ locations, then returning back to Vanvouver arriving Cruise Ship Terminal on October 4h, 2015. Of multiple posts on this particular voyage, this strikes me
[ http://www.cruiselawnews.com/articles/norovirus/ ] as underestimating the severity of a particularly nasty outbreak of respiratory and gastrointestinal disease on the Star Princess. Since I was on this same ship, here is the real story:
My cruise had been sold to me by Expedia CruiseshipCenters. These are experienced cruising experts who have access to all the necessary information sources to make their customers aware of a cruise line’s history of such outbreaks. And there is a history for this particular Princess Cruises’ ship. Soon after embarkation at Vancouver a number of passengers started coughing – the kind of cough that brings up your lungs. I had a balcony, my neighbor to my left was the first to cough. Couple of days later, my neighbor to the right of me started. Then more and more passengers got sick. What they gave them in the Sick Bay ? Tamiflu. This is a viral outbreak, possibly already arriving with the Star Princess from a previous voyage. I complained officially at the Customer Services Desk, request that I like to use my balcony without being coughed at by both sides. No reaction. Throughout this voyage a very large number of guests fell quite ill. Dining rooms started empty out.
On 27 September the first health advisory report was issued by Dr. Grant Tarling, Chief Medical Officer, referring to (simple) cold and fly symptoms,and giving out advice how to protect yourself. In addition to the hundreds of (Alcohol-based) hand sanitizing stations throughout the ship. On 30 September 2015 the second health advisory report was issued to all guests, strongly suggesting an outbreak of novorvirus.
[ http://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/about/overview.html ]. Measures were put in place to protect open food buffets, allowing the crew to handle foods with gloves.
On the ship throughout the voyage I was not sick. Arriving back in Vancouver and spending many hours by bus and ferry to finally return home, I was still OK. Until the next day, that nasty virus got hold of me. This type of virus is difficult to fight, because is is the immune system that needs to take care of it, as well as the most important prevention measures – cleanliness. Sanitation.
Question remains: Why cruise ship service agents are selling cruises for ships that are well known to have had multiple outbreaks of this norovirus in the recent past.
My observations on this ship: Guests were still coughing into their hands, using the Internet room and touching keyboards, or coughing freely into the air surrounding them. Or seafood and fruits being served which might or might not have been infected. Because of the fact that the disease started immediately upon embarkation, it can be strongly suspected that the Norovirus was already present when the voyage started. From a financial point of view, it is bad business to purchase a cruise for around $5,000 which includes not only a nice cabin with balcony, food, swimming pools, entertainment of all sorts, but also (hidden) a dangerous viral infestation.

{BTW – I never had any esperience like this in my life.} Rules of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention:[ http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/vsp/surv/gilist.htm ]

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