Norovirus ruined our cruise
Stayed in Southampton the night before our Xmas & New Year cruise on Oceana which helps us to arrive fresh & relaxed for embarkment. We had been made aware of the delay so arrived later than our confirmed time, managed to get a free cuppa & then straight on board and to our welcome on board lunch as we had become Caribbean locality status the cruise before. 4th time of sailing on this lovely friendly ship so we were excited to get on board and she didn’t disappoint. Stunning Christmas decorations wrapped around the Atrium. Very festive. Cabin B412 superbly serviced by ‘V’ who always had a smile on her face no matter what time of day. Bumpy ride for the first night & day and then strangely enough calm in Bay of Biscay! 2nd sitting in the Adriaric. Food, service & dinner companions exceptionally good. Ate every morning & lunch in self service Buffett, excellent choice of food whether hot or cold selection. The weather just got better & better. 3rd time of sailing over Xmas & New Year, weather in comparison to the other two was exceptional this time. Entertainment on the ship was varied; trying to cater for everyone & in my opinion succeeded. Lovely to see Jane again though this year she didn’t have time to organise a passenger choir. Films shown in theatre or starlights lounge throughout the day. Attended the gym most days & treck the deck charity walk. On shore only booked one organised trip in Tenerife-On your own in Las America’s-which we fully enjoyed visiting places we hadn’t been to for over 15 years. Weather glorious. In Madeira we travelled with Carlos Jardim in his 8 seater Toyota taxi - worth every euro. Not only a very pleasant young man driving a spotlessly clean taxi but also very knowledgeable & quite rightly proud of Madeira. We visited Corpus Christie statue, spectacular views whilst travelling and on arrival, skywalk (not for the faint hearted) and Churchill Bay. Definitely recommend this trip by taxi. Due to the norovirus outbreak some of the evening get together’s were cancelled which, under the circumstances, was understandable. All staff from receptionists to waiting on & Officers were polite, friendly & helpful. Unfortunately on New Years Day my husband contracted Norovirus so he didn’t visit Lisbon, the following day l also became ill. Both confined to our cabins until disembarkment and we were looking so forward to La Coruna. My husband and l verge on being paranoid re washing our hands and using the hand gel, we even carry our own supply of hand gel so imagine our surprise and disappointment in how we had caught it. We found out after the cruise that the hand gel is no deterrent against norovirus ONLY washing with soap and water so why were waiting staff & Officers insisting everyone uses the hand gel? We received attentive care and advice whilst confined to our cabin but please be aware this ‘bug’ floored us and It took us nearly 2 weeks to get over it. We’ve sailed more than 40 cruises, we aren’t complacent and take responsibility for ourselves but this really knocked us for six and will make us more paranoid when sailing again. Has it put us off cruising with P&0? No, on this cruise we were just unlucky and prior to being ill this cruise was close to getting 10/10
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