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Norovirus and death on Crown Princess

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    Norovirus and death on Crown Princess

    Just returned from a great 14 day cruise on Crown Princess which was a 7 day South Caribbean cruise returning to Ft Lauderdale for the next 7 days to the Mixican coast and Isles was marred in week 2 by an out break of epidemic proportions of norovirus to the extent that in 4 days 2 letters were sent out, no food stuffs could be handled by passengers, on Aloa deck all the cabin stewards were wearing facemasks and the sudden appearance of gels for cleansing. Bio chemical bags were on all passenger decks where passengers were visited by crew

    The captain stated that the desease was epidemic proportions in North America and we picked up the ship in Frt Lauderdale. Week one where there was no problem there were no hand wipes or gels in computer room, yet key boards are well known for having more germs and bacteria then any toilet seat, the hand gels at horizon court and cafe caribe were often empty or when you tried to use it after another passenger it would not work, passengers had access to the food via the exit and middle exit, there was no one ensuring passengers had used gels, there was little or no evidence of stair rails and lifts being cleaned, no gel whatsoever in the main dinning restaurants, no gels on gangways when returning to the ship.

    Is it not obvious if there is a problem ashore in ft Lauderdale and that special messures need to be taken when everyone boards there and to be informed not wait for an epidemic to appear. It was not until as described by the Captain as significant numbers being reported to the medical bay that gels appeared, no salt and pepper, rolls on tables in dining rooms and in self service areas all food was served. (Yet everyone handled the menus) and the fact that we had neard that a passenger had died the previous night.

    The rumour about the fatality was that mussles had been eaten ashore and the man suffered anaphalaxis when returning to the ship later that evening, most anaphalaxis fatalities occour during the first 15 mins and rare cases up to 2 hours.

    On disembarkment day we had to go to a Mall there was a passenger on one of the coaches that had Norovirus and was vommiting into his lap, all uk passengers were released into the Dolphin Mall for up to 5 hours spreading their germs and on the flight back to Heathrow passengers were still vomitting and ambulances called to deal with them.

    This resulted in us being off loaded on the tarmac and fast tracked through terminal 5 and having to all complete contagious deseases registration forms. Well done Princess I say to exposing so many people to the desease and what is without a doubt a lack of duty of care to its passengers and other individuals who did not cruise.

    Yes well done Princess for exposing us to an awful risk which I know is always possible and is often on board but controlled, unfortunately this was an epidemic an epidemic caused by a lack of duty of care and cost cutting.

    Apparently all areas of the ship were to be sanitised before new passengers taken on, I presume the aircraft and coaches would have to have been treated, but some how I dont think so.

    We have travelled several times with Princess but unfortunately this has left us thinking about travelling with them again as it appears no care is taken until the desease hits their code red. The last 3 days left us with having beakfast delivered as we did not want to be in areas with other pasenger (our choice I know) we did not go to the shows and ate during the day where food was prepared and could be collected from the crew and again eating it in our cabin. Thank god day 2 of our return and neither my wife or myself had caught the desease, but hundreds of others had. Bon Voyage Princess

    Hi Dunsailing, well I do sypathise with you, what a dreaful time you must have gone through , how awful fo people travelling back feeling as ill as that,surely they had a duty of care especilly as the captain said it was prevalent in America, it seems like the criuse from hellI have been reading the paper and it is now getting prevalent in the UK,lots of hospital have been forced to close wards because of the demand for beds, [my freind] who is a nurse says the residential homes send their elderly to the hospitals at the first sign of the virus as they can't manage it in the homes]. They say it is so contagious and can live on tiles,curtains and carpets for weeks, there is also a fear there is a new strain on the march.
    I am sorry your cruise was so bad. CG


      The only thing in NoV's favour is that it is rarely a killer - massive morbidity and low mortaility - in direct contrast to that other great Food borne viral disease HepA - good chance of avoiding it but the consequences if you do are high!

      HepE is the emerging virus and is linked with undercooked pork consumption.


        I've been talking to a friend who lives in a very remote valley....both her husband and elderly mum are down with noro, and the farm work has to be done without them. Friend has decided that she's clear because she cleans the campers' loos out all summer, and nothing ever touches her.....


          How awful for you! The next worse thing when you haven't got norovirus is everyone else having it especially in confined places like planes and coaches, I can't imagine anything worse really.

          I do agree that often the cruise lines only have themselves to blame but then on our recent cruise with P&O we witnessed so many people completely ignoring the gels provided that we did complain to the restaurant manager. we also witnessed several people filling their own ( used) drinks bottles at the breakfast juice and water machine and tackled them for ignoring the signs. I really don't care if they want to catch diseases but i do protest at them giving their viruses and bacteria to other unsuspecting people.

          Are people really so ignorant of how these diseases spread or do they really think it won't happen to them. Do they realise that they are putting other peoples lives at risk by being so completely unhygeinic. We did actually speak to some 'apparently' intelligent people who were completely ignorant about norovirus - do they live in a cocoon?

          To be fair to P&O Restaurant manager they did take our concerns seriously and made some effort to get people to use the gel by standing where the trays were kept when you go in the buffet. As has been mentioned though, there is no gel in the sit down restaurants and everyone handles the menus. I take my own gel to use after looking at the menu and BEFORE touching my bread. But, then as a nurse I know the dangers of these viruses.

          Cruise lines should make much more effort to get people to use gels and also to educate people, but then it seems that people will still remain ignorant if they want to!


            Some cruise lines have argued that people will rely on the gels- which won't kill a virus- and so don't wash their hands- which will. Because of that, the gels were reduced on some ships, but too many people complained then that they weren't being protected!
            So- if some have never even heard of noro, and rely on the gels as some sort of kill-all, then the bug is going to get through because the gel won't touch it.
            Other than producing a row of washbasins outside each restaurant, there's not much else they can do!


              I was reminded recently that Noro is not confind to schools and cruise ships. After 22 years in school, with no absences through D&V, I visited a very ill friend in hospital a couple of weeks ago. His wife called two days later to say there was a 'bug' on the ward. "Yes, I know" I replied. I washed my hands after using the lavatory and before eating lunch and used the gel on entering and leaving the ward. However, I also held on to hand rails and door handles, and it got me! Judith


                I do agree that we shouldn't only rely on the gels, but if people don't wash their hands it will provide better protection than the alternative, which is nothing!
                Incidentally, it may not have been the handrail that 'got you', Norovirus is like colds and flu its passed by touching but also by airborne contact. And... it can live on surfaces for 12 hours. This is why alot of cruise lines isolate passengers who are infected.

                Pity they don't continue to do this at the end of a cruise. They want to offload people asap even if they are infected. hence they are going home and spreading the virus on planes, coaches, buses etc but hey - its no longer their responsibility is it!

                However as dunsailin says they do have a duty of care to their passengers, and maybe should provide some sort of isolation facility at ports for these poor unfortunate ill people to recover before going travelling home.


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