We just got off the Veendam yesterday, and the situation was well under control. Only one instance of the NoroVirus and that was brought on board as it occured on the first day of the cruise. With all the additional cleaning an precautions, it stayed limited to just one occurance for the whole cruise. HAL did a fantastic job of getting the ship cleaned and prepared to prevent any further illness.
As stated by "ualtim" above, Veendam has been super-sanitized and is virus free. CDC gave them huge approval for all of the steps they took to keep pax and crew healthy. Kudos to the hardworking crew of Veendam. I'm happy for them their hard work resulted in total success.
The Wall Street Journal had a story yesterday on the CDC and cruise ships. Basically the cruise lines want the CDC to stop using the word "outbreaks". I guess when 300 people spend three days in the bathroom they want to call it " a little quiet time".
> When will people just learn to..WASH THIER DAMN
> HANDS..after using the bathroom?
> Purell anyone?
> Oct 22 2005 on the Dam Ship
As someone who sailed on Veendam in early January and who contracted Noro-virus, I can assure you that some of us who 'succumbed ' WASHED OUR DAMN HANDS' constantly. We have been on a number of ships when there was an outbreak and escaped catching it. I did not escape it this time.
Do not think you are sure to remain virus free because you 'washed your damn hands'. I always carry Purell in my purse and we use it often. We always use the hand sanitizers EVERY time we pass by one. I have other health issues which well may have lowered my resistance. In the past, I did not contract it. I did this time despite the fact I WASHED MY DAM hands.
Please do not assume that everyone who contracts Noro has poor hygiene habits. The person who contracts it next could be someone close to you....or you. You do not need to be on a ship. Hospitals, nursing homes, schools, hotels, dormitories, restaurants.....all have frequent bouts of it.
Who knows if I touched a chair I was seated in to pull it closer to the table....that chair may have touched by someone with 'dirty hands' before me. Maybe I shook hands with someone. Maybe I touched a tray someone else had picked up and then put back down again. Maybe I touched the bar in the lounge that someone had touched before me. Maybe it was the magazine I read in the Neptune Lounge. Maybe it was the button I pushed on the coffee machine to get my espresso. And on and on.........
I think the "wash your hands" suggetion was meant to apply to everyone. If everyone on a cruise ship washed their hands more often, a virus would be less likely to spread. I am a veteran cruiser and always am very careful. Problem areas are elevator buttons, the serving spoons at the salad bars, handrails, etc. On my last HAL cruise a year ago I avoided the buffet and ate most meals in the dining room.
Yes, of course, the advise to wash our hands frequently is valuable. But, I took his tone to imply that only those who do not have good hygience habits catch (and spread) the virus. I wished for there to be no confusion....that unsuspecting people who assume that if they wash their hands, they will remain virus free. That is Not a guarantee. I speak from personal experience.
Thanks for your good wishes, Landlocked. Yes, I am fully recovered with no lasting ill effects.
I once thought that if you had Noro Virus, you did build a resistance. I was corrected about that belief while aboard Veendam when we were discussing this....before I became ill myself. So, I think not. Having had it once does not protect you from getting it again.....same as the common cold.
I'm sure most of us, if we had a choice, would rather be sick at home than on a cruise.
I know with so many people coming together in a small confined space such as a ship that is it very easy for a virus to spread. It does bother me some for the news media to always pick and pick and pick when people get sick on a cruise ship but rarely, if ever , reports on the same thing elsewhere.
In my state, for the past few weeks we have had numerous schools shut down with both kids and teachers out with these same symptons. So far there has been no mention by CNN, NBC, CBS, etc. about this. The local news team gives the listing every day about which schools are still out, will be closing, etc.The numbers here would add into the thousands. If you totaled all the passengers in a given week that cruised and then figure how many actually came down with the virus, I'm sure the percentage would be very small. I guess it's just more appealing or makes better copy to report something bad about a ship. Were off in a few days ( along with lots of Purell ) for a 10 dayer on Princess
and are keeping our very clean fingers crossed.
Sail, It was not my intent to say that poor hygine is why people catch Norwalk and the other like viruses. But it is indeed how they are primarily spread. Or as the CDC puts it, Oral-Fecal transmission. I am truely sorry you were ill and no one should have their vacation turnout that way.
Speaking as a member of the male gender I am disgusted by the number of men who do not wash their hands after using the Men's room. My wife has informed me that women are ocassionaly guilty of the same crime, but I doubt at the same rate as men. It is getting to the point where we need a bathroom monitor to make sure you don't get to leave the bathroom until you wash your hands.
A soldier was standing at the urinal beside a sailor. The soldier started to leave without washing his hands. The sailor commented that in the Navy, they were taught to be clean and wash their hands after using the bathroom. The soldier instantly fired back that in the Army they were taught to not #iss on their hands!!
So there--- just a little humor on the virus thing !
My husband and I were on the Veendam the last two weeks in January and were lucky and did NOT catch the virus. Many did! Much more than reported! We met a very nice couple and the husband did get Norwalk, but the wife did not. He and my husband were together very often.
The crew was sick when we came on the ship. Some of the crew reported they had the virus and OTHERS DID NOT. There were crew members doing jobs they don't normally do so the service suffered. It was NOT a good cruise!
The virus does live for 3 weeks on surfaces, or so we were told. NellieB