Originally posted by F1:
What a jerk I am!!! I was beside Ship in Hilo,I did not realize the ship is flagship of HAL! I looked at video tours of the ship-it looks AWESOME!!!Perhaps my next cruise will be on this ship.Indoor pool looks fab,as well as so many other venues! Am I right?
As already stated in another posting, apparently not everything shining is GOLD :-)
Amsterdam - and HAL as a whole - have a disturbing rich history of illness cases ( see http://www.cruisejunkie.com/events.html
April 7, 2006 Amsterdam, Holland America Line "For the second cruise in a row the ship has reported an elevated number of passengers and crew with gastrointestinal illness. On April 6, the ship’s medical staff reported that 8 of 605 (1.32%) crew and 76 of 1294 (5.87%) passengers were ill. The 15-day Hawaiian cruise ended in San Diego on April 6."
April 7 Amsterdam Holland America Line
New details: "For the second cruise in a row the ship has reported an elevated number of passengers and crew with gastrointestinal illness. On April 6, the ship’s medical staff reported that 8 of 605 (1.32%) crew and 76 of 1294 (5.87%) passengers were ill. The 15-day Hawaiian cruise ended in San Diego on April 6."
March 21, 2006 Amsterdam, Holland America Line
On March 13, 2006, Holland America Cruise Line reported that an elevated number of Amsterdam passengers and crew were experiencing symptoms that were consistent with acute gastroenteritis. The predominant symptoms are diarrhea and vomiting. On March 21, the ship’s medical staff reported that 8 of 606 (1.32%) crew and 142 of 1360 (10.44%) passengers were ill. The ship returns to San Diego from a 15 day Hawaii cruise on March 22."
Other earlier incidents, here only 2005:
April 1, 2005
Amsterdam Holland America Line
"A California woman and her son have sued Holland America Line after getting sick on a South America cruise in March 2004 where they said toilets overflowed and crew members were seen with prostitutes at ports of call. Their lawsuit alleges: "Not long into the cruise, the toilets on lower decks overflowed several times," and it took crew members 15 hours to clean up the mess, which "created incredibly unsanitary conditions on board, separate and apart from a piercing stench."
March 14, 2005, Amsterdam, Holland America Line "A passenger wrote:
There was an outbreak of influenza and bronchitis on the cruise from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Valparaiso, Chile. It was very widespread, as it seemed that nearly everyone was coughing severely. Nearly everyone we met on the ship was infected. The doctor on the ship diagnosed me with “what everyone else has”, influenza/bronchitis, and the flu shot was ineffective against this flu. I know of one hospitalization in Puerto Montt, and the person was left there. I was given an antiviral med and Z-Pak antibiotic, as was nearly everyone that I talked to. At no time during the cruise did the captain or any other crew member acknowledge that there was a problem, except the doctor. Rumor has it that several people got off the ship in Buenos Aires with possible pneumonia. "
Other HAL ships involved in recent incidents (2006):
April 5 - 20, Rotterdam, Holland America Line "After an hour delay, passengers boarding for the transatlantic crossing from Rio de Janeiro to Lisbon were given a questionaire to fill in about health issues, told there had been a gastrointestinal illness outbreak on the last cruise, and given the option to cancel the cruise (this at the last minute, after having travelled to Rio). On the ship there was no self service at the Lido etc, not even for coffee; all hot tubs, the library etc. was closed; no shaking of hands, no salt and pepper, bread/butter on the table etc., everything was provided by the crew. According to one passenger: They were fumigating all the time, even in the middle of the night, when I woke up because of the noise the machine was making. When I opened my door I saw a man with a mask and tank, who stopped immediatly. The crew would not say how many persons were ill. On day 8, cruise passengers were told the outbreak was over and self service at the buffets etc. would start again. They kept spraying all through the end of the cruise, which sometimes hurt my eyes and made breathing a bit difficult during short time. We heard about several people who had gone in quarantaine after reporting ill. /PAX"
April 17, Statendam Holland America Line "Several hundred passengers and crew took ill due to Norwalk virus on the cruise which began in Osaka on April 3 and ended today in Hong Kong. The ship had guests fill out a health questionnaire prior to embarking in Osaka, which was a sign of things to come. The illness broke out in code red by day 3 with 75 cases and spread like wildfire. Several hundred passengers were ill by the cruise end. This apparently has been on-going since February, according to the crew, but this breakout was the worst. The ship was being fumigated room by room and all facilities were closed down throughout the cruise due to cleaning and the spread of the illness. Guests embarking on 4/17/06 were also filling out the same questionnaire and the vessel was to be in code red for at least the first four days of the subsequent sailing. NOTE: This outbreak will not be reported by the CDC because the ship does not visit US ports. "
March 13, Volendam, Holland America Line On "March 13, 2006, Holland America Cruise Line reported that an elevated number of Volendam passengers and crew were experiencing symptoms that were consistent with acute gastroenteritis. The predominant symptoms are diarrhea and vomiting. On March 21, the ship’s medical staff reported that 3 of 613 (0.49%) crew and 51 of 1412 (3.61%) passengers were ill. The ship returned to Port Everglades March 17 from a 10 night Southern Caribbean cruise." Source: CDC
January 14, Zuiderdam, Holland America Line "Upon arrival onto the ship, passengers were given a notice that about 2% of the previous passengers and crew reported ill with norovirus-like symptoms (2% = 54 passengers and crew). Passengers were offered a full refund or to take the cruise. According to one passenger, Holland America had "Purell" sanitizers EVERYWHERE. No touching of buffet tongs, no salt and pepper shakers, no jacuzzi, no sauna, no hand shaking, yada, yada. Daily announcements from the cruise director and Captain. Some passengers reported illness". (PAX)
January 11, Rotterdam, Holland America Line "From a passenger:
I just completed a cruise on Holland America's Rotterdam (December 20 - January 11, ending in Valparaiso, Chile), and at least 125 passengers and crew were ill with norwalk-like virus symptoms (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea). Although every possible measure was being taken to deal with it (daily announcements, memos, staff using gloves and disinfectants) -- it still was a very difficult situation.
One of our concerns was that the staff was told clearly not to discuss it, and/or to minimize the situation -- this resulted in a lot of mixed signals coming from the staff - those who were telling the truth, and those who were covering up the events. When a passenger died on board (apparently of natural causes, and not related to the epidemic), again, the attempt at cover-up was obvious". ource: PAX
January 4, Zuiderdam, Holland America Line
"On day 3 of a 7 day cruise the ship reported that 94 of 1888 (4.98%) passengers and 27 of 814 (3.32%) crew had reported ill with symptoms consistent with norovirus. The ship is due back in Fort Lauderdale on January 7. Note: A passenger reported an outbreak at the end of the previous cruise. Numbers were revised on January 6: 50 of 814 (6.14%) crew reported ill and a survey of passengers found that 155 of 1023 respondents (15.2%) reported they were also ill. Source:CDC
From a passenger:
Boarded on Dec. 30. By Dec 31 my boyfriend was really ill so got immodium from ships medical staff. The crew asked so many questions I inquired if there was a problem. They lied and said no. By that night my boyfriend and I were quarantined (without the staff even seeing him let alone giving a physical). By Sunday there were many quarantined passengers and we decided to disembark early. The ship's guest relation supervisor said he booked us a flight out of St Thomas -- we arrived at airport to find out Holland America staff lied ....THE FLIGHT TICKETS WERE NEVER BOOKED. The ship left us sick, dehydrated and stranded without a care".