We just finished a cruise on Mariner. On the way from the cruise port on the airport van, two fellow passengers anounced they had just got out of quaranteen from our ship. They were diagnosed with Norwalk virus. Why in the world would RCI release passengers to the US population with a known commuacable disease? I have written to the CDC in Atlanta. Your thoughts?
The Norwalk virus is basically a simple stomach flu, not like the bird flu or other viruses you may have heard about. I believe it's a virus that most of the population already has immunities to. In any case, it's not likely to pose a danger of epidemic to have those passengers released to go home (though it might be nice if they could avoid plane flights for a few days until they are well.)
I am not sure it would be legal or ethical for RC to keep them once they were back to their home port for a stomache bug. They were able to keep them quarantined while they posed a threat on the ship, however once they are home it is their personal responsibility to take the right steps to avoid infecting others.
The problem with any illness which happens on board a cruise ship is that some passengers blow this totally out of proportion and cant wait to blame the cruise line...its the American "who can we sue" mentality. People can get sick anywhere. At home, in a Hotel, camping and on a cruise. In fact many of the problems on board a ship are brought about by passengers boarding when they know they are sick! The Cruise lines do a terrific job in difficult circumstances. As for when they get off the ship and travelling with you, well who can tell what terrible germs the person sitting at the next table in any restaurant or on the bus, train or plane may have? If it worries you stay home.
Antibiotics won't help against viruses, only bacteria. Best protection is washing your hands as often as possible, and using hand sanitizer. You can carry small bottles of the stuff in a purse or pocket, and the ship will have dispensers of the sanitizer all over the place - use them, and encourage others you know to do the same.
It would not hurt to take some medicines with you. One of the best things you can do to prevent catching this is wash your hands frequently, and use the antibacterial waterless hand gels they may have available when entering and leaving the eating establishments. You can take some waterless hand gel with you too, in case they don't have many stations with this around the ship. Have a great first cruise!
All good advice above, but since the "nasty noro" is a virus, even the hand sanitizer is marginal. Best to wash hands frequently with soap and hot water. Don't share utensils. For gosh sakes, don't blow the whistle on your life jacket...yuk.
Rhapsody - W. Caribbean - 2004; Rhapsody - W. Caribbean - 2005; Sovereign - Bahamas - 2005; Enchantment - Canada/NE - 2005; Rhapsody - W. Caribbean - 2006: Vision - Alaska - 2006
Navigator - E. Caribbean - 11/2006
Vision - West Coast Repo - 4/2007
Grandeur - Canada/N.E. - 9/2007
Voyager of the Seas -"R"W. Caribbean - 1/2008