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alfred 03-16-2011 07:04 AM

Enchantment 2/19 The Good,The Bad and the really Ugly
It all started with a phone call the day before the cruise from Royal Caribbean. The caller stated we should expect to board later than the 11 am usual time. She explained the ship had an out break of norovirus and more time was needed to sanitize the ship. We were told to arrive at about 1pm. The drive from NY to the port of Baltimore was easy and parking at the port was a breeze. When we checked in we were told the ship was not yet ready and to take a seat and wait to be called. We saw lots of men in White suites coming off the ship and at about 3pm we boarded. We were a party of five staying in the Royal Family Suite 8666. We went to the Windjammer for lunch and the food was really good. I must say the reports of the room being too small are true. I do realize on the first day out the windjammer will be busy but we encountered a shortage of tables most days and eventually took all of our meals in the dinning room. We were allowed to our room at 4 pm and in my eleven cruises this by far was the best ever. Two bedrooms, Two bathrooms, a living room and a really huge balcony. The balcony was so huge it held four loungers plus a table and four chairs. The back of the ship is great. i really enjoyed the wake. The captain made an announcement that due to high winds we would not be leaving until the morning and as a result he was canceling Key west. Sorry Kids your not going to Key west. We meet our cabin attendant Mario. This man is top notch and was always visible in the hall way and took care of whatever we needed. We went to the concierge lounge and met Reyno. This man makes everyone feel welcome and goes out of his way to make sure you feel special. It was on the second night that things started to get really ugly for us. We went to bed at about 11pm and at about 1am I heard my wife say she wasn't feeling well. She made her way to the bathroom and I heard the sound of vomiting.As I started to walk toward her I heard a loud crash. I found her unconscious in the bathtub with her head rolled back and her mouth full of vomit. I could not wake her up no matter how hard i tried. I screamed for help while sliding around on the wet floor. I pulled her forward into a sitting position and pried her jaws open. I cleared out her mouth and Jumped into the tub now sitting behind her. My kids and mother heard my cries and were now around us. To the best of my ability I administered a Heimlich maneuver. There was an explosion of vomit that covered most of us and finally she was awake. The longest 30 seconds of my life. She remembered nothing and said nothing hurt. I thought for sure she had hit her head when falling. We took a moment to start to clean ourselves and then she went to vomit again. we were with her this time and caught her as she passed out for a second time. I screamed to my daughter to call 911. While my son and I revived my wife. She woke up again in a few seconds and we then had vomiting and Diarrhea everywhere. My daughter froze and never made the call. She is a kid and was hysterical with panic. I got to the phone and to the credit of Royal I had six people in my room within two minutes. My wife was taken by wheelchair to the ships hospital. She vomited and had diarrhea during the whole trip to the hospital. After five hours of tests and IV for dehydration the doctor announced the blood work come back positive for Norovirus. He said on the upside because it was norovirus Royal would pick up the tab for the hospital visit. I don't think i said thank you. Dave I had no insurance and while she was being tended to I remembered what you said an airlift could cost, I was a wreck. We were discharged at about 7 am and my wife was then quarantined. We were not quarantined but we never left her side as she slept for about 26 hours. We woke her a couple of times for cleaning and steaming crews to come and go but for the most part she slept for 26 hours. Reyno the concierge was great at canceling our excursions. Kids were not going to Disney. My wife was weak for the rest of the trip but tried to make the best of it. No appetite and no energy. She was released from quarantine 24 hours after the last vomiting episode. Just not a great trip for us. Just for the record we received our letter of compensation yesterday and it was a total of $61. I spent $7000 on the room and have no idea how they make these calculations. I was not looking for a free cruise but i might have felt better if it was enough for a bottle of wine. My advise, stay off a sick ship.

penny3333 03-16-2011 07:30 AM

Oh, Alfred, how terrifying! I am so thankful your wife is better and at least was able to remember part of the cruise. I would assume the $61 was for port fees? I cannot tell you how they calculate anything since I don't work for any cruise line and am not a travel agent. I would assume something is stated in the passenger contract about this. I believe the incubation time for the norovirus is 3 days, but am not sure as I am not a doctor or nurse. It is possible your wife did come in contact with it on the ship, but also possible it was somewhere prior to boarding. They do a marvelous job in turning around a ship and making sure it is clean, much better than our hotels. The only prevention is continuous hand washing/sanitizing. I'm very glad you and your children were not affected by this virus.

I know this was NOT the vacation you wanted and am so sorry. I'm glad that RCI took good care of your wife and she is safe and well.

I do hope you don't give up on cruises, they really are marvelous vacations.

alfred 03-16-2011 07:44 AM

Hello Penny,
Thanks for your reply. The incubation period is 24-48 hours according to the paper work given to me from the ships doctor. The papers were from the center for disease control. My daughter has been to the school psychologist three times since we returned. She feels like a failure for freezing up on the 911 call. we all took a beating on this trip both physically and emotionally.

penny3333 03-16-2011 08:30 AM

Oh, no, I'm so sorry to hear that your daughter feels like she failed. She was traumatized and that's hard for anyone, young or old. I pray she will understand that it was a normal reaction to fear.

Thank you for sharing that information about the incubation period. My best wishes to you and your family.

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