Can I say I told you so?

This week I discussed the two norovirus outbreaks on the Princess cruise ships: the Crown Princess and the Ruby Princess.  In the linked news articles, it was discussed that the Crown Princess was  briefly disinefected (treated for 4 hours) before being loaded up and sent out to sea again with 3000 new passengers. They seemed pretty darned pleased with themselves that the brief intensive cleaning only “slightly delayed departure”.

Today, the report is that the Crown Princess returned to dock on Thursday after another 250 passengers and crew came down with norovirus symptoms. THIS time they are going to decontaminate the ship in a more extensive two day cleaning.

According to CDC and the news reports, the new passengers had to be informed of the previous outbreak before boarding. But really? Take into account the fact that 1.they had arranged their schedules and taken time off  2. they had flown in from whatever far off place to take a cruise and 3. that extensive plans would have to have been made (maybe for months or years for some) in order to take a luxury cruise.

My family is poor. We have discussed taking a cruise but the timing and logistics make it a nightmare. If we went to the trouble to go on a cruise together and were told we could reschedule or go? We would do what the majority of the passengers did and go on board. Only roughly 6% of the passengers and 5% of the crew came down with symptoms. More CDC “cruising tips” on how to stay healthy if there is an outbreak on your cruise:

  1. Wash your hands!
    • Before and after
      • eating,
      • smoking,
    • After
      • touching your face,
      • going to the bathroom
    • When your hands are dirty.

    Learn more about handwashing techniques.

  2. Leave the area if you see someone get sick (vomiting or diarrhea). Report to cruise staff, if not already notified.You could become sick if you ingest contaminated particles that travel through the air.
  3. Take care of yourself. Get plenty of rest, drink lots of water. Resting helps rebuild your immune system. Drinking water helps prevents dehydration.
  4. Be considerate of other people’s health.
    If you’re ill before taking a cruise, call the cruise line to determine if there are alternative cruising options.

To be fair, the Princess Cruise Line is :

refunding their cruise fare, arranging flights home, including covering change fees if air was not booked through Princess, providing hotel accommodation if necessary, and offering a 25% future cruise credit.”

So, if you weren’t one of the “lucky” 250 out of 3000 passengers, maybe taking the roll of the dice and going on a norocruise was worth a free trip in the future?

This entry was posted in Epidemics and Epidemiology, microbiology and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.