We were on the Explorer of the Seas the last week of February 2006 when the Norovirus surfaced. May husband and I both came down with this contagious illness. It seems like a good idea to be advised on the TV by the "Captain" to make a complimentary visit to the doctor but if people had been advised to STAY in their cabins for 24 hours until the symptoms subsided, it may not have been spread as easily.
I did attempt to see the doctor but when I got there on Tuesday, 3 days out, the waiting room was packed, I was totally ignored by all the people in charge, and I overhead one woman being told to go back to her room that it could be 3 hours before she could be seem by the doctor. Therefore, I gave up and went back to my room where I stayed for 24 hours. When it came to my husband's turn to come down with this dreaded illness on Wednesday, he didn't even attempt to go see the doctor.
Not only that, but everyone knows you should keep hydrated when you come down with an intestinal upset. Well ice was not easily accessible and Sprite was available at an extra charge even though you couldn't eat any of the meals already provided in the cost of your cruise. This virus put us both completely out of commission for 24 hours but you don't truly feel like yourself or eating anything of substance for 4 days.
Once the outbreak of the Norovirus became evident, the attempt to make sure everything was sanitized was very deliberate. However, the odor of bleach was so strong that I began having breathing problems until I took an allergy pill. We all know there are many out disinfectants available that are not bleach based that could have been used in this situation.
We did not totally enjoy our cruise as we were unable to participate in many activities that we had planned, we missed a lot of meals in the dining room, and we were unable to get off the ship at the scheduled destinations and we did not feel well most of the time.
We realize that when a large number of people become ill at one time it can be quite overwhelming. However, with better preparation and planning things can be handled efficiently.