Black Watch Cruise Review by Oggy466: Norovirus - Black Watch
Overall Member Rating
Norovirus - Black Watch
Destination: Baltic Sea
We booked the cruise in Sep 12 having been offered All Inclusive as an incentive. The cabin grade we were after was "Sold Out" and the cheapest we could get was a D Grade cabin on Deck 4 (We had already booked a Transatlantic for a few weeks earlier on another liner so this was a Bonus Cruise). At the time of booking there was only one price range offered. A few months later we noticed that FO had introduced 2 price ranges and ours was on offer for £400 less and the lower grade room we were told were sold out were being offered even cheaper. We tried a number of times both direct and via the Agent to rectify this to no avail.
The day before the sailing we were informed that our embarkation had been delayed by a few hours due to decontamination of the ship from a Norovirus outbreak the cruise before.
During the 7 days we witnessed several individuals being sick in public areas, unable to control their actions. The Captain had ordered all public facilities closed More and passengers had to use there own cabin facilities. This had 2 effects - firstly people who use their own toilets are less likely to wash there hands after than those in a public toilet. Secondly, its no fun if you are trying to consume "All Inclusive" drinks on Deck 9 and the toilet is on Deck 4. It saved the company a fortune on Drinks!
All Self Service facilities were withdrawn and the staff (Entertainers included) had to man the Serveries. This was a disaster as they cordoned off the facilities and the staff served from inside the cordon. Passengers could not see what was on offer and had to accept the crews portions. Also the staff would only serve "their Patch" so if you wanted a variety you could end up queuing 4 times for 1 meal. It saved the company a fortune on Food!
The actions taken did not slow down the virus so how was it moving through so many passengers.
Not being a medical person I could not make a professional comment but as a passenger I would point out that on more than one occasion I noticed that everyone who was drinking was signing for their drinks with the same pen!!!
Luckily neither I nor my wife were taken ill, neither were we ever intoxicated! 3 Days after my cruise I weighed less than when I boarded. This has never happened before.
As a bonus we could not sleep on the first night due to a loud buzzing noise. The pursers staff said it was normal. A senior engineer then said it was not normal and it was from the refrigeration unit. A junior engineer set to fix it couldn't and we spent the next 6 nights with earplugs which the shop just happened to have on sale. Other cabins in the same area did not have the noise !
I would add that the Ports were excellent and would recommend Norway Cruising to anyone Less
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