We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale the day before our departure. I received a phone call from RCCL with a voice message stating not to arrive to the ship before 1:30 PM because they were sanitizing the boat due to an outbreak of the Norovirus. I was glad they were taking pre-cautions. However, I learned on this trip that they seem to be overly cautious.
On the 4th day of our trip, my 7 year old son was running around, eating greasy food every night (pizza, French fries, chicken fingers) and had his third dessert for the night.
He vomited. We called housekeeping and was told by the staff that we should have our son checked out by the medical staff. My husband and I were fine with that but we knew our son just vomited because he ate too much and was running around. He had no fever or diarrhea.
I went to the nurse, she checked my son's temperature which was normal and then took his seapass card.
She came back and said that my son had to be quarantined for 24 hours to his room.
I was in disbelief. I said he had an upset tummy and no other symptoms to say he had the norovirus. He vomited once and was himself.
The nurse said the CDC and the captain of the ship take this very seriously.
My husband went down the next morning to try to talk to the staff to let my son out. The person at guest services said my son could be rechecked after 12 hours. Great!
My husband took my son back down to the doctor. The manager was already dealing with a woman who had a person in their party vomit from an allergic reaction to chlorine. The person in their party was also put on 24 hour quarantine. My husband knew we did not have a chance.
He basically told the manager that you are going to cause people to not be upfront with their illness in fear that they will be quarantined.
I even tried calling customer service for RCL and asking how they distinguish between people vomittng from the norovirus, motion sickness or upset stomach. The person could not answer that question. All I was told that this was for the safety of the ship.
Needless to say, they ruined a day that I wanted to spend with my family and get some nice pictures of us at the beach in St. Thomas. For the rest of the trip, I had to watch our three kids to make sure they did not overeat because I was worried that one of them would vomit from an upset stomach which was not uncommon with my kids. The staff even does "courtesy checks" to make sure that you stay put in your room. My son could not leave his room until 11:30 PM New Year's Eve. At least we got to ring in the new year.
All in all, our server and room attendant were great.
The shows were great. We did pre-book the show.
Another tip is when you are leaving the ship, allow yourself enough time for customs and the security line at the airport. We gave ourselves 3 hours and walked off the ship at 7:30 AM. Customs took awhile.
Then, we got to the airport and the line was very long for security. We had to be pulled out of line to make our 10:45 AM flight.
I am not happy with the overreaction caused by my son having an upset stomach with NO other symptoms and I think they handled it poorly.