i agree with globetrotter. we both started getting a respitory illness while on board. i honestly thought is was asthma but after we got home it made it self known. I came home with a rash all over my back, on my arms and neck, i was exteeemly dizzy, and upper respirtory illness.
the main way that Noro starts because someone doesn’t wash their hands well and contaminates the food with feces within a short time of serving the food as they know. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/179107.php “According to the CDC, USA, the majority of food borne norovirus infection outbreaks most likely arise through direct contamination of food by an infected handler immediately before its consumption” therefore, obviously originating with the crew who has no idea how to wash fecal matter off his/her hands.
Reading past posts I see that the Westerdam often has bouts of this virus. I checked with my booking agent and she said Hal didn’t contact them and let them know that they frequently have bouts of Noro. Why? Why wasn’t everyone notified the potential risk of joining they on this cruise?
We find it unconscionable that they didn’t let all guests of the Westerdam January 4th sailing know IN ADVANCE of the trip how much of the GI virus this ship has nearly every sailing. This was our 20th anniversary and we spent it on a ship that was in code red the whole trip. We couldn’t swim or use the hot tub but we could buy anything we wanted (day quil a mere $ 17.00)
Still, both of us came home ill. I have a rash all over my back (I have pictures) that doesn’t fit into the category of sea lice or sea itch or any other of the water borne bacteria a person can get in the ocean that I can find. The same night I started coming down with this rash so did another lady that sits at our table. It could have been from the beach on half moon cay. However, from pictures I have found on the internet my rash looks more viral something .
The pool and hot tub was shut down early on of the trip. . The illness was blamed but as globetrotter said, they didn’t shut down any of the shops because of people touching and possibly spreading germs...
I am equally surprised that the captain kept its "onboard shops open and its merchandise sales promotions on schedule. Apparently, Holland America can bear the infection risk of passengers touching counters and rummaging through sale items so long as the cash registers continue to ring".
The captain said Wednesday that although the illness was better and he could follow a procedure to open the hot tubs he wouldn’t do it that close to the end of the cruise.. Correction; it was the middle of the cruise
We really do understand that this sort of thing can happen on every cruiseline and strong measures have to be taken. we do not fault the captian for taking whatever measures he needed to take. however, we found the efforts the staff made hap hazard. If he were serious about prevention then they would copy Celebrity cruise lines who has people stationed where we re embark from an excursion and in every dining area, and in the theater and they simply are not allowed to enter without taking hand sanitizer. It wasn’t a choice. Take it or don’t enter. For the most part, on Westerdam the sanitizers were out and was self serve so they didn’t have to use it if they didn’t want to. To me, that is a mistake.
Also, if theyr serious about avoiding this virus, they would change all the hand soap in all the cabins to antibacterial soap. They would have the room attendants spray all the beds including in the staff quarters with good old kills 99.9 of all virus, Lysol spray 2-3 times in a week before making up the beds.
Also, our bathroom floors were sticky and never appeared mopped. It is much more sanitary to get rid of all sponge or strings mops and use the swifter type with disposable pads and with an antibacterial floor cleaner such as Lysol. Finally, they would have people cleaning all hand rails with disposable paper towels and with an antibacterial cleaner for all rails and door knobs all day long, every day not just at the end of the day.
Several times we had announcements about if they are ill they need to stay in theyr cabin so they wouldn’t spread the virus and if they needed to see a doctor one would be sent to theyr room but standard rates would apply. Are they kidding me? The chief way people are infected would be they staff not washing their hands and it spreading through fecal matter. It seems like they would see these sick people free of charge.
We chose this ship for this cruise because they had the itinerary we wanted and the length we stayed in those ports. We compared this cruise to several others and it seemed they stayed in the ports longer than any of the others. But, at each port they short changed us saying that the times they advertised was really the sailing time so if they said 3:00 pm that meant we needed to be sailing by three and we should all start coming back at two so that we were on the ship by 2:30 and could leave by 3:00 pm. that was never said upfront at all. In fact, I went back to theyr website and other places where this trip was advertised and it was always presented to make the cruiser think they had a longer time at each port. They did short change us at every single port.
We did really enjoy many of the onboard activities (of course not swimming) we enjoyed all the culinary demonstrations and some of the Microsoft demos. The excursions were affordable but it would have been nice to have more options to go beyond the touristy shopping areas to the world famous beaches. The ship food was very good, the staff was very friendly and we appreciate that they gave us a room upgrade. Our room was too hot, the air didn’t appear to work. We loved half moon cay and grand turks. . The cruise director and captain were very nice and the front desk people were very kind. The excursion Grand Turks for ultimate snorkeling was very nice. Embarkation and Disembarkation were both very smooth and organized.
HAL talks a lot about using sustainable sea food and protecting the oceans which we find admirable but then we heard from several sources that one of the chefs killed 200 octopus to collect the ink to decorate the plates with. was that true?
Obviously they cannot prevent these illnesses from happening but they can take the time in between every cruise to sanitize the ship whether it is a requirement or not. They could step up the efforts to keep the ship clean and they could have informed us in advance of these problems so that we could choose to bring our own Lysol and chance it or cancel this cruise and wait until a later cruise. For us we would have taken a later cruise and avoid taking the chance with our 20th year anniversary