On arriving at Gatwick 4 hours before take off we had to complete a health check assessment - questions about had we had sickness/diarrhoea or coughs/colds in the week previous. Yes to these questions and we would have been barred from checking in. We were asked again on the dockside in Barbados. This gave us the feeling that Princess were keen on preventing infections on board. However I was amazed that the only hand sanitizers were outside of the buffet restaurant and none outside the main restaurants or on the dockside of the gangplank. My experience and information was, and confirmed by other cruise passengers, that because of the epidemics that have ravaged cruise liners in the recent past hand sanitizers are used extensively on liners and indeed extensively in hospitals. I complained to senior ships crew - the Maitre D and no less than the Staff Captain but regrettably they didn't seem concerned nor interested and nothing was done about it. Although my health check and my wife's was sincerely clear before checking in and on the dockside I developed a feverish cold within 3/4 days of the cruise and my wife had sickness and diarrhoea for 36 hours. My wife developed the cold in the second week of the cruise. I cannot recall the last time I personally had a cold and I have never been on holiday where I have experienced so many people with colds, sneezing, coughing etc. The medical Centre we were told was inundated with people with ailments. Surely it would have been, and would be, prudent,sensible and good hygiene management to have taken the simple and non expensive precautions which seem to be the norm throughout the rest of the cruising industry. Is this the case where an epidemic is waiting to infest itself with the well known after effects?
There were a number of unavoidable incidents including a passenger being taken ill and being airlifted off the ship and another passenger threw themselves over board which required the Captain to adopt a search pattern along with a search Airplane and a Tanker which took all day without success.
The food was moderate and the buffet could have been more exciting. Embarkation and disembarkation were very efficient and the flights both ways were on time and the aircrew made the journey even pleasanter. Cabin/balcony and bathroom were cramped but clean. All members of the crew including bar staff and dining waiters were pleasant and efficient. Entertainment and excursions were passable.Excursions were expensive and it would have been more cost effective to hire a taxi on the dock with other passengers to reduce the individual cost.
Apart from the above and particularly the first paragraph, the cruise was an enjoyable and restful and warm holiday.