I cruised on this ship in November 2011 and am writing this review to give a heads up to anyone planning to use this ship.
I believe this ship has Norovirus. Of approximately 70 passengers, at least 20 became ill over the course of the voyage with severe omiting and diarrhea. I believe 20 to be the minimum number as people were still getting sick on the trip home and some did not report to the doctor. This is my own personal opinion and not confirmed medically; what is completely certain is that approximately one third of passengers suffered violent illness over the course of the week. One young person became so ill that they had to get an IV.
I am not a public health or medical person but I have many concerns about the sanitation practices on this ship.
No acknowledge was made of this problem during the cruise. No instructions were given to us. No one was quarantined. Buffet serving continued with people going through the line handling serving utensils. There was hand sanitizer available at the entrance to the dining room but at only one meal at the end of the trip was someone standing by the door requesting people to use it. These are some of the things which I personally observed:
1. Passengers disembark at 8:30 am. The new passengers come on the ship at 10:30 am, same day. This is not adequate time to clean and disinfect this ship.
2. The sheets for the next passenger in my cabin were put into my cabin on a shelf over my bed the night before. This was not even a closed shelf with doors.
3. At the end of the cruise, the bar was putting out large bowls of popcorn and people were just reaching in to serve themselves with their hands.
4. There were little decorative pillows placed on the beds against the pillowcases. These were put back on the beds for the oncoming passengers without being washed, as were the gray blankets.
5. The doctor did not seem to have enough large bandages to cover up the wounds of one woman who fell down.
6. Another woman fell down and received very large scrapings on her fore arms. She left the doctors office with blood seeping through these bandages rendering them completely bloody, came to the lounge and rested her arms against the upholstered chair.
7. The serving temperature of the food seemed to me to be inadequate. Most things were served at room temperature. Hot dishes were not hot and cold dishes were not really cold. Some people suspected that food was showing up again in a different guise at a later meal.
8. There were unconfirmed rumors that one person became so ill on the previous voyage they had to be removed from the ship.
I have reported this to Lindblad which has already had an incident in May of this year when they did not report an outbreak as required by CDC to CDC and this can be researched on the CDC website. These are not cheap cruises; the cheapest cabin for this cruise was over $5,000 and these are not the sanitation standards I expect when I am paying this kind of money.