On Dec 10, my wife and I, onboard Crown Princess, embarked from Fort Lauderdale for a 7 night Caribbean cruise from Dec 10 to Dec 17. This is my second time with cruising Princess, and my wife just returned from her 3rd cruise, to Alaska, on the Diamond Princess in August.
The day we boarded the Crown, we were in excellent health condition. Soon after settling in our stateroom, we went to lunch at Horizon Court (Lido Deck 15).
It concerned us that the fruits on the buffet table (watermelon and the melon) were overripped to the point where the colouring has changed, and the taste as well. There were also flies (not just fruit flies, but large food flies at the buffet bar and on walls and ceilings.
Afterwards, we've seen food flies many other places, the Michelangelo Dining Room, International Cafe at deck 5, our stateroom at deck 11. Clearly, there is a hygienic problem on this ship -- what happened to the clean Princess we have seen at least twice before?
The worst incident happened on the evening of Monday, Dec 12, when I was up all night with spells of vomiting and diarrhoea.
Early Tuesday morning, we heard an announcement from the captain that the many of the passengers have had diarrhoea and vomiting in last day, and that he was concerned that the Norovirus was spreading on the ship. He requested that passengers who had these symptoms report to the Medical Center immediately. So I went, the nurse gave me 8 pills, and I was instructed to return to my stateroom and self-quarantine for 24 hours.
Wednesday morning, at about 10 a.m., I had heard nothing else about the situation, so my wife went down to the medical center to see what was happening. She came back and said that there was a crowd of sick people and no staff had time to answer her further question, only said that I must remain in my room. Finally that evening around 7pm, the nurse called, and after hearing that I still had one more instance of diarrhoea, I was instructed to continue the quarantine. That evening, the captain made another announcement, warning again about the Norovirus spreading on the ship.
Thursday at 8 a.m., I received a call, and even though I told them I was feeling fine since the last call, I was told to continue the quarantine. I said that I had been in my room for 2 days already, with no fresh air, no sunlight, just four walls and a TV, it's a rather depressing experience. But the answer was still no, and no one contacted me after that until Friday morning.
Friday morning around 9 a.m., a lady called to check on me. You would think in the middle of a sanitation problem with passengers quarantined for 3 days now, she would take a more serious tone. However that was far from the case, she sounded like she was cheerful, relaxed, nonchalant even, which is ironic, because isn't that what I signed up for when I boarded a cruise with Princess? I asked when I could leave my room, and was given no answer, only to wait until 2 p.m. and someone will call. Her attitude was simply infuriating. May be, she happy about that Friday was the last day at sea and tomorrow morning the ship will back to Fort Lauderdale and then they can loaded down all these sick dogs.
Of course, no one called after 2p.m., so I called the passenger service line (6000) and it was so busy, the line just rang until it cut off without answer. Finally I called 911 and got release instructions at 2:20pm.
After the release, I found the cruise staff all very busy cleaning all over the ship but the food flies and the over-rippen fruits were still there. (When asked about the poor quality of the fruits at the dining hall, one server even joked to us that we haven't been to the food tank -- it stank of rotten produce). I have photographic evidence of this, if you'd like a share of my disappointment, I would email them to you.
This was my vacation experience with the Crown Princess. Due to Princess cruise line's neglect to sanitation; my vacation with my wife was completely ruined. The state of the food they served and the unsanitary environment cost me more than half of my vacation in quarantine.
This is not the Princes Cruises we have known and enjoyed before.