This is not going to be a glowing review of what a nice cabin we had, what good food, etc. because it was a horrible two week holiday cruise on the Sick...Sea Princess. My review is about the deplorable conditions and lack of accountability on the Sea Princess that allows for the spreading of the norovirus. Our cruise ended today (January 4, 2018) as we arrived back in the port of Brisbane after sailing around New Zealand. To my surprise, all the local radio and Brisbane television stations were broadcasting on the news that over 200 cases of norovirus were reported on this cruise of the newly refurbished Sea Princess. I don’t think the news broadcasts though did a good job of telling the whole story. Many passengers did not report being sick because if they did, they would be required to pay outrageous medical bills and be quarantined in their cabins for days missing out on the voyage. My guess is there could have been way over 200 cases, maybe hundreds more. The Captain claimed nothing like the numbers the press were reporting. Every day he announced the number of cases which varied from 18 to 44. A far cry from what the press were claiming. I saw first hand on four occasions people throwing up in public spaces and barf bags were in abundance on staircase railings even during calm seas. Having cruised for many years I have never seen anything like this! The cruise over Chrismas and New Year’s was spoiled especially for many sick people and their companions and no apologies were ever made...the passengers got all the blame for not washing their hands well enough! Other passengers were in fear that they may be the next to come down with the virus.
All the while the ship was not ship-shape by any means allowing germs to spread. It was dirty in so many places, some examples being the dining rooms and Horizon Court buffet all had new carpets that never seemed to be vacuumed so tufts of carpet were everywhere; the outdoor grill and swimming pool areas had sticky decks where drinks had been spilled and food dropped and no one rushing to clean up for days; food handling taken over by attendants in buffet but not enforced with passengers helping themselves; babies in the pool in dirty diapers. With the norovirus on the ship you would think the crew would be doing everything in their power to try to get the epidemic under control but they certainly did not and seemed totally disinterested. There is good reason for calling this just another Pademic Princess Cruise. It certainly would behoove Princess to really clean up their ships and lacksidaysical ways. Other cruise lines do not have these serious health issues at the rate of Princess. Yes...I am angry! Sad too that what should have been a wonderful cruise was my worst cruise ever. Concerned as well that many elderly people put their lives at risk by sailing on the Sea Princess and becoming very sick. Now being home and seeing on television that our cruise was much worse than the Captain made it out to be makes me feel Princess just does not care. Instead of ‘Coming Back New’ as Princess claims in their advertising, the passengers ‘Came Back Screwed.’ Time for Princess to be honest with passengers and take some responsibility for the norovirus on their ships.