Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Celebrity Cruises Delays Mercury March 19 Sailing

Celebrity Mercury Itinerary Change
March 19th Departure Delayed

Due to an outbreak of a a gastrointestinal illness, thought to be a Norovirus, during the last sailing of Celebrity Mercury, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has advised Celebrity Cruises to perform extensive and thorough sanitizing onboard the ship and within the cruise terminal at the Port of Charleston.  These measures are being taken to help prevent any illness from affecting the next sailing.

More information about Norovirus and its prevention is contained in the International Travel tab above which discusses travel documents, health and safety.  The CDC operates a Vessel Sanitation Program  for the prevention and control of the spread of gastrointestinal (GI) illnesses on cruise ships.   While Noroviruses are most often reported in a cruise ship setting, they can occur in nursing homes, restaurants, catered events, hotels, as well as any small area where a number of people are gathered - not just on cruise ships.

The sad thing is, this illness CAN BE PREVENTED.  Cruise ships have taken extensive measures, especially since the start of the H1N1 outbreak last year, to increase the number of sanitizer containers throughout the ship.   I'm always amazed at how many people walk past the sanitizers without using them, or how many people don't WASH THEIR HANDS after going to the restroom.    This is how the disease is spread.
So, because of some careless people, the passengers on the next sailing of Celebrity Mercury are now impacted.    Regrettably, due to the extensive sanitation,  the itinerary for the March 19th sailing has been delayed two days.   The new itinerary is as follows:

Sunday, March 21 - Embarkation between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m
Monday; March 22 - sea day
Tuesday, March 23 -  Key West, Florida
Wednesday, March 24 - Cozumel, Mexico
Thursday, March 25 - Costa Maya, Mexico
Friday, March 26 - sea day
Saturday, March 27 - Nassau, Bahamas
Sunday, March 28 - sea day

Seating in the cruise terminal at the Port of Charleston is very limited. Therefore, Celebrity Cruises is asking that guests scheduled to depart on this sailing not arrive at the pier on Sunday before 4:00 p.m..   Celebrity apologizes for the inconvenience.

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