Saturday, February 4, 2012

Delayed Boarding Today Voyager of the Seas

Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas

Delays Boarding

Boarding for February 4th sailing of Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas is being delayed to allow time for sanitation of the ship (public areas and cabins) due to an unusual reports of gastrointestinal illness.

We received the following announcement from Royal Caribbean:

"During Voyager of the Seas' last sailing, a number of guests onboard experienced gastrointestinal illness.In an abundance of caution, we are conducting enhanced sanitizing onboard the ship and within the cruise terminal to help prevent any illness from affecting your client's cruise."

Check-in Process Begins at 1 PM

"Because of this additional sanitizing, the check in process is now anticipated to begin at approximately 1:00 p.m. We apologize for this delay to your client's boarding.

We are also sanitizing guest staterooms, and they will be available to guests at approximately 3:00 p.m. Once guests board the ship, they can explore public areas, open decks and lounges and enjoy lunch, until their stateroom is ready."

Two Princess Cruise Ships Also Delayed


Crown Princess had a second outbreak this week and has cut its 7 Night Southern Caribbean short by two days to allow for sanitation.   see:   Crown Princess Cruise Ends Early


Princess Cruises has also announced delayed embarkation times for the next sailings of Crown Princess and Ruby Princess, following an increased number of Norovirus cases on each of the ships' current voyages. 

According to statements from the line, 81 of Ruby Princess' 3,133 passengers and nine of its 1,186 crew members have come down with the virus. Meanwhile, 364 of 3,103 passengers and 30 of 1,168 crew on Crown Princess were affected.

Although the numbers are relatively small, cruise lines are required to report all cases of Noro to the CDC, and a "special report" is created when numbers reach 2 percent of a ship's total onboard population. (Ruby Princess' have reached nearly 3 percent of passengers and Crown Princess' more than 11 percent.)

Because the gastrointestinal virus is highly contagious, both ships will be given special cleanings upon their return to their Fort Lauderdale homeport. As a result, embarkation for Crown Princess' next cruise will be delayed on Saturday, and Ruby Princess' will be pushed back until 2 p.m. on Sunday.

About Norovirus
According to health experts, as many as 300 million people worldwide are affected by norovirus each year. Only the common cold is more prevalent. However, we would prefer if none of our guests became ill.


Royal Caribbean asked us to convey the following preventive measures.
  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water after usingthe bathroom and before eating anything
  • use the complimentary sanitizing gel that is available at various locations onboard
  • if you experienced any gastrointestinal symptoms within the last three days, we ask that you please consider rescheduling your cruise

Here are some additional resources that we have compiled (these can also be found on our International Travel static tab above).

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (advice about any health advisories here and abroad)
Traveler's Health (CDC Travel specific topics)
Facts About Noroviruses on Cruise Ships  -  gastrointestinal (GI) illnesses can be prevented

It's that time of year, so PLEASE:

Wash hands often. Wash hands after using the bathroom or changing diapers and before eating or preparing food.  Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer along with hand washing.

Norovirus outbreaks, when they occur on a cruise ship, always make the news.  The truth is these outbreaks can occur anywhere there are groups of people in a small area such as nursing homes, restaurants, catered events, hotels, and cruise ships.

Vessel Sanitation Program - prevention and control of spread of gastrointestinal (GI) illnesses on cruise ships

We had a similar experience when we boarded our Princess Cruise to the Mediterranean and Greek Isles last spring.  They also sanitized the ship and put some additional measures in place for the first few days of our sailing.  During that time, we were not allowed to serve ourselves in either the buffet or dining room.  The wait staff served all items to us, including sugar packets and other condiments.  Things returned to normal once the ship was satisfied that there were no additional reports of illness.

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