Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Explorer OTS Undergoes Deap Clean

Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas
Current Sailing Cut Short
Norovirus Outbreak

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line has terminated the current 10-night voyage of the Explorer of the Seas two days early to allow the ship to undergo a "barrrier" cleaning at its homeport of Cape Liberty.  This follows several previous attempts to clean the ship in hopes of stopping the spreading of Norovirus, a gastrointestinal illness, that start affecting passengers and crew last week.  More than 500 people became ill.

Cruise Ships & Norovirus ...
Tis the Season

Norovirus is a very contagious virus that can infect anyone. You can get it from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. The virus causes your stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed. This leads you to have stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea and to throw up. 

Despite what the news media may lead you to believe, this isn't just a cruise ship issue.  We encourage you to read this entire article and refer to the links to be well informed.

CDC Featured Podcast
Dr. Aron Hall discusses six tips to help prevent the spread of norovirus. Listen To This Podcast (4:09)

Travel Pulse published a very informative article: 

Who is to Blame

The first inclination when you hear about an outbreak would be to blame the cruise line. Clearly, they have let you down - you expected a healthy cruise, and you got sick.  .

The cruise line is responsible - right?

The cruise line IS responsible  for cleaning the ship and providing the facilities for passengers and crew to maintain proper hygiene onboard the ship.   They do that - you'll notice signs posted in all the rest rooms and crew members pointing out sanitation machines, such as the one in the picture above posted outside the restaurant entrance.  

But, ladies and gentleman - I suspect that YOU share some BLAME.   Did you stop to wash your hands after using the bathroom?   Did you sanitize your hands every time you entered a restaurant onboard the ship.   Did you do so all but one time?   That one time would be enough to kick off this sort of outbreak.

On two recent cruises onboard Disney Dream and Carnival Sensation, we noticed the sanitizing materials and signs.  We also noticed many passengers disregarding the signs and avoiding the sanitizing of their hands before entering the restaurant.

Working together, the cruise lines and passengers could Prevent Norovirus!


Facts About Noroviruses on Cruise Ships  gastrointestinal (GI) illnesses can be prevented

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

Passengers to be Compensated

All Explorer of the Seas passengers will receive a 50 percent refund of their cruise fare, as well as an additional 50 percent future cruise credit. Passengers who were confined to their cabins by the illness also will receive a credit of one future cruise day for each day of confinement.

Royal Caribbean also will reimburse airline change fees and accommodations for passengers whose travel home was impacted by the ship's early return to port.

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