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Just got home a few hours ago from our week on the CB. I will upload some more detailed reviews tomorrow, but I wanted to make some quick comments right away about an outbreak of norovirus on this week's cruise. Several hundred passengers became sick from the virus and had fairly uncomfortable digestive problems and cabin confinement. Captain Kent and the crew never revealed the precise number of stricken passengers, but my guess is that it involved more than 200 based only from my counts of the silver mylar tape placed over the grates of the cabin doors where stricken passengers were confined.

After the outbreak hit, the Captain issued a warning on the P.A., the hand sanitizer stations doubled, passengers were no longer able to serve themselves in any buffet, and crews began spraying public areas and furniture with santizer. Our 15-year old became sick around 3am on Friday, April 6. He threw up several times in his cabin and in the hallway. We called the 911 and medical emergency numbers and got no response. We called the concierge number, "O", and the cabin steward, but no one answered. So, we covered the mess as best we could with Princess Patters, paper towels, and a norovirus warning sheet to try to help other passengers avoid contamination.

At 7 am, the crew noticed the mess themselves and quickly sent what they called a "hit squad" to our son's inside cabin. They sealed the cabin, took his clothes and removed the bed linens from the one bunk for decontamination. At 11am, the ship's nurse showed up with a few days' supply of Cipro and preprinted instructions about what our son could order from room service for the next two days. The nurse did not take a medical history and never asked us or our son about any allergies. Our son was confined to his cabin until 3am this morning. He was pretty grumpy about those rules as he missed a day at sea and the day at Princess Cays. Nevertheless, in the car ride home from the airport, he told us that he really had a great time on the cruise because of all the terrific teenage friends he made this past week.

In several respects, I was impressed with how Princess handled this big problem and in several respects I thought they dropped the ball. Clearly Princess knew it had a big problem and pulled out the stops to spray down the handrails, deck furniture, passengers, etc. with sanitizers. I have no idea about how effective those sprays are against a virus. Princess was also smart to isolate infected folks, even though I know they were very disappointed to have two days of confinement and 2 more days of prohibition from all restaurants. And, Princess did a good job of having a trained hit squad tend to clearning our son's cabin, rather than the assigned cabin steward. On the other hand, I was not dazzled by the medical staff. Perhaps they were overwhelmed. We were also told that our son's clothes would be laundered for free, yet charges showed up on the final bill we received early this morning. I stood in line before disembarkation and was repaid in cash. Princess, however, refused to refund the Princess Cays cabana rental we did not use because our son was sick. Princess also required our son to order exclusively from a "light meals" room service menu, yet telephone hold times were more than 40 minutes and food wasn't delivered for 90 minutes. We ended up serving him ourselves by carrying items down 4 decks from the Horizon Court buffet. He never did see the ship's doctor, but he did recuperate quickly, as did two other passengers in nearby cabins who got an antibiotic shot from the ship's nurse.

The norovirus issue is a big problem for the cruise industry. I sympathize and understand how challenging this is for a ship at sea with 5,000 people onboard. Nevertheless, the virus is nasty enough and common enough on cruises that I expect we will likely opt for resort hotels or condos in the future. If you do cruise, please take the hand sanitizer solution seriously, try to get decent amounts of rest, hydration, and nutrition, and be sensitive to what you touch in public areas. The rest of our family followed these rules and survived without illness.

was on this same cruise and disagree with the OP as to the extent of the "outbreak". The virus began to emerge on Wednesday with 10 cases reported. By Thursday evening, the number had increased to 60 confirmed cases. Because of this jump, the ship went to "Code Red". My daughter was complaning that she felt like she was going to throw up in Wed night, and eventually did. The doctor came to the cabin a few hours later. Because my daughter was sound asleep and only threw up once and showed no other signs of the virus, she was not diagnosed with Noro. The doctor called me at 7:30 AM Thursday to make sure there was no other instances and released her to continue enjoying the cruise. The numbers I quoted above were direct from the doctor's mouth. They went to "Code Red" due to the rapid increase in the number of cases from Wed to Thursday.

The last I heard was that the total number of cases never exceeded 100 people, due in large part to the Noro procedures that were put into place Wed night. My daughter's room did get taped over the vents, but the tape was removed within hours. The tape is a precaution they use if you complain of any symptoms, whether you get the virus or not.

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