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1 PhillyPretzel  Sun, Mar 10, 2013 7:48:05am

After reading all of those incidents I do not want to go on a cruise. I will travel with PBS and Richard Bangs, Rudy Maxa, Darley Newman, Joseph Rosendo, and Rick Steves. It is much safer.

2 aagcobb  Sun, Mar 10, 2013 7:57:52am

My wife is going on a cruise this summer with her friend. I’m glad I won’t be there, especially if she gets sick.

3 Amory Blaine  Sun, Mar 10, 2013 8:44:36am

I always took this view of cruises. Say a cruise to Mexico, I would rather just go to Mexico, stay in a nice hotel than limit myself to a cruise ship. What if you don’t like your room, or your neighbor, or the staff, or the ship? You are stuck. If I don’t like my hotel room, I just walk down the street to the next hotel.

4 steve_davis  Sun, Mar 10, 2013 10:02:18am

re: #3 Amory Blaine

I always took this view of cruises. Say a cruise to Mexico, I would rather just go to Mexico, stay in a nice hotel than limit myself to a cruise ship. What if you don’t like your room, or your neighbor, or the staff, or the ship? You are stuck. If I don’t like my hotel room, I just walk down the street to the next hotel.

I’d be horrible on a cruise. I’m neurotic as hell which means I really don’t like the prospect of being stuck for a week in a small room surrounded by several thousand strangers. I don’t actually eat very much, so the prospect of drinking, binging in a buffet line, or dancing with people I don’t know doesn’t appeal to me. And random sex with somebody in a one-night stand sounds about as enjoyable as tonguing a scent ball in a urinal.

5 LWNJ  Sun, Mar 10, 2013 10:04:49am

I’ve taken a couple of cruises, enjoyed them greatly (you take your hotel with you!), and this isn’t going to stop me. Keep in mind that probably more than 15 million people took cruises in 2012, and that “16 outbreaks” is out of probably 5000 cruises (I couldn’t find a number, that assumes 3000 people per ship — the top 50 ships are larger than that, there are at least 150 cruise ships). When you compare that to the incidence of “traveler’s trots” or “Montezuma’s revenge,” what do you end up with?

As to the other hazards, like the Carnival Triumph’s misfortune, well, all sorts of things can happen when you travel. Maybe you should just stay home under your bed (wait, can’t do that, radon).

6 LWNJ  Sun, Mar 10, 2013 10:13:12am

re: #3 Amory Blaine

I always took this view of cruises. Say a cruise to Mexico, I would rather just go to Mexico, stay in a nice hotel than limit myself to a cruise ship. What if you don’t like your room, or your neighbor, or the staff, or the ship? You are stuck. If I don’t like my hotel room, I just walk down the street to the next hotel.

I’m not going to urge you to go cruising — a land trip to Mexico sounds like fun too — but you’d be unlikely even to see your neighbor, the staff has always bent over backwards to be nice (what’s not to like)? and the ships are so large and have so many venues that it would be hard not to like ALL of it. There’s a lot of variation in the restaurants/buffets as well, although I miss plain steamed vegetables by the end of any cruise.

On the other hand — well, you can preview the rooms online and find reviews of room locations, which is more important since the rooms are all alike, but there’s no cure for “don’t like the room,” except that you only really need to be in it to sleep. Not even that if you’re the “sleep is for the weak” type.

7 Buck  Sun, Mar 10, 2013 11:00:15am

I have been on over 20 cruises. I have never been sick on a cruise.

I don’t know who LWNJ (C1nnabar) is, but I agree with what they said.

About norovirus:

Healthcare facilities, including nursing homes and hospitals, are the most commonly reported settings for norovirus outbreaks in the United States and other industrialized countries. Nearly two-thirds of all norovirus outbreaks reported in the United States occur in long-term care facilities.

About half of all foodborne-disease outbreaks due to a known cause that were reported to CDC from 2006 to 2010 were attributed to norovirus.

So, avoiding a cruise isn’t the best way to avoid norovirus.

8 Vicious Babushka  Sun, Mar 10, 2013 11:17:40am

My mother goes on a cruise every year. She loves cruising so much that she offered to send me & Zedushka on a cruise for our 40th wedding anniversary last year.

We said thanks but no thank you, we’d rather go to Israel (rockets were falling at that time) SO SHE SENT US ON A VACATION TO ISRAEL.

It was totally awesome.

9 SteveMcGazi  Sun, Mar 10, 2013 12:43:10pm

The disappointing thing about the new giant cruise ship is they don’t bounce around like their smaller ancestors. I liked to hang out up front and watch the ship plow through the waves. Also, the pools are a blast when the water is sloshing from one end to the other. Another thing is the fact that you can’t find a dark spot and look at the stars because they replaced a lot of the promenade space with cabins with balconies. But I still prefer the cruise over staying somewhere for a week. I trust the food more and there are plenty of choices for things to do.

10 Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All  Sun, Mar 10, 2013 2:13:39pm

The norovirus is evil. I landed in a hospital for 3 days after getting it. It was a quick way for me to lose 10 pounds in 12 hours, but i wouldn’t recommend it as a diet. :)

Do not mess around with the norovirus, particularly if you have a blood type of O, which is oddly more vulnerable to the norovirus than other blood types.

11 lawhawk  Sun, Mar 10, 2013 4:16:15pm

I’ve done a cruise once. Had a great time until I got sick. Probably norovirus and was laid low for 24 hours; went to the doc on board, was quarantined for 24 hours and missed the formal dinner night plus a day at Isla Roatan. Not a whole lot of fun, but there are probably lots more unreported cases of norovirus than the cruises are willing to let on because people have to identify themselves as sick. I happened to do so.

People might write off what they had as Montezuma’s Revenge and it’s norovirus instead. It can spread quite quickly and the cruise lines know how tough it is to sanitize the ships.

Yet, they have such a limited time in port for turnaround for the next cruise that it’s tough to not only disembark the prior cruise, restock gear, and embark the new passengers all while sanitizing affected spaces.

That, plus the fact that the ships really aren’t prepared to deal with power loss (see the Carnival Triumph) as the sanitary systems failed all too easily after an engine fire (that happens far more frequently than the cruise lines would care to admit).

Cruises are popular since you can hit multiple destinations without much trouble and the itinerary are all taken care of for you. They work well for the Caribbean and Central America. I get that. I get that it’s great to go with groups (we went solo). But I’d like the freedom to make my own itinerary and stay in a location longer than just a couple of hours.

But that’s just me.

The cruise lines will have to do some serious damage control. That means not only dropping prices and giving discounts, but showing that they’re taking public safety a whole lot more seriously than they have to date because when things go wrong on a ship with 4,000 people, they can go wrong in a hurry.

12 LWNJ  Sun, Mar 10, 2013 6:34:03pm

re: #9 SteveMcGazi

The disappointing thing about the new giant cruise ship is they don’t bounce around like their smaller ancestors. I liked to hang out up front and watch the ship plow through the waves. Also, the pools are a blast when the water is sloshing from one end to the other. Another thing is the fact that you can’t find a dark spot and look at the stars because they replaced a lot of the promenade space with cabins with balconies. But I still prefer the cruise over staying somewhere for a week. I trust the food more and there are plenty of choices for things to do.

I agree about the stars, but if ypu want the current-plowing experience, (and pool-sloshing as well, I can recommend any cruise that crosses the California current. (Don’t forget your anti-nausea medicine.)

I also note an epochal moment: Buck and I agree about something.

13 Aligarr  Sun, Mar 10, 2013 6:36:54pm

Take 3000 people from all around the country , many having planned their cruise several months beforehand , now cruise day comes and a few dont rerally feel good , but no way they’re gonna cancel . Noro Virus is highly contagious and can enter the body by aerosol or physical contact . Given the close quarters and common areas that everyone eventually touches , it’s amazing only 3 crew and 105 passengers got sick . For all the pleasures of a cruise , I can take those odds . You are just as likely contracting a cold or flu on an airliner . Washing your hands often and keeping others out of your face would probably cut the odds even lower Many people are exposed and show no symptoms at all .
I would like to know if like other viruses , Noro mutates through time , meaning having it once doen’t mean immunity . Like colds of which there are about 120 strains of that virus , you gain immunity to the particular strain that infected you , ufortunately you have about 119 to go .

14 Aligarr  Sun, Mar 10, 2013 6:41:24pm

re: #9 SteveMcGazi

If that’s what you like and and have got your sea legs [ equilibrium adjusted to moving horizons ] I highly recommend a passage around Cape Horn ….no matter how big the ship , you will be bounced around if the weather is not calm . North Sea in Winter can produce 80ft seas which will keep you bouncing …stay off the bow though .
Go to YouTube and type in Rogue waves .

15 sunnygal  Sun, Mar 10, 2013 8:30:11pm

Our neighbors have gone on three cruises and, on all three, the husband got sick. I wonder why he would go on the third one after getting sick on the first two. I guess he’s a glutton for punishment as they are planning to take another cruise in September. My husband, who worked in a hospital and was able to see all the bad stuff that happens to people who get sick, wouldn’t step foot on a cruise ship, even if someone paid him to do so.

16 SteveMcGazi  Sun, Mar 10, 2013 11:47:06pm

One last thing. Never, EVER, go to the doctor on the ship if you are actually sick. I wouldn’t recommend seeking treatment any more extensive than bandaids and ace wraps. There is no good reason the shipboard doctor is on a ship and not on the land. Further, you’ll probably get yourself quarantined when you were probably going to sack out anyway.

17 Aligarr  Mon, Mar 11, 2013 9:35:12am

re: #15 sunnygal

The hospital is the worst place to be .Where the healthy get sick and the sick get killed. 19000 people die each year from hospital acquired MRSA .


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