Norovirus On Royal Caribbean's Jewel Of The Seas?

Cruises.co.uk reports today that norovirus has broken out aboard Royal Caribbean's Jewel of the Seas cruise ship. 

The website reports that passengers due to sail on June 12,  2010 have been informed to arrive late as embarkation will start to take place from 4:30pm.  The cruise ship will apparently undergo what the cruise line calls an "enhanced sanitizing" on Saturday.

Cruise Ship Norovirus The Jewel of the Seas had widespread sickness (diarrhea and vomiting) last March, but the Center for Disease Control (CDC) could not determine the type of pathogen.  You can read the CDC analysis here.

The CDC database for cruise ship norovirus outbreaks is here.

For prior blog articles about cruise ship norovirus, read them here

Royal Caribbean's cruise ship, the Constellation, operated by its subsidiary Celebrity Cruises also sickened passengers and crew just two weeks ago.  164 passengers and 29 crewmembers developed a norovirus infection, according to Cruise.co.uk.  You will not find this officially reported to the CDC because cruise ships are not required to report outbreaks of sicknesses when the cruise ship does not call on a U.S. port. 

Royal Caribbean's PR crisis manager Cynthia Martinez issued a statement that the Constellation would be delayed so that the ship would undergo a "thorough cleaning and sanitizing." 

This sounds good but what does this mean?   As we mentioned in prior blogs, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concludes that whereas "person to person" transmission of norovirus has been documented, "norwalk gastroenteritis is transmitted by the fecal-oral route via contaminated water and foods." 

So how does a cruise ship go about a "thorough cleaning" when the cruise lines has not determined whether the source of the norovirus is infected food or water?  How do you perform an "enhanced sanitizing" of food or water?

Royal Caribbean's PR department refused to respond to a request for a statement or a comment on the latest sicknesses to Cruise Law News (CLN). 

If you are disembarking from the Jewel of the Seas or the Constellation, please leave a note below and provide us with your thoughts on how the cruise line handled the outbreak.  

June 12th Update:

Newspapers in Harwich are reporting that 398 passengers and 30 crew fell ill with norovirus while on board the Jewel of the Seas.  A company PR release states that boarding today will be delayed until 3:00 p.m. for what the cruise line states is "extensive," "thorough" and "enhanced" sanitizing.  But health officials have not identified the source of the norovirus as either contaminated food or water, unsanitary crew members, or infected passengers.  So what will additional cleaning for 2 or 3 hours accomplish?

Passengers are beginning to leave interesting comments below, pointing out that the method of serving passengers is likely causing the norovirus to spread . . .   

June 26, 2010 Update:

Royal Caribbean is violating U.K. law by sailing without completely sanitizing the contaminated cruise ship.  Some very astute readers are leaving insightful comments below, regarding the potential causes of the virus and the cruise line's shortcommings.  Be sure to read the comments at the bottom. 

 

Royal Caribbean - Jewel of the Seas - Norovirus?

 

June 25, 2010 Update:

The norovirus continues:  Jewel of the Seas Remains Contaminated with Norovirus

 

Credits:

Photograph of cleaner                telegraph.co.uk 

Photograph Jewel of the Seas                 w:User:Dave souza at Wikipedia

Trackbacks (0) Links to blogs that reference this article Trackback URL
http://www.cruiselawnews.com/admin/trackback/205954
Comments (65) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Cruises.co.uk - June 10, 2010 5:47 AM

Following the news about norovirus on Sapphire Princess, this latest outbreak on Jewel of the Seas has certainly got our fans talking on our facebook page. It seems they are urging passengers to have a better awareness of their personal hygiene. Simple measures such as hand gel in toilets and at eating venues and people washing their hands could go a long way in the flight to eradicate norovirus

Jim Walker - June 10, 2010 6:21 AM

Thanks for your comment.

Hand gel won't kill norovirus.

Washing your hands helps to avoid the spread of the virus, but it doesn't address the issue of where the virus originated.

The cruise lines will always say that the passengers brought it on the ship (i.e., the passengers infected the ship). But the FDA says that most cases arise from infected food or water, which then infects the passengers. Either the food or water is brought aboard infected in the first place, or infected food handlers (cooks, waiters) infect the food and then the passengers are infected.

Does the U.K. have the equivalent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or Centers for Disease Control? Cruise ships sailing out of the U.K. don't have to report shipboard illnesses to our FDA or CDC.

Thanks again for your comment . . .

Cruises.co.uk - June 10, 2010 9:05 AM

After a little bit of research and reading some of the information at http://www.cruises.co.uk we can confirm that we have the 'Association of Port Health Authorities'. According to their publications, if more than 2% of passengers and/or 2% of crew meet the 'case definition' the Port Medical Officer must be informed of the outbreak of Norovirus.
This document at
http://www.apha.org.uk/pdfs/Norovirus%20on%20Cruises.pdf
is the official publication of the Association of Port Health Authorities regarding Norovirus.
The Grand Princess is our U.K. based ship which has had confirmed cases of Norovirus recently, and these had to be officially reported the same way as would happen in the U.S.A I guess

Dave - June 10, 2010 2:32 PM

Just got off the Constellation where the virus was played down yet it seems anything up to 240 out of 3000 crew/passengers were affected.

Crew were brilliant and did all they could to sanitize the ship and help passengers avoid the virus.

What about celebrity? Well clearly they consider 10% of passengers getting sick is perfectly acceptable, I do wonder at what point they put passengers health ahead of profit. Actually I know the answer they dont care about passengers as long as they can continue taking money, they will only care when someone actually stops them sailing.........

Christine Gaffney - June 12, 2010 8:07 AM

I was a passenger on the Jewel of the seas,and like many others suffered the Novavirus, at 1 point there were reports from the captain that 16% of people on the ship had the virus.However this is only a small proportion of the cases, due to the treatment of those people who had already been diagnosed. My husband was one of those, we enforced the treatment ourselves with medication I had taken with me. I want a refund

susan joyson - June 12, 2010 8:29 AM

I have just got off the Jewell off the Seas this morming, 12th June at 8 am. with my family.
My husband, son and daughter had the Norovirus, my other daugher and myself have so far escaped it.

The Captain gave out daily information about it and the number of passengers who were ill. The crew were fantastic and we didn't feel they could have done any more than what they did. They cleaned and disinfected everywhere. They stopped the self service in the Windjammer restaurant and served the food themselves. I don't know what else the crew could have done other than confining well passengers to their room as well as ill ones.

We were confined to our rooms,48 hours for the ill members of my family and 24 hours for myself and other daughter. Royal Carribean provided free medial advice and treatment, free room service and films.

We had a wonderful time, perfect weather, excellent food and entertainment and regret that the second week was marred by the virus, but the crew were brilliant and as I stated before, I don't know what more they could have done.

Susan Joyson

Carol Paterson - June 12, 2010 11:46 AM

My partner and I have just got off The Jewel of The Seas. It was reported to us that approx. 16% of passengers had got the virus, but i think this was grossly underestimated. We were lucky and did not get it, but in our group over 50% contracted the virus. We spoke with various passengers and discovered loads of passengers had had the virus. At least 40%. Stopping the self service in the Windjammer restuarant seems to me a complete farce and the surest way to spread the virus. The staff who serve the food, handle all the passengers plates continously. ie. First you hand them your plate for them to put on a portion of food. They hand it back to you. They then handle someone else's plate and put on a portion of food. You hand your plate to the next server, who handles it again, after handling another passengers plate, which has been handled by that passenger - and this goes on at least six times until you get your full meal. This system defies logic, and spreads the virus ad infinitum. They may wear latex gloves, but that is only good if the gloves are changed after handling each plate, which of course is not feasible.
I think the whole prevention system needs further investigation, and until it does, the virus will never be eradicated, and this is not fair on new passengers boarding today.

Rob Dowlman - June 12, 2010 11:57 AM

My wife and I disembarked from Jewel of the Seas this morning (12th June). I had the norovirus but she did not. We consider that the medical procedures encouraged the spread of the virus. The instruction was that when you were ill you rang the medical centre. They then told you to go down to see them This meant that infected people were spreading the virus by touching handrails, lift buttons etc and mixing with other passengers when going to the medical centre. A much better procedure would have been to tell infected passengers to stay in their cabins and for a member of the medical team to go to see them, complete any necessary paperwork and to prescribe treatment. Filling in several complicated forms at the medical centre when one didn't know whether to be sick or to go to the toilet didn't help! Food sent to the cabin for those in quarantine was unappetising assuming one could get an answer from room service in the first place! One evening I waited over two hours before the dry toast arrived.
We consider that the crew were unprepared for the outbreak and for the passengers the result was chaos.

Ian Timms - June 12, 2010 2:33 PM

Just arrived home after 12 days on Jewel. My mother got the norovirus and had violent symptoms (from both ends). The ship just isn't clean. We were confined to the cabin for 48 hours. Orange sticker on the door to announce your plight to the world and a red "biohazard" bin bag for all trash. No you can't have a plastic bucket (she was sick in the waste bin). Nor can you have access to any cleaning materials. If you can't leave the cabin, your stateroom attendant can't get into "sanitise". So when a mess was made in the bathroom, I had to do the clean-up with a face-cloth and handsoap. HERE'S THE SHOCKER !!!! When my flannel went up under the rim, like any good housewife knows how, I was greeted by a thick accumulation of solid brown gunge. What's the point of endlessly wiping the elevator buttons, if every toilet has a four year build-up of crud lurking? The ever-so errudite and urbane Canadian Hotel Director might bost the cleanest galley at sea, but look in the areas you don't want to think about and its another story.

I got sick myself last night, so what happens when there are just a few hours of the cruise left to run?
Explain that you're sick and in-bed to the front desk ... "sorry sir, you still have to leave by 9am and disembark, in line, with everybody else". Apologies to any fellow travels I infected while I was standing there. "If you can't drive your car from the port sir, maybe you could find a train instead". Apparently that's the famed "Gold Anchor" service working for me. Where do they find these people and how little do they pay them ?

Peter Kay - June 12, 2010 2:34 PM

I was struck down with diarrhoea and violent sickness last Saturday evening (5th June), when sitting in the Coral theatre, just one hour after dinner in the self service restaurant. In the past 35 years (I am now 72) I have never experienced such a sudden and violent reaction which I still maintain originated from eating dinner that evening. I concur with others in that the extent of the outbreak was far greater than announcements from the Captain indicated. He stated when the outbreak was at its peak on Wednesday, "that the cumulative total of all cases was 16 percent" This was clearly untrue as it was difficult to find any couple where neither had been infected. I estimate the true figure to be nearer 45 percent. My wife finally succumbed to the sickness alone last Thursday evening (10th June) causing us to stay on board during the ship's stay in Gothenburg, Sweden. As yet, no compensation as been offered for this as a pre-booked excursion had not been made.
Regarding the precautions taken to prevent the virus spreading, I agree with others that they did try their very best, but I feel strongly that positive identification of the source should have been made before other passengers were allowed to board today at Harwich, I am sure it will occur again on this next voyage. (Watch this space.) Surprisingly, moral remained very high amongst the passengers, with most happy to apparently laugh off the matter when over the worst symptoms.
Some aspects of the disinfecting procedure were however ridiculous. As an example; the selection buttons in the lifts were sprayed to excess with the cleaning agent running down the switch panels and walls. I anticipated a big bang and smoke, but such is the quality of everything on this ship that it miraculously did not occur. The beautiful central deck models, which also house additional remote lift buttons on each deck, have been ruined with anti-bacterial spray being forced under the top transparent laminate. Unsupervised disinfection procedures seemed to encourage deck crew, with little training, to wander around spraying, or most often flooding, everything in sight for the past week.!
The enforced isolation of passengers affected for 24 hours at first, which was then increased to 48 hours for my wife on her later outbreak, caused both of us to miss three pre-booked shore trips. However, the costs of these were immediately refunded to the on-board ‘spend card’. A letter accompanied our final account on Friday night offering the proportional cost of two days to be deducted from a future cruise with Royal Caribbean International. Free soft drinks and water were also provided from the mini bar in the cabin, with free access to the normally ‘pay per view’ films. Medical attention, including anti-sickness injections and tablets, was prompt and free to all affected. My honest feeling is that every effort was made, within the knowledge and expertise of the crew to contain this outbreak, but that they did not have either the expertise or enough detailed knowledge of the characteristics and cause to treat it effectively. Well done to all for trying their best, but this was just not good enough on this occasion.

Mrs K - June 12, 2010 6:13 PM

I just arrived back from the cruise with Jewel of the Seas this evening. Unfortunately I was one of the unlucky passengers that caught the norovirus. Although I feel the staff were trying their hardest to contain the outbreak I don't think it was much use when the virus had already infected so many people. I don't understand why they put these extra procedures in place when the outbreak had already started, in my opinion these procedures should be in place constantly. Why should someone else's lack of personal hygiene ruin everyone else's cruising experience? I feel it is up to the crew to do as much as possible to eradicate any virus even before they know one has made its way on to the ship. Also, I think passengers should be clearly made aware that alcohol sanitizers are not as effective as using soap and water on your hands as this is something I was not aware of until after the outbreak started.

My experience in the medical facility was also horrendous, in total I spent 3 hours waiting to see a doctor and in that space of time I had to practically collapse in front of the medical staff before I was given any sort of treatment for my symptoms. I also felt it was unfair to quarantine my husband, who never caught the bug, for 24 hours meaning he was stuck in a tiny cabin with his sick wife, not a pleasant experience for him!! Information given by the doctor was unclear and confusing and I have been left fuming with Royal Caribbean for their lack of care and understanding with regards to this outbreak.

Their offer of compensation is laughable. I took out a loan to cover the cost of this cruise and their idea of compensation is 2 days free when I book another cruise with them, but here is the problem, the offer is only valid for a year. How am I going to afford another cruise in a years time? And would I really want to cruise with Royal Caribbean again? They really need to get their act together.

CZ - June 12, 2010 8:28 PM

Absolutely horrible. 3/4 in our group was down w/ the virus, with 1/4 extremely ill. Only Immodium, which for this type of outbreak, and the severity of it, was unacceptable. Gatorade or electrolye water should have been offered as well. For those who were quarantined, room service took up to 2hrs for anything to arrive. Even juice. We were in contact with other passengers who were more ill than our 1/4, and all they received was a "smile" and a "hope you'll return". HORRIBLE SERVICE. Sanitation and service was horrible. The onboard physician was seeing 4 patients at one time in the same room, way to spread the disease RC!

Mike - June 13, 2010 5:07 AM

We were on the Jewel of the Seas Baltic cruise which docked yesterday at Harwich and also suffered the effects of the Norovirus (presumably) outbreak. The only figure I heard was 16.7% announced by the captain on about day 10 of the cruise. This would equate to around 350 passengers, if correct, and is probably a lot higher as people were continued coming down with it thereafter. Also a lot of people were not reporting it and relying on self medication to avoid the quarantine that was being imposed on patients and their spouses - reprehensible but understandable. It is difficult to estimate how many were in the category but, from coversations, it looked like about as many again so it is safe to assume that the true rate of infection was in 30%s.
My wife came down with it on day 6 and suffered recurrences for the rest of the cruise. She was in fact quarantined twice although we found out later that the second visit wasn't recorded! I escaped the virus - person-to-person contact?? An interesting feature was that women appeared to be more susceptible than men. Of our immediate group - none of whom had met before the cruise - all the women came down but only one of the men - a pattern that seemed common throughout the ship.
The ships crew were also affected although no numbers were disclosed. The impacts could be gauged by the fact that deckhands and beauty therapists from the Spa were acting as waiters. There were reports of musicians in the clean-up squad but I can't vouch for that. Suffice it to say that they were under severe strain and the cracks were starting to show. They were doing their best but really did not have adequate knowledge or resources for the problem.
They were also constrained by the need to stick to the party line that the problem was caused by poor personal hygiene amongst the passengers. This was presumably dictated by the corporate lawyers and is as ludicrous as it is insulting. Whoever brought it on board, whether passenger, crew member or the captain himself is irrelevant once it is on board as it will spread by the most convenient mechanism - normally water or food. The party line also dictated many of their visible responses which were at best cosmetic and, at worst, promoted infection. I have some experience in the design of clean room environments and had a meeting with the guest services manager and the catering manager in which I pointed out that their actions regarding the serving of food in the Windjammer restaurant could actually promote the transmission of the virus.
I believe that, behind the scenes, the nature of the problem is understood by the company and the crew and there was a lot going on which we didn't see. A couple of Norwegian engineers came on board in Stockholm to deal with some problems in the water purification systems and, on the last day, I noticed an official looking gentleman video-taping the food handling in the restaurant. Why is it necessary to treat the passengers like idiots with slanted stories?
The problem here I believe rests with what is being demanded in order to make these large ships profitable. The schedules require that after docking the ship disembarks 2100+ passengers, re-supplies and embarks another 2100+ passengers before sailing 12 hours later. Add in the crew and the numerous contractors that come on board and you are looking at over 5000 people transitting the ship in this period. This is a massive logistics exercise that leaves very little time for thorough cleaning. Adding a few hours to the turnround will not have much effect. What we may be looking at is the death knell of mass market cruising!
Allow time for the thorough cleaning that is required by the situation and the whole thing will become unaffordable by the target market that the ships were constructed for.

Colin - June 13, 2010 8:37 AM

We also disembarked from JOS on saturday. My wife went down with the virus on saturday 5th and visited the medical center and was confined to our cabin. I was also confined (although healthy at this time). But inevitably i then got unwell, so eventually had to spend 3 days confined. Surely some sort of compensation would be fair, rather than the discount off some future cruise (which im not sure i would want to book)

Pat - June 13, 2010 2:45 PM

We disembarked from Jewel of the Seas on Saturday, 12th June. There were six people on our table and four of the six succumbed to the virus. My husband and my friends husband included. On contacting the medical centre, we were told that they would have to go down to see the Doctor, but there was no way that they could have left the bathroom long enough to visit the medical centre. Therefor, I don't think that they were counted as having contracted the virus, so have not been offered any kind of compensation. The Jewel of the Seas is a lovely ship and the crew were all such hard working people and couldn't do enough for you, but it seems that making money is more important to this Company than the welfare of it's guests.

kaz beare - June 13, 2010 3:43 PM

I was a passenger on Jewel of the seas, arrived into Harwich on 12th June on day 6 after eating in the dining room I felt poorly up until this point there were no staff spraying hand rails or sanitizing anything there was no evidence of illness onboard nothing had been told to us, I was violently sick and didnt know where to go for the best I called the medical centre and was told to go down there I did so eventually when I could get out of the bathroom, never thought not to touch anything so touched the lift buttons hand rails etc when I arrived at the small waiting area there were people all over the floor seats standing the toilet was full it was disgusting I counted 60 people I couldnt stay there so I went back to my room and didnt come out for 2 days. no medical visit as I hadnt requested one My husband heard from the captain when he went for breakfast a number of cases have been reported to medical centre of GI so please wash your hands bla bla bla.when I eventually surfaced got the shock of my life to see Clo the cruise director serving breakfast then as you looked around there were the shop staff salon staff childrens carers team the shopping duo chad and heather who were not happy, as the days progressed the dining room and waiting staff started to dissapear and be replaced with other crew members I even saw the Maintenance guys who were normally in boiler suits having a quick lesson on how to seve with tongs, they had jeans and a royal caribbean white t shirt on they loved it, when you get the admin staff payroll staff and guest relations combined with all the people you know to be in other job roles it came apparent the crew were down with it also, at no point were we ever informed of the crew being sick it was all down to the passengers. The advert for this company is a floating hotel. The staff obviously did what they were told to do but alot of the food staff didnt speak or understand English that well our waiter most certainly could not speak the language we couldnt understand a word. 4 in our party all british so no language barrier their. I was given a glass of water with things floating in it and it wasnt ice this was changed when i pointed it out hence i got a coke instead the next night I was poured a coffee and there was something floating in it the assistant waiter took it away both these incidents were reported to the head waiter. All in all im no medical expert but if the crew had trouble understanding us how do they know or understand their hygiene duties it was reported the ship had done 1 cruise on the baltic itinery before ours ours being the 2nd it came from america before that. I have read royal caribbeans report and they are saying it is common in america. Hello. How convenient cases were dropping on day 10 as we were due into Harwich on day 12 if the captain had been walking around the ship he would have noticed people being sick and the other in most of the toilets onboard. Everyone i spoke to either had had it or someone in their party had so lets hope 2.400 jewel of the seas passengers havnt infected the uk. Why wont Harwich comment will they lose money as well.

Holiday from hell.

Nikki Fossett - June 13, 2010 5:50 PM

My family & I have also just returned from the Baltic cruise, on Jewel of the seas. I was feeling unwell on the last couple of day's with stomach cramps, have returned home to be very poorly. My sister had both ends going, then her partner had four days of stomach pains followed by both ends. very painful, very upsetting. We were all on deck 3 & all around us had the Norvo virus. All night all I could hear were people being unwell & toilets flushing (impossible to sleep through)The smell, around us was awful. The hygine was a joke, before the virus broke out. Lipstick on a coffee cup, dirty water served (funny colour & awful things floating in it) dirty wineglass, all in the Tides dining room, our food was that badly cooked we had to send it back, time & time again. served rotten fruit. All was reported to our head waiter. We had to stop eating there. In the windjammer I got a splinter in my hand from a plate & cut my lip on a cracked glass (again all reported) but we felt tired of complaining. So totally ruined our dining experience. We did NOT get what what paid for. I hold Royal Caribbean totally responsible. For making us ill, failing to provide a duty of care to us. I do not feel they did everything to prevent the spread in the first place. I want my money back, for all my family. NOT VOUCHERS It was not a 12 night pleasure cruise, it was painful, smelly & a total nightmare & it's not over yet (still suffering the effects of the virus)

A J MILLS - June 14, 2010 5:23 AM

We two suffered from the so called Norovirus on the
"Jewel of the Seas". I have NEVER encountered such
Acute and violent symptoms with such sudden onset.
Still suffering residual symptoms ---We feel the staff
did their utmost--however were totally untrained and
unprepared to deal with the onslaught, both in intensity and in the numbers involved.We feel that
significant compensation is warrented--Hope to receive
communication from the company forthwith....

Dave Hackwell - June 14, 2010 6:17 AM

I recently returned from a Mediterranean cruise on another Royal Caribbean Ship, Navigator of the Sea.
The standard of hygiene was exceptional, cabins cleaned twice a day, food service areas like the Windjammer spotlessly clean and hand sanitation more or less enforced to the point of paranoia.
I could not fault the cleanliness of the ship and crew.
I believe the weak points are the land based visits where passengers can do their own thing and the hygiene is beyond the control of the Company.
For instance on my cruise anyone using some of the toilet facilities or food outlets in Turkey and Greece are vulnerable and could bring an infection on board.
I think the Company and the Crew do everything in their power to keep infection from the ship and anything more would spoil the experience.

Outbreaks like this are a fact of life and will always occur, no matter what is done, it can never be completely prevented in an uncontroled invironment.

As to the measures taken once an infection is on board and the compensation offered, I cannot comment as I was fortunately on a different Cruise.

cw seymour - June 14, 2010 9:15 AM

just arrived back at harwich on jewel of the sea,as others have said many more were sick than stated about 500 we believe.my mother was told to get to sick bay 86years old going both ends very helpfull.this was my first and last royal carribeon cruise.I shallreturn to previous cruise line.did any one take a loan out to buy a bottle of wine.

Dave Langstone - June 14, 2010 10:05 AM

I also arrived home from the Jewel of the Sea Baltic Cruise on Saturday. My partner got the norovirus and and was confined to the cabin for 48 hours. However in order to receive treatment we were forced to attend the Medical Centre as they would not provide treatment in the cabin. An Orange sticker was then placed on our door to announce to the whole ship that we were 'unclean' and was suprised that royal Caribbean did not also supply us with bells to wear around our necks like lepers. We were also given red "biohazard" bin bag for all trash but saw these often sitting outside cabins for over 12 hours. The Crew were very visible spraying and wiping various surfaces over and over again and the shops on board would stop people handling goods, its a pity that the same pen is offered to each customer in order to sign for goods, drinks, etc and that the cruise (payment) cards are also continualy handled by waiters, shop staff, etc. I feel that Royal Caribbean should admit responsibility for causing this outbreak and provide passengers with adequate compensation instead of their insulting offer of a possible 2 days credit when I book another cruise with them as long as I booked within a year. However I am not sure that this would convince me to cruise with Royal Caribbean again?

susan clarry - June 14, 2010 1:02 PM

I also suffered from the norovirus and spent 2 days in my cabin my husband was ok. Never have i felt so ill my husband went to the medical centre to imform them and was told for me to go down myself but I felt too ill so I dont think i was counted. Home now but still dont feel ok so has been about a week now.


Alastair - June 14, 2010 4:12 PM

Disembarked from JOS on 12 Jun, my wife and I having gone down with Norovirus on the evening before. I managed to clean up and get to the Medical Centre, where I was the only patient and seen fairly quickly. I explained my symptoms and those of my wife, who is paraplegic and was unable to get back into her wheelchair for obvious reaons. I was given medication for the two of us and told not to leave our cabin. No great concern was expressed, but I suppose this was to be expected, given the number of cases dealt with and the fact that we were leaving the ship within 12 hours. We had a fairly short but interesting car journey home, and are still not back to normal. God help anyone who had to fly home! I agree with previous comments that the measures put in place were illogical. Having been handed a plate, you then handed it to several servers, who has handled numerous other plates, wearing the same pair of gloves, but were not allowed to help youself to a sealed pack of cereal or milk .If the hand gel is no preventative to the tranmission of Norovirus, why bother with it. Another possible source of transmission could be the bars, where the staff handled clean and used glasses, and I suggest this is a very likely means, but no preventative measures were taken. We were on Deck 4, Portside, and from boarding the ship there was a strong smell of drains at the Centrum end of the corridor. I feel that the measures put in place were more to do with damage limitation than anyting else, and the constant gushing references to "our wonderful crew" and "this beautiful ship" were irritating when you are welded to the toilet.

A sad end to an otherwise great cruise.

wendy - June 15, 2010 9:42 AM

Ater being so diligent with hand washing and going back to our cabin to use the toilet i succumbed to the virus3 days before docking at harwich my husband ran for help as the severity of my symptons scared him to death. Our room attendant insisted i go to the medical centre in a wheelchair. Once there i was sick and disgraced myself. I THOUGHT AT LEAST THEYWOULD COME TO ME TO GIVE ME THE SHOT. Never have i been ill like that and feel very sorry for the older folk who got it.

Sandra - June 15, 2010 11:16 AM

After leaving JOS on Sat 12th June, I was struck by Norovirus on the Saturday night. From reading the above, I feel that I was one of the lucky ones as at least I was able to feel dreadful in the comfort of my own home. This episode has really put me off going cruising again.

itfc boy - June 15, 2010 4:15 PM

My wife & I were on this cruise & luckily escaped the illness, although I had a sensitve tummy/bad headaches / dizziness /feeling of wanting to be sick for about 3 days.

The first thing we noticed on boarding the ship was the smell of drains / sickly smell - perhaps the previous cruise might have had problems as well !

Some of the things I witnessed onboard made me gag.

On at least 3 separate occasions in Windjammer I saw people coughing heavily, blowing their nose / spitting into the linen napkins, scrunching up the napkin & leaving it for the waiter !

I saw one member of the Windjammer staff one morning, topping up the scrambled eggs & baked beans trays - and the corner of the near empty trays were actually immersed in the food of the 'fresh' trays - yuk

The number of men (crew members as well) who didn't wash their hands after visitng the toilets surprised me as well - shame on you.

This was only our 2nd cruise with RC, & it's making me wonder if we'll do a third with them, but these sort of things can happen anywhere.

Joyce Kershaw - June 15, 2010 4:28 PM

My husband suffered the virus and was confined to the cabin for 48 hours. Unfortunatley because of this we were unable to take the 2 trips booked in St Peterburgh (the resaon we booked the cruise). I escaped the virus but went to the medical centre as I was suffering stomach cramps I was told to come back only if it them turned into sickness & diarrhoea, thankfully it did not so I feel lucky. Prior to my husbands sickness we were eating in the Tides restaurant. When Ian felt better we started eating in the windjammer. I feel that the staff did their best to contain the virus but it still travelled around the ship. As late as Friday we saw a poorly lady being sick near the pool area she was lead off to the sick bay with plastic bags on her feet through the solorium. We were pleased to reach Harwich.

angel - June 15, 2010 5:18 PM

I've been on a lot of cruises, I also had family a member who worked on the jewel. These people who owns the company doesnt take the time out to protect the well being of the crew and passengers in fact they have these people working long vicious hours up to 14 not getting time to sleep or to come off to take care of their personal business, its the crews fault they have to go through rigarous training to take care of you they cant shake your hands if they do they have to wash them. its like a boot camp there, and mind you most of these crew member who dont even get paid as they only get paid if us the passengers pay them, yet the same crew members who serves your food they are the ones who have to clean and sanitize too. Come on should'nt there be like a specialised team of people who takes care of this problem. These crews ships are like slave ships but us the outsiders cant see that because they are made to cater to you. Nobody governs these guys they need to be wtched but seriously people any contained environment that you got people cooped up in is bound to have consequences you just have to not shake hands keep washing your hands after using the potty and you'll be fine. Ive been on one a few years ago and i did fine

ELIZABETH PARR - June 15, 2010 6:38 PM

TOOK THE CRUISE - GOT THE VIRUS - CONFINED TO CABIN. MISSED TWO EXCURSIONS ALONG WITH MY PARTNER. THE
OFFER OF COUPONS FOR FUTURE CRUISES ON RCI IS LAUGHABLE. I WANT MY MONEY BACK. TELL ME HOW TO GET MONEY INTEAD OF COUPONS?

carol - June 15, 2010 7:03 PM

june 16, 2010,

I also got the virus on the Jewel of Seas and was confined along with my husband (who wasn't sick) to our cabin. Room service was available to us but he had no choice of a regular menu and was told he had to eat the restriced diet I had to have. There were other issues regarding the handling of this virus outbreak. The restriction policy seemed to vary. Royal Caribbean needs to get their act together. As for compensation that is offered to be used within a year, something I may not get to use in such a time frame. Knowing that this gesture of goodwill will not be used by most passengers. As I am questioning if I will ever book another cruise with Royal Caribbean.

As for orange stickers placed on isolated staterooms. Ours never got one but one was placed on our friends who never had the virus.

Haim - June 15, 2010 9:34 PM

Any word from passengers on the current cruise? We are scheduled to go on an upcoming JOS cruise and are scared to death.

Joyce - June 16, 2010 3:20 PM

Would like to hear from people on cruise starting June 12th. We are scheduled to go July 18th and would like to know it is safe to go.

For people expecting free cruises, well I doubt it. They will give you credit for the time spent ill, however up to that point you did "use" the cruise you paid for. They can't give you back money for something you used. Get wise and by all means demand more but keep it in reason so they will consider it.


Thank you.

mwood - June 17, 2010 1:52 AM

have read comments reguards bug on jewel of the seas. we are going on her 24th june any tips or advice.

Ian & Mo McKenzie - June 17, 2010 3:33 AM

We have just returned from our first and possibly last cruise, marred by the virus. My husband started with it on the evening of the 7th June and, as others have mentioned, it was a sudden and violent onset. As instructed we went to the sick-bay and queued for almost 3 hours to see the doctor, along with about 30 other sick people and one toilet. He was given Immodium, anti-vomiting drugs, and anti-biotics - because he had a high temperature - together with Tylenol to bring it down and a bottle of Gatorade. 48 hours quarantine for him. and 24 for me, which meant we missed Tallin. As reported, room service was very slow, or non-existent, because they were overwhelmed.
After my husband vomited on the bathroom floor, I had to beg the cabin attendant for disinfectant and clean it up, because she was not allowed in.
On one midnight dash to the loo, my husband slipped and cracked a rib on the arm of the sofa - no, we did not go to sick-bay, the wait was too long, but saw our doctor, when we got home.
I started with the virus on the day we left the ship, which did not make for a pleasant 5 hr journey north.
Regarding the number of infected people, out of the 29 rooms on our section of the 8th floor corridor, 14 had orange stickers and we know of one other couple that self-medicated, instead of enduring the long sick-bay wait.
We noticed on going to our cabin, when we first arrived on-board, that there was a Nursing Home type smell - similar to that in my mother's care home - this was far worse at the Centrum end of the corridor. Why was part of the carpet replaced on our Deck 8 corridor?
The compensation of 2 days on our next cruise is laughable - we will not be cruising again, unless RC can guarantee that it will be virus free. At least we had a balcony, unlike some friends confined to an inside cell!
One final comment, the crew were so intent on sterilising all surfaces, after the outbreak, that my hand slipped on the wet handrail and I nearly fell down the flight of stairs!

Chris - June 17, 2010 5:14 PM

I was on the Royal Carribean 'hospital ship' that returned to Harwich on 12.06.10 & was appalled at the futile approach to infection control that I witnessed.

I have read with utmost interest, the entries made by my fellow passengers and echo all of the comments made.

I was in a party of four occupying two state rooms on the 3rd floor (orange dots all around!). I was fortunate not to get the full violent virus but upon reflection think that I was somewhat mildly affected (infected??) days before the sanitation nonsense ensued - I felt exceptionally tired, sick with headache & bowed out for the evening, taking to my bed. My mother however, became violently ill in the middle of the night in St Petersburgh (having also earlier experienced headaches, lethargy, & general feeling of 'being out of sorts'). I contacted the 'on-call' medical facility to be told to take her to the medical centre - this was a floor below but the layout of the vessel meant meanderring through corridors & public areas to get there - a very traumatic & upsetting 'expedition' when you are projectile from both ends. Eventually a 'porter' took my mother to the 'medical facility' some eight hours later in a wheel chair passing through the 'restricted crew only' area as the porter was unable to navigate through the med centre due to the volume of 'patients' waiting to be seen(begs the question how sterile this was as this poor porter was possibly wheeling sick people around the ship continuously!) where she was left in a ward for several hours before she was 'happened across' by staff who admitted she had been forgotten about! A few tests, handful of medication & orange fluid in a plastic bottle later she was again wheeled through the public areas back to her cabin where she was subsequently confined - missing St Petersburgh & Tallin (the very reason for booking the trip!)
Source of the infection - many of the crew repeatedly told us that it was our fellow passengers & their poor hygeine having 'over indulged' on food (a mantra that is clearly repeated in the staff training/induction). COULD IT BE POSSIBLE THAT THE POOR SANITATION WHICH RESULTED IN THE CONTENTS OF OUR FELLOW PASSENGERS TOILETS BACKFLUSHING INTO OUR TOILET WHEN THE WHOLE SYSTEM BECAME BLOCKED??? However, when I complained at the customer relations desk about the apparent lack of adequate infection control & suggested this may be at least a contributing factor to the illness, I was informed (with a wide smile) that the sanitation system is 'always blocking'! Nice! I also took my complaint to the most visible member of senior crew - 'hello clo' - who of course was very polished with the party-line response!
Compared to the experinences of many others, our party was relatively fortunate but the effects were felt by, & holiday ruined for all. Totally unsatisfactory Royal Carribean - Taking a cruise is a financial stretch which promises a luxurious holiday but as a result of this trip I should imagine many will 'GET OUT THERE' & spend their hard earned holiday cash elsewhere!

Ian Timms - June 18, 2010 9:31 AM

It seems this is the only internet vent for our frustrations over "Plague of the seas". I'd always put great store by the "cruise critic" reviews. Well I submitted mine a week ago, as I'm sure did others. They haven't published a thing yet. Is CC running scared of RCCL or in its pocket ?

ACruiseGuy - June 18, 2010 11:42 AM

Hey Ian Timms -- I've always found that any questions I've had about my reviews I've submitted to Cruise Critic are answered almost immediately via email. Have you tried asking about your review?

Songster2 - June 18, 2010 1:26 PM

I was also on the Jewel voyage that ended 12/6/10, and am sorry that many fell ill. But what I saw in the restrooms almost assured that someone would pick up the virus. People would turn on the water with unwashed hands, then turn off the faucet without using a paper towel. I kept paper towels with me at all times, using them to open restroom stalls and doors, new towels to turn on and off the water faucets, new towels to call the elevator & select floors on the elevator. Anywhere that I had to touch something I used paper towels, then immediately discarded them. I did not get sick. However, there were women on some of my shore excursions, claiming car sickness to the guides, but then quietly comparing their symptoms and the severity amongst themselves. I do not hold RCI accountable for the illness that many people encountered. There was much more that passengers could have done for themselves to avoid illness.

Mrs.E.Williams - June 20, 2010 11:01 AM

I have read with interest the comments of the passengers from the Baltic cruise. We came back from America on Jewel of the seas, arriving in Harwich on May 19th. My husband and I are still having treatment from our Doctors because of virus´s which started up as we came off the ship. We complained continually to the officers in charge of the Windjammer, because of the dirty plates mixed in with the clean ones, the dirty cutlery, which was wrapped in serviettes and the chewing gum under the rims of the tables. The plastic beakers smelled of cleaning fluid and the water was the same. We have written to Cunard and are awaiting a reply. We have been totally put off cruising and we have been on many cruises, only 2 with RCL and there won´t be another one!

marilyn - June 21, 2010 6:45 PM

going on Jewel on 24th. phoned thomas cook cruise who we booked with and they said they had no idea reguards bug on board did not there was one, so does anyone know what situation is at moment??????

Mike Jukes - June 22, 2010 9:23 AM

Hi, Just found this site! My wife and I were on the Jewel of the Seas,which docked on the 12th June. The cruise was fine until I became ill the evening when we sailed from St Petersburg. In the morning I contacted the Medical center and was told to come down to deck 2. There were dozens of guests there and filling in 4 forms, with the suggestion of a virus N1H1 which turns out to be SWINE FLU! The doctor said this was 'novovirus' that I had.

We were confined to our cabin for 48 hrs, but were released after 12 hrs. This is the first time that we have contracted this virus in all the years we have been cruising, and (and missed out Tallin) we always constantly wash hands and use the gel before eating as suggested! On checking the web for 'novovirus' this seems to be food poisoning, caused by food and or ice cubes/water, passed on by faecal germs. Noticed that the dining room menus were in a folder which were passed to the table every day, (a source of germs) also noticed that the TOPS of stair hand rails and the TOPS of dining chairs were being cleaned, but your FINGERS go underneath!!

We had an invitation to have 2 days credit when we booked our next cruise on RCCL, this is a joke. This was our 2nd cruise with RCCL, and probably our last with them for spoiling our 30th Wedding Anniversary.

L Powell - June 24, 2010 2:12 AM

have read comments regards bug on jewel of the seas. We are going on her 6th July. Any news regarding the last cruise.

C & J Clarke - June 24, 2010 5:00 PM

We have just arrived back from the Baltic cruise which departed 12 June and have to agree with all the comments posted above. we had been informed by RCI pre cruise that the previous cruise had only 2 cabins affected but even the crew told us it was in excess of 500 passengers! We were a party of 6 and most of us suffered with "sensitive" stomachs rather than the full blown symtoms and considered ourselves lucky. Everyone we spoke to had either personally suffered in some way or others in their party had. All the crockery in the Windjammer was stained yellow and tasted of bleach and we complained several times to no avail. We could not drink out of the cups and poured hot drinks into the glasses which did not smell or taste as bad. The previous comments about the staff handing all the plates, pens and passcards are aslo true and could certainly have led to the spread of the bug. Most of us had sore throats and coughs probably due to absorbing the bleach on the crockery and via our hands as if you had the misfortune to touch a rail after it had been soaked with parazone. The carpets were filthy and the crew said they were not allowed to hoover them in case it spread the germs!There was a constant smell of drains and the water from our cabin taps was brown most of the time and as for the poor crew, they seemed to be dead on their feet due to the extra hours they had to work to "sanitise" the ship. A better option would have been to arrange for a professional company to come in, investigate the source and fumigate the ship from top to bottom. This was our second time on the Jewel and our experience this time was extremely disappointing and not at all comparable with the last time. It will be a long time before we book RCl again. We hope the passengers leaving today fare better but I imagine they will have the same stories to tell on their return. Such as some not getting access to their cabins until the early hours of tomorrow!We were Deck 9 and were allowed into our cabins at 11pm.

Peter Kay - June 25, 2010 1:37 PM

I note that the local newspaper for Harwich, the 'Harwich and Manigtree Standard', reported yesterday that the RCI Jewel of the Seas is again infected with Noro virus and is due to dock on the 24th June. Around 86 people are suffering symptoms of the norovirus, it states.

A quoted statement from RCI reads as follows:-
Briony Peters, spokesperson, said "Jewel of the Seas, which began its sailing in Harwich on June 12 is experiencing an elevated number of persons with a gastrointestinal illness. Over the course of that sailing, 86 guests have experienced the illness, thought to be Norovirus."

This sailing is a follow on from the identical cruise I experienced between the 30 May and 12 JUNE 2010. The statement continues with identical wording, apart from a change of date, to that reported for my cruise, saying: "Therefore, in an abundance of caution, once Jewel of the Seas arrives in Harwich on Thursday 24th June, we will conduct an extensive and thorough sanitizing onboard the ship and within the cruise terminal, to help prevent any illness from affecting the subsequent sailing."

Obviously the last attempt didn't work, so why should this? I would have expected that by now, the source and specific nature of the virus would have been found, thus allowing effective treatment to be carried out before the ship sails. However, since I have not heard otherwise, I assume it has sailed again last evening, with a new set of unsuspecting guests.

How can the port authoriity in Harwich allow this to happen?

Sandra - June 25, 2010 2:07 PM

My partner & I have just returned from the Baltic Cruise on Jewel of the Seas which sailed on 12th June. I would agree with the above comments that we both suffered "dodgy" stomachs throughout the cruise. I would also agree that there was a distinct smell of drains at various times throuout the cruise. The extent of the sicknes bug during the previous cruise was kept very quiet prior to sailing and was not really talked about during the cruise by any of the crew. We were also told prior to sailing that the cleaning was due to 2 or 3 people being ill on the previous cruise but I was very sure that the extended delay we experienced was not due to 2 or 3 people but was more likely to be 200 to 300 which from the above comments has been substantiated. The point raised regarding the water in the taps I would also agree with and we made sure we only drank the bottled water in the cabin however you cannot avoid the water very easily as all the Orange Juice at Breakfast and the Lemonade available all day was made from concentrate which is obviously mixed with water. Also most drinks were full of ice! I have always been aware of avoiding the water when holidaying in foreign countries but did not think it would be necessary on a ship run by such a large Cruise company. I have cruised many times with P&O and have never experienced the upset stomachs I had on Jewel of the Seas. I would be interested to know from anyone who sailed on the 24th June as to whether they could serve themselves in the Windjammer cafe or were the over streched crew still having to take turns to serve?. As stated by previous people I will not be rushing to book another cruise with RCI.

Glen Swanson - June 28, 2010 11:42 AM

The sad thing is that RCCL informs the UK people on prev Wed of 6/11 cruise, about ariving later in the day because the ships depature will be delayed. The US folks flying are not informed and are lied to at airport. We arrived at approx 7:30am and were told the ship was late in arriving and will be delayed. Only when we are shuttled off to one of the waiting areas are we told about the virus. Amaizing that they tell us that we could cancel the cruise if we worried about the virus (after flying 8 hours and having very few options available). Finally after boarding their ship about 9:30pm (luggage shows up 1:30am) well the 1st day is lost! Add the fact that we had a child with us and the Adventure Ocean program was not available until Day 3 because they were still sanintizing that area of ship despite us leaving Harwich. Why did RCCL allow a ship with a virus leave its departure port much less bring unsuspecting guests on board until it was 100% sanitized? MONEY! What RCCL did was a scam to its customers offering a $25 refund per person. They should have put everyone up at local Hotels and delayed its sailing a day. Adding to insult.. with passengers again getting sick with the same symptoms, they passed blame 1st to something from St Petersburg, and later brought on at Finland. What is sad is RCCL continued to point the blame at someone else and fail to accept responsibility. The ship should have no way left Harwich much less accepted passengers until the Ship was 100% sanitized.

Concerned - June 28, 2010 6:07 PM

RCI have flaunted the UK rules regarding outbreaks of reportable illnesses aboard cruise ships. In the USA they are governed by the CDC and have to report to them only instances happening in American waters or if the ship is to call at a USA port. Whilst in Europe they come under different rules and the UK's ones are even more strict that the American ones. They reported the first outbreak to the UK on a timely basis and all UK passengers were informed, not the American ones as they did not have to do that! - nice of them to be so kind to their American friends wasn't it!

Under UK law the ship on the second clean should have been done by a UK Health team, not the RCI Miami based one that has now flown to the UK twice in 14 days. The UK rules state that the ship MUST be cleared before she sails again - this was clearly not done as some passengers could not get into their cabins until 11pm AFTER the ship sailed. Those cabins were still being cleaned by the Miami team that now stayed on board.

The ship was infected whilst in Tallin at the same time as the Vision of the Seas was in port and as both crews mingled so the virus got on to the Jewel. The Vision has had many outbreaks during the past few months. Both ships should now be taken out of service and completely detoxed - plus all crew taken off and a new crew put on that are not infected - that includes the entertainment crew, casino personnel etc. and spa girls, who by all accounts acted as waiters instead of doing their own jobs. All swimming pools need draining as well - plus all stateroom utensils such as ice buckets and tumblers need to be replaced with new.

A very expensive job so the job will never be done - thus outbreaks such as these will happen time and time again.

A, B & C - June 29, 2010 2:21 PM

Hi. My two daughters and I sailed the Jewel departing on 12 June. We arrived at approximately noon and were promptly shuttled off to Colchester football stadium because the ship "wasn't ready to board." While on the bus to the stadium, we were told that the reason for the delay was the Noro outbreak, which occurred as a result of two infected passengers boarding the last cruise (????). Whatever. We received $25 per person on the SeaPass account for the inconvenience of being bussed to the stadium...when we were finally allowed to board, we were not allowed into our staterooms. We had to sit around in the common areas - people were lying on the floors, etc. - which I am sure is not sanitary! They also tried to shuttle everyone into the Coral Theatre to watch the World Cup matches - again, a common area that may or may not have been thoroughly cleaned. We were on the 9th floor as well and concur with the prior passenger's comment that we were not allowed in our rooms until 11 pm! Also disconcerting was seeing workers in what resembled hazmat suits roaming the ship after we boarded. This is my 4th RC cruise in the last 12 months - the 2d on the JOTS - and in my view, this trip was COMPLETELY different than the last. We did the Panama Canal over Thanksgiving and the ship and staff were FANTASTIC - I am not sure what has happened since - maybe a lot of that crew has gone to the Oasis or other RC ships, or came off contract - but I hardly recognized ANYONE on the Jewel from the late November trip. For the first few days, many "common areas" were closed - like the library. Many passengers expressed that they felt like they were being "punished" because of the prior outbreaks, which definitely did not enhance the cruise experience. I will say that things got progressively better during the cruise...until the last morning when we were scheduled to depart the ship and one of my daughters became severely ill. As we are from the US and were scheduled to fly home that afternoon, I was extremely concerned, but fortunately we called the medical staff and they saw her right away...gave her a shot and medication, we spent the evening at LHR at RC's expense, and then went home the following day when she felt well enough to fly. I agree that 9/10 of this is exercising due care...for example, I rarely if ever drank water out of the taps on the ship (drink beer instead!!!), washed my hands religiously, used towels to touch doors, etc...so just BE CAREFUL. Also agree that the staff was under a tremendous amount of stress and for the most part did a fine job, but there were cracks under the stress that were evident that again undoubtedly affect the guests' holiday. All in all, just PLEASE be careful when you cruise - there was a lady on one of my excursions that I personally witnessed in the ladies'...she was sticking her head under the sink to get a drink of water!!! PLEASE DON'T DO THIS! Thanks for reading and happy cruising.

M Cole - July 3, 2010 6:23 AM

We too were unfortunate to be on the Jewel of the seas on the 12th June to the Baltic. Unlike all the other passengers I spoke to or have commented we were not informed of the viral outbreak by either RCCL or Smartcruisers operated by Viva Voyages. We only found out about the outbreak when we arrived. We were told second hand that a change of cruise date was possible but at a 30% cost of the holiday (don't know if that was true) After check-in we were told we were being taken to Colchester FC for hospitality to avoid overcrowding. We boarded the coach for our 20-25 mile journey but when we arrived we were immediately turned around without even getting off the coach and sent back to Harwich because boarding was possibly about to begin.Like everyone else we were unable to get to our cabin for several hours so had to take our cabin baggage with us wherever we went. I felt very sorry for the crew who were pulled from their normal duties to do extra work they were not used to or trained for. For me the cruise was spoiled from day one due to the over the top sanitation, having to be served in the windjammer,instead of being able to take your time before choosing,for being snapped at for daring to reach for some cutlery or a glass of lemonade when thats all you wanted and didn't want to join the queues that invariably formed. Delaying the cruise by one day and getting a professional team in to do the job properly would have been the better option. My wife was a victim of the virus and wiped out the last three days of the holiday. Still we did get $25 each!!!!

JD JARVIS - July 8, 2010 4:23 AM

Celebrity Constellation continues to have norovirus on board. Sailing 21 June to Arctic Circle had delayed boarding to allow "additional sanitizing" but virus affected passengers all the same (including me). Questionable whether ship should continue sailing and putting passengers at risk - norovirus has been on ship for several sailings now. Weather and scenery glorious though !

Darren Leonard - July 9, 2010 11:57 AM

Just returned from the June 24 sailing for the Jewel and am happy to report the the novovirus did not make an appearance. We were delayed in boarding while the ship was 'sanitized' and the initially the entire staff, including the cruise director HelloClo, were involved in plating food at Windjammers.

Seemed like a taboo topic with the staff, but we noticed about 5 days into the cruise that the we were able to plate our own food in Windjammers. Finally had one crew member indicate that the last couple of cruises were disasters and the manicurist confided to the Mrs. that so many people were ill the last cruise that they [the staff[] couldn't wait for the cruise to end.

All-in-all a nice experience.

dsrapa - July 9, 2010 10:19 PM

Also just returned from the June 24 - July 6 sailing on the Jewel of the Seas. fortunately we didn't know about the previous cruises, or we would have been very reluctant. However, we had no problem. There was extensive cleaning going on all the time, recommendations for lengthy handwashing, frequent application of purel, use of paper towel to open bathroom doors...it all seemed to work. No reports of illness that i heard, and we had a wonderful cruise and a great time.

Chris - July 12, 2010 4:13 PM

Further to my earlier comments (17.06.10) - we still haven't heard from Royal about the compensation on offer - anyone else from the 31.05.10 Baltic JOTS departure been offered anything?

Carole Hounsom - July 16, 2010 9:04 AM

We also travelled on 31/5/10 we have been offered £150 each in vouchers against a future cruise. I had to contact RC as I hadnt heard anything and was told they didnt have my address to send the vouchers !!!!!!!!!!!!
We are not happy do not want to travel with RC ever again we missed all of Russia as confined to cabin. I also agree there were more people infected than informed. Have been with Princess on previous cruises no problems.

Colin Horton - July 17, 2010 7:05 AM

We also travelled on 31/5/10. We have been offered £225 each. As above passenger mentioned we missed Russia which was to be our highlight. Also not certain we want to travel with RC again.Definately more people infected than stated.

kathy - July 19, 2010 3:57 PM

Just got back from jewel of the seas cruise
departing on 6jul 2010.
We were 4 in our group and none of us got sick.
Knew of nobody on our cruise that was ill.
Staff was constantly disinfecting and cleaning.
I have done 10 RC cruises and would not sail any
other cruise line.

Reuben & Katie Love - July 20, 2010 12:00 PM

We were unfortunate enough to have been on the JEWEL OF DISEASE returning to England on June 12th. We were struck done with the virus along with mahy hundreds of others and missed the highlight of the whole trip Russia and Tallin. We were still feeling the effects 2 weeks after returning home. Also the prices charged on board was nothing less than scandalous, we thought piracy was illegal! $53 for bottle of wine thats sold in Tesco for £6.99. After being confined to our room for 2 days we were hungry and ordered room service the food that arrived was not fit to be fed to our dog (bit like eating in the Windjammer)We have complained to RCI but they are not interested, after waiting 4 weeks for a reply it was insunated that we feel ill through our own poor hygine We are disgusted by this response and after 2 telephone conversations today we are still being told that they are not interested and do not offer any compensation. We are not leaving it there we are throughly disgusted and are going to take matters further. If any one is of the same opinion please let us know we are not letting this go we are surethat many people are like us and have saved hard for this "holiday of a lifetime" we feel RCI should offer some form of compensation for the distress that hundreds of passengers experienced on this awful voyage. Needless to say we urge anyone NEVER to travel with this company.

A J MILLS - July 20, 2010 8:13 PM

Further to my previous comment---we have rec'd vouchers
to the extent ot $260 us off a future cruise which MUST
be taken prior to June 2011. This amounts to NO compen-
sation whatoever. Placing a time constraint on such a
frugal offer is nothing short of rediculous. Thanks for
nothing. --- There must be another offer from the company. Does anyone else feel cheated?? -- A J MILLS

mary - July 22, 2010 1:01 PM

I got news for you royal carribean...noroflu is still there. our group, aproximately 88 total, was apart of the june 24-july 7 voyage and to my knowledge, 4 kids and at least 4 adults did get sick with vomiting and diarehea...probably more. we had no idea the noroflu was even an issue or had been on the boat previously. and royal carribean...since we have been home, some people are still not better. FYI: purell is NOT effective against noroflu!

Pete & Jean B - August 23, 2010 3:00 PM

My wife & I were on the 12th june trip. Have been offered £550 in vouchers to be taken within two years. We are not at all happy with this as it wasn't just the norovirus which I went down with for three days butour Copenhagen & Stockholm trips were ruined by the very bad room service. Ended up getting chocolates in our cabin every night to placate us but with two trips missed + sickness on tyhe second day in St Petersburgh (10 hours ashore with repetitive Diorhia & no signs of comfort or concern as the timetable had to be met, isolated to the cabin in Tallin Coupled with all the inconveniences this cruise heaped on us as mentioned numerous times above, this should have been a full refund. The comments made earlier about restrictions in europe being more severe than US is worth further investigation. Happy to get involved with a further action group

Sheilagh & Paul S - August 27, 2010 5:44 AM

We also were on the 12th June trip with RC (Jewel of the Seas) and after my husband collapsed vomiting and was taken to the medical centre and had injections and later had to be put on a drip and over the next few days required further injections we contacted guest relations onboard. We initially were told they had no knowledge of further treatment (including injections) to which my husband told them to give someone medical treatment without recording this fact is totally unethical and after a further call from guest relations, low & behold the medical centre confirmed my husbands further treatment. From an initial 1 day offer (totally insulting) we were offered four days for my husband and three days for myself vouchers off a further cruise. This is totally unacceptable and remain in touch with RC whose latest response is to try to say I showed signs of one of the three symptoms of the virus, which is totally absurd as I never had any sign whatsover of the illness and no contact whatsover with medical staff only through my husband being so very ill. Do not intend letting this matter drop.

H Darmo - September 22, 2010 8:58 AM

Just returned home from September 4 2010 Transatlantic 14 day cruise on The Jewel of the Seas. She is a beautiful clean ship and there was NO Norovirus on our trip.
I saw no sickness or quarantined cabins.
Thank you for all your information on past cruises. It was appreciated.
I was so happy with our cruise on the Jewel of the Seas! Please do not hesitate to sail because of Noro on this ship - it is gone.

L Miller - January 1, 2011 1:00 PM

While H. Darmo's posting above is heartening, I'd like to ask other Jewel cruise passengers who have sailed since September to chime in! My family is planning a trip the end of January on Jewel, and might have reconsidered had we known of the virus troubles of the past year. We are traveling with a group of 7, ages 2 through 70, so of course there is concern.

Thanks to all who have related their stories.

J Anderson - February 27, 2011 4:31 PM

My wife and I just returned from 11 days on Jewell of the Seas in the Caribbean. We saw no signs of any illness. There was lots of cleaning and hand disinfecting every time one entered a dinning room. They made a big point of saying how good their cleanliness inspection reports had been. I had not seen this thread before we left. Now I know why they were making a big deal of it.

M White - February 14, 2012 10:31 PM

My wife and I just returned from 5 day/nights on Jewell of the Seas in the Caribbean. She got norovirus and the ship's doctor quarantined her to our room. She spent most of our cruise in bed or in the bathroom. This is our 8th cruise and we had never heard of norovirus. It's over a week now and she still has diarrhea, is weak and lethargic. She's had periods of feeling better, but tonight turned bad again. They told us they would give her a one day credit on our next RC cruise. There won't be a next one. BTW, one other person in our group got the same and was quarantined. Two others got sick but didn't report it since they didn't want to be quarantined.

Post A Comment / Question Use this form to add a comment to this entry.







Remember personal info?
Send To A Friend Use this form to send this entry to a friend via email.