Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas - First Sick Cruise Ship of 2011

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has listed Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas as the first cruise ship in 2011 to suffer gastrointestinal illness affecting more than 2% of the vessel's passengers.

The CDC's Vessel Sanitation Program website has indicated that 150 of 2336 (6.42%) of the Royal Caribbean passengers reported being ill during the cruise on the Radiance from January 3 - 8, 2011.  The CDC information on the Radiance can be seen here

Radiance of the Seas - Norovirus? - Tampa Local 13-News station has the headline "Sick Cruise Ship Docked at Tampa Port," indicating that vacationers on board suffered from vomiting and diarrhea. The illnesses will delay the ship from returning to sea later today. The station indicates that the cruise ship's departure will be delayed approximately five hours, until 9:30 p.m., "so crews can sanitize the vessel."

The cruise line is advising cruise passengers who have recently experienced gastrointestinal illness should reschedule their cruise.  The CDC is reporting that the cruise line's response to the outbreak is "increased cleaning and disinfection procedures." 

The CDC at this point has not determined whether norovirus is causing the outbreak, nor the source of the "causative factor."  If norovirus is involved, most outbreaks of norovirus are from food and water, not by person to person contact as the cruise lines claim. 

As we have reported 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."  The FDA reports that "water is the most common source of outbreaks and may include water from municipal supplies, well, recreational lakes, swimming pools, and water stored aboard cruise ships."

When stories like this occur, the cruise lines blame the passengers and tell them to wash their hands. The cruise ships then spray cleaning fluids everywhere.  But no one ever reveals whether the ship's food and water have been tested and the results of the tests.

The Radiance of the Seas had norovirus outbreaks before.  One passenger took this video of nasty looking tap water on the Radiance on a prior cruise.  An equally disgusting video of brown water on a Carnival cruise ship is here.  

But the winner of the gross-cruise-tap-water award goes to Carnival and is shown here.

Does anyone have video for this cruise?

Were you on the cruise?  How did Royal Caribbean handle the situation?

January 8, 2010 Update:

Passengers on the cruise arre beginning to leave comments, below, that the ice may have been contaminated, that this was a "vacation from hell," and there were way more than 150 passenger  sick.  A few passengers say they still had a great time . . .  

 

 

Photo credit:   Tampa's 13-News Station

Video credit:  ABC News

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Comments (71) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Heather - January 8, 2011 12:24 PM

I agree with this article, as we were told (by a crew member) that the ice was contaminated. I was the 7th sick person to the medical facility and within 24 hrs there were over 120 of us... it was not from not washing our hands! I am the most OCD in my family and was also the only one who had ice water, while they had coffee and oj with no ice!! Besides our vacation being ruin'd, I am still not feeling well and now family members are starting to get symptoms... and for this we paid a lot of money??? Not happy!!!

Leea Winter - January 8, 2011 1:04 PM

I was one of the sick and can tell you that it was awful! It was the vacation from hell. Intended to be a birthday gift, the trip became a nightmare when, on the third day I got very sick and lay in bed ill all day. By the fourth day I was in the infirmary with an IV drip, but only after waiting in line for service. I can tell you firsthand that there were many more people sick. A lot of people refused to come forward because they knew that it would mean being quaranteened (sp) for the remainder of their cruise.

Lyn - January 8, 2011 1:54 PM

I was onboard also. By the 3rd day my Husband started throwing-up and then me. There was way more than 150 people sick. The ship arrived in late and I don't think they cleaned before we got on board. They knew this sickness was onboard. They only care about the money. RCI should be in trouble for this. It was the most awfull experience. The last day onboard was like a ghost ship - no one at dinner and no one at the shows. RCI has lost a loyal customer.

Cass - January 8, 2011 5:04 PM

I was on this ship as well, and I didn't get sick, but I too found it to be the vacation from hell. I am terribly phobic of vomiting/seeing vomit so I had awful anxiety the entire time and really couldn't enjoy myself. My friends mom, who was also on the cruise, is a Dr. and she said just what the article stated, that this virus usually comes from food. Our cruise left late on our departure date AND we were kicked off this morning 3 hours early (and btw no one informed us, luckily we heard it from our parents who have a suite so therefore actually get information I guess?) Here's what really pisses me off... Call me crazy, but, if you are getting people off a ship 3 hours early to disinfect it because everyone is so sick WHY IN THE HELL would you have hundreds of sick and healthy people crammed together in a waiting room for an hour while waiting to get off the ship??? Royal Carribean doesn't give a damn about you, only your money. I will be letting them know about my feelings very soon!

Mks - January 8, 2011 5:20 PM

Im sure the ship employees did not plan on hundreds getting sick. They make no money when you're all in the rooms sick. You're alive. Count your blessings !

Nathan - January 8, 2011 6:19 PM

I was also on this cruise and at about three o'clock on the third day, my girlfriend and I became violently ill. For the next 12 hours or so we did nothing but vomit and run to the toilet every 5 minutes. Seeing as all we drank on the ship was ice water and lemonade I imagine we probably got the worst of it. The sickness kept us in bed during the port of Cozumel and kept us from enjoying the remainder of the cruise activities, even the main dinner's were missed. We have gotten back to our home town and are still not feeling well, also, the ships early off boarding sequence caused us to miss our ride, forcing us to take part in a quite costly cab drive. This was my first cruise, a college graduation gift to myself, and was definitely under par. I do not see my self doing this again any time soon.

Neil Mearig - January 8, 2011 6:34 PM

My whole family was on this cruise ship all 10 of us and it was a once in a lifetime vacation that my parents paid alot of money for. My son and I were in bed ill throwing up and diareaa for 48 hours. Our second port stop was not even seen by him and I because we were in bed. Even the night before we got off the ship I was still sick and got zero sleep before our flight home. I am pissed off and what was to be a trip of happy memories now will be rememebered for the 2 days I bought stock in toilet paper. And we are the many who did not go to see the ships doctor so there were alot more than 150 case our whole floor smelled of shit.

elsj - January 8, 2011 7:48 PM

i also got sick on this cruise, but i didn't come forward because like someone else stated, i did not want to be quarantined. however, these people writing nasty comments are very selfish. i had a great time besides the day i was sick...i made the best of it, stayed in my room and just relaxed for the day. come on, people, cruise ships are incubators for viruses like these! you should know better. yes, RCCL should have done a lot more cleaning, but i really can't complain about anything else. the staff remained very calm and i talked to some people on the ship who had no idea anyone was even sick! the morale of the ship was great despite the illness. a sick day in the Caribbean sure beats a healthy day in the freezing cold U.S. during the dead of winter.

Pete - January 8, 2011 7:56 PM

RC needed to be much more transparent and candid with us. As I look back and connect the "dots" it is clear that RC didn't really have control of the situation. They needed to tell us more about the evolving situation and not let us just observe employees first wearing gloves, then masks, then carrying sanitizing solution around throughout the day, then not allowing us to touch plates, menus, etc. The captains daily announcements were intended to keep passengers calm rather than inform us about the issue (poor decision). Agree that the way they "herded" us to exit the ship was not in our best health interest. Looking forward to the CDC's assessment.

Rebecca - January 8, 2011 8:00 PM

Norovirus can be transmitted by the fecal-oral route, but also by airborne transmission, contaminated environmental surfaces, and fomites.

Mjm - January 8, 2011 8:06 PM

My family and I were on the cruise as well. My daughter,mother and law and I were the only ones out of the 5 of us to get sick. I drank a lot of water and my daughter was in the pool a lot. The 3 of us also ate tacos when the other 2 did not. I'm not sure what caused this illness but it was horrible! If you didn't go through it you have no idea Mks!

Jim Walker - January 8, 2011 8:29 PM

Rebecca:

I would like to see your source of information that noro can be airborne transmitted. Thanks

Jim Walker

cass - January 8, 2011 8:49 PM

MKS, maybe you didn't catch my point. So here goes: If RC was looking out for our best interest they could have oh I dont know, had us wait in our cabins until it was time to deboard rather than sit side by side as people ran out of the room to vomit?? And no they didn't plan on hundreds getting sick and MAYBE it was just some airborne thing, but MAYBE they could have prevented it, too.

Neil - January 8, 2011 9:07 PM

elsj

To make a comment like you were in your room relaxing for the day is a joke. You clearly did not have the same illness as all others. There was no relaxing if you truly had this illness. Unless you find comfort in expelling waste out of both ends at the same time. I do agree with you that a ship is a incubator for disease but it does not have to be that way. I work in a food enviroment and if I thought that way and my coworkers felt that way our company would be out of business.Food safety is number one in my book and if you cannot get it done then it is time to sell cars for a living.And as far as the people you talked to who had know idea that people were sick then they all must be deaf,because the captain made numerous anouncements during the last 3 days of the cruise. I am glad he did not call for all to abandon ship.

J&M - January 8, 2011 9:37 PM

I was on RCCL 3 years ago when my husband got Norovirus. Even though I was not sick, we were both quarantined and he was so sick I thought he would die. Stranded, in the middle of the ocean with someone sooo sick in a small cabin and a "doctor" who is completely overwhelmed is truly a nightmare. The cruise was 8 nights, he got sick the 2nd day and was sick up until the day we disembarked. It was a vacation from hell, one that haunted us and one we will never forget. When you feel better, there is a lot of anger over the time that was lost, the days that you can never take back, the trip that you planned for but never had. But eventually ... this too shall pass.

RICH - January 8, 2011 10:02 PM

I am to be on this ship later this month. Now after hearing all this I am very reluctant.

Wayne - January 8, 2011 10:45 PM

I was on the cruise, along with 5 family members and 2 friends. One friend had short-lived symptoms early in the cruise and my wife had short-lived symptoms prior to leaving. I don't know if this was norovirus, but an episode lasting less than 8 hours makes me think it was not. We had a wonderful time overall and are plannung our next cruise on Royal Caribbean. I disagree with an earlier post reporting that shows and meals were poorly attended and that Radiance was a "ghost ship." Except for having to be served by a crewmember at the buffets, and having to remember the dinner selections as recited by the waiter (instead of handling the menus ourselves), we had minimal disruption to our trip. I empathize with anyone who was sick. That was surely an unpleasant and frustrating experience. But really, Royal Caribbean cannot control every microbe, and I sincerely doubt that they would lie to a federal agency about a matter of public health.

Kate - January 9, 2011 12:11 AM

I was on the cruise ship with my husband and 4 children and only my husband got sick. He, of course, had a terrible time but we had a wonderful time except for missing his company. Everything continued the same as normal except for some safety precautions -- you couldn't serve yourself or get your own water -- minor interruptions. The employees could not have been nicer and were so accomodating. I was disappointed with the management because the cruise started late due to fog (we had to hang around Tampa for hours before we could board) and then they kicked us off early (we were at the airport 6 hours early, and remember that my husband was sick!) and they told us we had to bring our own bags down (6 suitcases and carry-ons) -- my husband was sick so this was left to my 4 children and me. Management made a lot of bad decisions but the employees were doing what they could. This was our first cruise but it will be our last -- not my decision but, understandably, my husband's.

Peter - January 9, 2011 12:16 AM

Firstly, we have the greatest appreciation for all the hard working men and women on the ships we have sailed on and continue to sail on

We cruised with CUNARD - HOLLAND AMERICA LINE - RCL - NCL - Carnival - and several other cruise lines and (knock wood here), we have never been sick on any of our cruises. However....and maybe it's just a co-incidence, we stay away from self service ice cube machines and other self service stations.

For example: We found the ice cube stations rather unsanitary with spilled drinks, 1/2 finished drinking glasses, half melted ice cubes etc.etc. The same applies to the self serve coffee/tea/juice/water stations. Spilled coffee, spilled milk, empty sugar packages, stirring sticks, used paper napkins etc. which must be addressed by all the cruise lines.

SHIP AHOY !

Dave - January 9, 2011 3:40 AM

Hello,

I would just like to point out one thing. You basically say that the water or food on the ships is to blame for the spread of Norovirus.
Do you know that the same 'U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention' that monitors and investigates these outbreaks (if you can call 150 out of over 2500, an outbreak) and the same one that you quote has never sited the food or water supply on a ship, as the source of the virus?? In fact it has stated that the spread of Norovirus (on cruise ships) is caused by person to person contact, which if you really think about it, makes sense as a ship is a highly contained environment with a lot of person to person contact.

I also have one other question. If the water or the food was to blame then why are there only 150 people infected? Did no one else eat or drink on this cruise?

Norovirus is the second most common sickness in developed countries (only the common cold is common). This isn't because all of us are drinking filthy poop water either...

Looking forward to your response....

Regards...

-Dave

Jim Walker - January 9, 2011 5:22 AM

Dave:

More than 150 people were sick. The number reported to the CDC is based only on the passengers who reported to the ship infirmary. It doesn't include the people who did not report to the ship doctor (to avoid a quarantine) or people whose symptoms developed after leaving the ship.

Not all food and water on the cruise ship was contaminated. So you are never going to have everyone sick.

The CDC takes stool samples and determines the type of virus. It doesn't test the water or food. Whereas it tries to determine the "causative factor" for the outbreak, it rarely determines the method of transmission.

Yes, you can have a person to person transmission, but the experts including the CDC say that contaminated food and water is the primary source.

You can check back later and see what the CDC concludes. But they will not make a conclusion one way or the other whether this was person to person contact or because of the food and water. But the cruise line will always blame the passengers.

Jim Walker

CM - January 9, 2011 8:00 AM

This sounds absolutely awful! I was not a passenger, but I have cruised with Disney twice, and will be on the new Dream in March. I have an extreme phobia of germs, and especially illnesses like Norovirus. Is it really that common, especially on larger ships like RCI? I'm really worried - what am I going to eat & drink? I wash my hands hundreds of times a day, but if it's transmitted through water...well, then that's a frightening thought indeed!!

I certainly empthasize with all who got sick. I hope you have all begun to recover, both physically and mentally from what must've been a rough vacation.

Jen - January 9, 2011 8:46 AM

I was also on this ship & DID NOT get sick. My family & I had a great time, despite the occurrances. I also drank plenty of ice water the entire trip, as I am 21 weeks pregnant. I just feel bad for the first time cruisers who had a bad experience. My family & I are huge fans of cruising & it's a shame that for some, their first experience was not an enjoyable one.

Cathy - January 9, 2011 10:35 AM

Jim Walker - Here are two medical blurbs about noro airborne transmission:

Department of Microbiology, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Canada:
In some outbreaks, there is evidence that Noroviruses are spread by the airborne route. Virus particles contained in vomit are released in aerosol form and are capable of contaminating surfaces over a large radius.
http://microbiology.mtsinai.on.ca/bug/norwalk/nor-bug.shtml#how
===========================

National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine

Evidence for airborne transmission of Norwalk-like virus (NLV) in a hotel restaurant.

Abstract
An outbreak of gastroenteritis followed a meal in a large hotel during which one of the diners vomited. The clinical features of the illness suggested Norwalk-like virus (NLV, small round structured virus) infection, and this was confirmed by electron microscopy and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) of stool samples. Further characterization of the virus by nucleotide sequence analysis of the PCR amplicons revealed identical strains in all the affected individuals. The foods served at the meal could not be demonstrated to be the cause of the outbreak. Analysis of attack rates by dining table showed an inverse relationship with the distance from the person who vomited. No one eating in a separate restaurant reported illness. Transmission from person-to-person or direct contamination of food seems unlikely in this outbreak. However, the findings are consistent with airborne spread of NLV with infection by inhalation with subsequent ingestion of virus particles.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10982072

steve parker - January 9, 2011 10:39 AM

Jim:

I am supposed to go on this boat on Jan 13th. What is the chance of reoccurence? Does it take a while to get rid of the virus or does RCI panic and now is the perfect time to go? Are there medications to take prior to the trip that would help your own body fight off the virus?

I have cruised 4 other times and never had any problems.

Jim Walker - January 9, 2011 11:19 AM

Cathy:

Thanks for the info re: airborne virus transmission.

Jim Walker

Jim Walker - January 9, 2011 11:34 AM

Steve:

Thanks for your questions. I don't know if there will be another outbreak on this ship. I hope not. It depends on the type of virus, the source of the virus, and the effectiveness of the cleaning. If its just on the counters and other public areas, then maybe the "enhanced cleaning" will eradicate the bug. But if it's in the water or food, good luck. But I'm not a doctor, scientist or epidemiologist so your quess may be as good as mine.

I can't recommend any type of medicine to take before cruising. I don't know anything about that. But I don't think that any medicine will protect you from norovirus if that's what this is.

We have discussed many other cruise noro cases in prior blogs. Sometimes the cruise lines will kill the bug, other times the next 2 or 3 cruises will sicken the passengers. The worst case last year was Celebrity's Mercury which was sick on 4 straight cruises until the CDC issued a "no sail" order. Consider reading:

Norovirus On Royal Caribbean's Jewel Of The Seas?

http://www.cruiselawnews.com/2010/06/articles/norovirus/norovirus-on-royal-caribbeans-jewel-of-the-seas/

Centers for Disease Control: "Shut Mercury Cruise Ship Down!"

http://www.cruiselawnews.com/2010/03/articles/norovirus/centers-for-disease-control-shut-mercury-cruise-ship-down/

Cruise Ship Bathrooms, Norovirus and Medical Care

http://www.cruiselawnews.com/2009/11/articles/norovirus/cruise-ship-bathrooms-norovirus-and-medical-care/

Carol - January 9, 2011 11:40 AM

My husband and I were on this cruise. He got sick; I did not. We ate and drank most of the same things, including water and soft drinks with ice, so I don't know why I didn't get it. I am one of those compulsive hand-washers and Purell-users, while my husband is more lax, and I wouldn't be surprised if that made the difference. There were ten people at our dinner table (five couples, none traveling together) and my husband was the only one of the ten to get sick.

We thought the RC crew and staff did a terrific job of responding to the situation and providing feedback. Also agree that it was hardly a "ghost ship" - we attended the show on the last night, and the theater was quite full.

To those who are scheduled for a cruise and are concerned, I'd say don't worry. Most cruises do not have this kind of "outbreak" and as others have pointed out, only a small minority on this cruise actually got sick. 150 is undoubtedly a low number, but even if 300 were sick, that still means 88% of the passengers were perfectly fine. Just take the extra precaution of lots of hand-washing and hand sanitizing. Bottled water is also available if you want to take that precaution.

Birgit Misamore - January 9, 2011 12:24 PM

My family and I were on the cruise that came into port 8 hours late and there is no way this ship was properly cleaned before the next one left two hours later. I have been sick since January the 4th and have had all the symptons of the norovirus. I am only today feeling a bit better, but it has been aweful getting over this.
With all that said....We did have a great time and will cruise with RC again in the future.
Thanks,
Birgit

Nathan - January 9, 2011 1:10 PM

Carol,

I am also the kind of impulsive person that washes my hands on a regular basis and I became violently ill before my girlfriend who is the more lax type like your husband, so I do not think that factor will play in this matter at all.

I wish people would stop saying only 150 people got sick, this is ONLY the people that reported to the infirmary. My girlfriend and I were not one of these people due to the extreme lines at the infirmary, it would have been hell just waiting to be seen. Quite frankly, I do not know how those people managed to maintain their places in line without the need to run to the bathroom every 5 minutes. The crew did due a great job coping with the situation, I do however, believe that the management was just trying to cover their own butts after this occurrence. If I were going to be sailing soon on this particular ship, I would defiantly reconsider. Sorry!

Beth - January 9, 2011 3:14 PM

My family of four was on this ship the sailing immediately prior and had a great time. Even though we were delayed arriving back into port because of fog, I felt the staff did a great job of keeping us informed during the uncertainty. I did feel badly for those passengers who were departing later that day as they had to wait around for hours to board the ship. By the looks of how crowded everything was (dining room, theater, casino, bars, pool area), I imagine that hardly any people were sick during the trip. (Except for those adults who overindulged in alcohol.)

Dave - January 9, 2011 3:34 PM

Hello Jim,

I am sorry but I still see a few holes in this...

You said in your response to me that not all the food and water would have been contaminated, so therefore, not everyone would have gotten sick. Forgive me but I don't think this makes sense as all the drinking water onboard this ship comes from the same place, the desalination plant. And even if some water was loaded onto the ship while she was docked at Tampa and assuming it was contaminated (which would be really unlikely), it seems highly unlikely that only a relatively small amount of people would have gotten sick. Yes I know, there are probably more people infected then was reported but considering that Noro takes maybe 1 to 2 days to start showing symptoms (and this being a 7 day cruise) it seems unlikely that many more people could be unaware of their sickness at this point or that there would have been many people hiding their sickness (Noro is not easy to hide).

Also why are we not hearing anything about crew members being sick? There is a lot of person to person contact between passengers and less person to person contact between passengers and crew. Since, according to reports, it seems that this outbreak has mostly infected just passengers (there probably are some sick crew members who caught it too) it would suggest that this was brought on by a passenger.

Contrary to what you told me, the US Centers for Disease control and Prevention does investigate the means of transmission in these cases and does usually have at the very least, some idea of what that means was. The CDC has shown before, that the water supply on a ship has never been sited as the cause of these outbreaks, or its means of transmission. I am not even sure how the water system on a ship could transmit the virus as waste water and drinking water systems aren’t connected in any way.

Yes you are right. One of the primary sources of transmission of Noro is contaminated food or water…on land. But in such an enclosed environment like ships it is person to person contact as shown by the CDC.

Regards…

-Dave

Cathy - January 9, 2011 4:28 PM

My husband and I cruised RC Radiance of the Seas October 2010 and December 2010. Beautiful ship, fabulous staff, general feel of clean and tidy. But. . . we are always cautious about potential contamination, and we noticed many areas in need of improvement to minimize illness.

We brought our own bottled water onboard and never got beverages from the self serve area. WHY? Because people regularly refill their used cup or plastiglass at the self-serve tap (tea, lemon drink, water) and often the rim of their used slobbery cup touches the tap. So the next person who dispenses from the tap is getting a bit of the prior person's slobber.

Also, the Windjammer buffet area has alot of cross-contamination as described by a previous post above. If we ate in the Windjammer, we would try to be the first ones to arrive at the buffet areas before numerous people sneezed or coughed on the food (sneeze guards are some protection but not much!)

The worst problem is exiting the bathrooms cleanly. After cleaning hands at the sink, I then grab a paper towel and push the bathroom door open with the paper towel on my hand. The bathroom doors should be designed whereby one can exit without touching the bacteria-laden door or door handle!

A report referenced on this website has this tidbit:
http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/49/9/1312.full
Cruise Ship Environmental Hygiene and the Risk of Norovirus Infection Outbreaks: An Objective Assessment of 56 Vessels over 3 Years

. . . A sixth standardized object, the restroom inner door handle or pull, was also evaluated, given its risk of being contaminated by enteric pathogens if hand hygiene was overlooked after toileting. . .

Jim Walker - January 9, 2011 4:53 PM

Dave:

Thanks for your reply. Your info on the source of the water is incorrect. Plus otherwise clean water can become contaminated on the ship, especially in the public ice machines. You didn't mention food as a source of the virus. Food obviously can be contaminated before it arrives on the cruise ships or by cook and waiters if they do not excerise good hygiene.

You are confusing yourself regarding the role of the CDC. They are suppose to identify the virus or other agent, and they are suppose to investigate the source of the virus. But take a look at the CDC database link above. The reaity is that the CDC rarely ever makes a conclusion regarding the source of the virus. Simply put they don't know the source. And the cruise lines never release test results of the water.

The only people who do talk about their opinions are the cruise line PR people. They always blame the passengers, not their crew or their food or their water or their bathrooms or their procedures. Wash your hand, wash your hands, wash your hands they say to the guests. But all of the Purell hand sanitizer in the world is not going to stop norovirus especially if it's in the food and water.

Jim Walker

Marty & PAM - January 9, 2011 6:33 PM

My husband and i were on the Radiance the week of the 3rd thru the 8th and neither of us got sick, but many of our friends were sick and quarantined and some even after returning home.

WAS THERE REALLY FOG?

Or were they not being honest with us about the delay?

Our horrid experience was while being trapped on the elevator between decks 1 & 2 for about 10 minutes with no ventilation, and felt like we were smothering.

GEE THEY COULD OF OFFERED US A STIFF DRINK TO CALM OUR NERVES!!!

GLAD TO BE HOME.

Rlfjr - January 9, 2011 9:24 PM

I recently went on a RCI cruise out of Port of Tampa, Dec 2010. I had a great time and did take notice to the public self-service areas - particularly the Windjammer - and issue when exiting the public restrooms.

I always made an effort to arrive to the breakfast or lunch times at the Windjammer within the first 10 minutes to avoid the crowds and sanitary issues with the other cruisers. Also, the bathrooms should have had swinging doors and/or motion detectors installed instead of having to hold onto to the door handle upon exit. Yes, the motion detectors would be costly to install but the proceeds from the amateur-ish photos that guests purchase for a whopping $19.95 would more than cover the cost. :)

I drank the water at the self service stations and drank the tap water in Costa Maya. I ate lunch at Fernando's 100% Agave. Fernando told me if I serve you water, you get sick, then you don't come back and spend money - in addition to telling all of your friends about your horrible experience. It is a simple economic theory so I trusted his word.

In addition to the tap water I consumed roughly 45 crown royal/diet coke cocktails during my cruise. I am an avid jogger/cyclist, if you must call me an alcoholic then so be it. However, I didn't get sick and whatever I would have contracted was killed on contact. :)

Give it a whirl sometime and as always, "Stay classy Radiance!"

DLW - January 9, 2011 11:48 PM

My husband, myself and two young children were on this voyage. My 8 year old son became sick on the day we arrived in Cozumel. Although I did not have stomach issues, I was very weak and tired...not sure why maybe my body's way of fighting it off. My son and I remained in our cabin the entire day. We did not go to the infirmary because I did not want my husband and daughter quarantined, but the wonderful staff came in to clean and change our bed sheets. It seemed our entire wing was sick with lots of cleaning and open doors.

I did have a great time because hell...I needed a vacation and anything was better than sitting at home and shoveling snow on my holiday, so we did make the best of it. My son is still not 100%, but much better than he was.

Now, I DO AGREE with a few posters that I do not feel the ship was properly cleaned/disinfected prior to our boarding. The ship was late coming in due to fog and I do feel the rush to get everyone on board may have been a factor in this virus. We honestly did not mind because we found Tampa to be a wonderful city and simply returned back to the hotel we stayed at and lay poolside until we went back to the terminal at 5pm. It was MUCH better than our trip out of Miami last year where we stood in the freezing cold (yes 30 degrees that day) for 4 hours b/c of some issues with customs and immigration with the ship that came in that morning. I thought we were mistreated that day, but had no problem with the delay this time.

The ship was not clean when we got on...that's my opinion.

And getting shuffled off early was awful. We waited in an airport for 7 hours and had a delay in our layover. Yesterday was a long day!

sue - January 10, 2011 12:26 AM

I was also sick on the 3rd day after being off the ship in costa maya.I was not going to go to the ship medical facility at first, but did go and there were many others with the same symptoms. I am still not feeling well today and it is 5 days from when I first started feeling sick. My husband and I were so looking foward to this cruise, I spent my birthday sick in our cabin and was only able to look at Cozumel from our balcony. I feel cheated of our vacation too. Royal should have been enforcing hand sanitizing before the outbreak. I saw the day after I started getting sick people were now being told to wash their hands prior to entering the wind jammer and were being served and handed plates by the crew, they should be doing this ALL THE TIME. Some people are just disgusting and don't wash their hands after using the bathroom or whatever, so they should inforce the use of hand sanitizing prior to eating, that is why they are there right before you enter the dining areas. The less people handling the food and touching main serving spoons the better,I know other cruise ships practice doing this all the time.

My husband is now sick with the virus,and hopefully we will not pass it on to our children and grandson. I know alot of people said they didn't get sick, like my husband did and now he is too.

paul - January 10, 2011 10:25 AM

My wife had become infected Wednesday night. Thursday morning an announcement was made about the outbreak and that anyone feeling sick to go to the medical center. I talked my wife into going down, she was so weak she didn't think she'd make it. I thought it was strange she got sick and not me but we heard from the others that one was sick and not the other???? 150+ sick on board what about later...on our way home I started feeling sick and before you knew it I felt what my wife went though just 2 days before...This is to the first time cruisers do not give up try another ship or another cruise line completely...this was our 7th cruise 2 with RCCL. The 1st RCCL cruise the staff was unfriendly and hand hygene was left to passengers. We sailed Celebrity, Norwegian, and Carnival and had fun there. Don't give up you have to find the ship and cruise line that fit your lifestyle and personality.

TEENA - January 10, 2011 11:16 AM

I was on the January 3-8 sailing and inspite of all the grumbling onboard and on these posts, found the cruise still enjoyable and found Royal Caribbean and the Radiance of the Seas staff to have gone ABOVE & BEYOND in their efforts to keep everyone safe, well & happy! The cruise started with a delay in boarding because of a problem blocking her from arriving in port. While this was NOT in any way the fault of Royal Caribbean or the Radiance of the Seas, EVERYONE received a $20 per person shipboard credit for the "delay" in boarding. That's $52,000 for something that wasn't their fault! Then, when people started getting sick, the staff bent over backwards to protect those who weren't sick and to help those who were. FREE MEDICAL ATTENTION was given to ANYONE who felt ill INCLUDING medication to speed up recovery and relieve the symptoms.

Yes, things were not normal and there were a few inconveniences but the positives far outweighed the negatives! I had 68 PEOPLE with me and 5 of them got sick. All 5 were first time cruisers who did not get what they expected - they got MORE! NONE OF THEM blamed the cruiseline and all were grateful and impressed by how well they handled the issues and treated even the NASTY & HATEFUL passengers.

You could go to church or pump gas and get sick without warning. Common sense seems to disappear when publicity is involved. Shame on you!

I have cruised the Radiance of the Seas 4 times. I have logged 25 cruises with Royal Caribbean and this was the first time there has been a problem. Also, approximately 150 passengers out of 2,600 +/- (not counting the staff) were all that got sick. I suggest
you step back, look at the whole picture - not just your disappointment from being sick on your vacation - and I think you'll have a change of attitude if you're
honest about your cruise. You should be counting your blessings that you didn't have this problem on another cruiseline. I can guarantee you the experience would not have been handled as well.

GREAT JOB ROYAL CARIBBEAN & RADIANCE OF THE SEAS! You held up well under tremendous stress. Keep up the good work!

Kathy - January 10, 2011 12:21 PM

I was traveling with someone who did get extremely sick on this cruise and this person is an avid hand washer and hand sanitizer user. I am little more lax in the purell use until he got sick and I sat in the infirmary with him for several hours and was witness to this severe illness taking its toll on many passengers. The announced number by authorities is an under statement!! His illness starting immediately from our return from Costa Maya. I feel he was one of the first waves of this illness. Unless it was not reported prior to that by the captain because it was not showing up in huge enough numbers of the passengers until then. Why not report it that evening to the passengers and not wait until the next morning?? People needed to be aware immediately. The medical staff was overwhelmed trying to take care of all of the ill passengers coming in one after another some on their own and some in wheelchairs every few minutes with no where to put anyone. Poor situation for everyone. The medical staff was very nice and did everything possible to help him. Himself as well as many were put on iv's,blood work taken, given a shot and pills given. Sent to his room for quarentine. We were told he had free movies during his stay in his room as well free mini bar items. 2 out of the 4 snacks in the mini bar had expiration dates from 10/11/10. I asked for days to have them replaced and they still had not the morning we left. Surely he was not in any condition to want the drinks or food for days. Anyone affected with a confirmed case of Norovirus did receive all free medical care. Which could have been extremely costly for someone on vacation not expecting to have medical bills. I agree that the early kick off the boat was uncalled for especially for the ill and people who had no where to go due to late flights and people who had scheduled p/u for later in the morning. I was in a room that the smell was awful for the entire trip in which I complained but nothing seemed to help control the smell just mask it for awhile. I could go on about other annoying and poor conditions in our cabin and around this ship but I wont because I am quite sure others experienced the same things. We of course did let RCI know with the filling out of the comment forms and well as letting our travel agent know all the negative issues we experienced. From the late departure to the Norovirus outbreak and early kick off of the ship this being my first cruise not sure I would share this with others as being a top rated vacation choice. Is RCI going to do anything to compensate their passengers for this cruise nightmare? Even if you were not sick you were affected by the sick. You had to worry about when and if it was going to hit you and when it did how close is the nearest restroom...

Cathy - January 10, 2011 5:28 PM

Another interesting tidbit about Radiance of the Seas. We cruised end of October 2010 and then five weeks later December 2010. Both times we went to the Captain's Corner Q&A, which we enjoyed. Different captains each time, but we already knew that they have very regular rotations (something like 10 weeks on / 10 weeks off, but do your own research on that timeframe). I don't recall their names.
Anyway, both captains seemed pleasant, sharp, and loved their job. During the Q&A on the December cruise, someone asked or commented on the other captain's departure from RC (the one we met in October), and the current captain explained how that captain had abruptly resigned, and how it came about that he was now assigned to the Radiance. Not much else was said. It was more the tone that implied that it was very odd that the other captain had abruptly resigned. My husband and I both thought this was very weird and we wondered what the real reason was that the captain left. Something just didn't seem right with an abrupt departure by the top dog who loved his job.

MJM - January 10, 2011 5:29 PM

TEENA, Hmmmmm,I wonder if you would feel differently if you were the one puking your guts up and extreme diarrhea. I was one of the ill, and yes, we caught whatever it was on the ship, so should we just pretend it didn't happen. You're right you couldcatch this anywhere. I'm just confused as to why you're so angry with all the posts. We are all just venting.

TEENA - January 10, 2011 6:20 PM

Not angry MJM, just annoyed that people focus on the negative instead of all the positives. Annoyed that people seem to be blaming the cruiseline and yet no one can or ever will know for sure where this started. This is no different than going to the grocery store or to work and coming down with a bug in a day or two. Do you blame the grocery store? Do you blame your work? Do you blame your church nursery or your daycare provider when your child gets sick? Things happen, especially when lots of people share space - no matter where that space may be.

As for feeling differently if it had been me, NO, I wouldn't. One of the people sick in my group was my adult child who had her 10 month old baby with her. It's not the cruiseline's fault and it saddens me that
adults need someone to blame and that "compensation" is expected everytime something doesn't go the way we would like.

Also, I know for a fact that the cruiseline did give future cruise credits to those who were confined to their rooms because of this illness. Once again, this is something they didn't have to do but did in an effort to brighten your vacation since disappointment had creeped in. Those of us who remained well were sad for the sick but VERY GRATEFUL that you were confined to your room. Personally, I wouldn't have had to be confined. I would have made the choice on my own to stay away from others rather than chance making them sick too and in no way would I hold the cruiseline responsible for this.

Hope you're feeling better! Happy New Year.

Cathy - January 10, 2011 6:20 PM

And another tidbit.... We did the Galley Tour (kitchen) on both cruises October 2010 and December 2010 on the Radiance of the Seas. [After RC reads this post, they'll probably stop the Galley Tours!]
We were mostly very impressed with the cleanliness of all areas we were shown. Probably cleaner than my kitchen, to be fair! But, during our walking tour, about 20 passengers meandered in close proximity to some food that is exposed, especially in the bakery area. All of us walked within inches of a tray of rolls that weren't covered. To be fair, most bread was a far distance away, or it was covered. We later brought this to the attention of the hotel/food director who said he would address this issue with staff. Five weeks later, December 2010, we did the Galley Tour again on the same ship, Radiance, ....... and there was again uncovered bread near our walking path, as well as some other open food bins in very close proximity to us. Not much different than open food in the Windjammer, but at least there are sneeze sheilds there.

Tricia - January 10, 2011 7:54 PM

I also became very ill on this Cruise right after my return from Costa Maya. Does anyone else think it is weird that everyone began getting sick upon their return from Costay Maya? Maybe just a coincidence or maybe not.

Leea Winter - January 10, 2011 8:17 PM

For the people who are griping about us 'VICTIMS' venting - pound sand! Some of us saved up and/or spent money that was not merely 'expendable income' to go on what promised to be a "dream vacation" and ended up being the vacation from hell. Like Teena said, unless you were semi-conscious from nausea with chils, vomiting, and laying next to the ships toilet so you didn't shit yourself, then you really have no room to judge those of us who were "that sick" ... and worst of all, we all PAID FOR IT. I went to the ship's infirmary and required an IV, the way we were treated and the total lack of empathy was absolutly insulting and incredibile. We felt like sick cattle. Lastly, for those of you who, like me, feel that RCI owes you something (at least an apology) you can complain to them directly by writing to:
Royal Caribbean International
Attn: Customer Relations Manager
1050 Caribbean Way
Miami, FL 33132-2096

amy - January 10, 2011 8:24 PM

Great. I am going on this ship jan 13 this week. I hope it is cleaned up by then

Jenn - January 10, 2011 8:30 PM

Was on this cruise, and out of the 5 people in our suite, two of us got sick. One of us was violently ill, and lost over a day, and the other had lighter sypmptoms, but got sick in Cozumel (and lost half a day). So...we get on the boat late Monday (about 7pm) because of fog in the morning & the ship not being able to dock at Tampa port until 1pm. They then tell us to prepare to disembark at 6:25am on Saturday morning. Seems as if we lost about half a day! And...yes...we did NOT go to the dr. so we wouldn't screw everyone by being quarantined in the room. 150 is NOT an accurate number. I can't even count all the people we talked to that had at LEAST one person in their stateroom ill. Compensation, anyone?

Cathy - January 10, 2011 9:44 PM

TEENA - You might win the award for Repeat Cruiser Positive Attitude, but you're mixing apples and oranges. You need to become a realistic cruiser.

You compare this norovirus outbreak with what could happen at work, at church, at the grocery store or daycare and 'coming down with a bug in a day or two'. The problem is worse than 'a bug' spreading amongst the passengers. And, at businesses in the USA, if there was a widespread outbreak, a regulatory agency would conduct tests on the water supplies and foods to identify the source of the contaminant at work, church, grocery store, etc. The public would find out the test results.

But like Jim Walker has stated:

> January 9, 2011 5:22 AM - the experts including the CDC say that contaminated food and water is the primary source of transmission, but that the CDC doesn't test the water or food;

> January 9, 2011 4:53 PM - the cruise lines never release test results of the water.

TEENA, this many people getting sick is more than just a 'bug'. As common as noroviris outbreak is on cruise ships, it's likely that the source of the virus is contaminated water or food. And the cruise line should release their test results. Royal Caribbean is The Nation of WHY NOT. WHY NOT be a good Nation and release the test results?

In 1992, my mother, son and I became violently ill with norovirus during a vacation in and around Yellowstone Park. It was the sickest we've ever been. We were the first ill of several hundred people with similar symptoms. The government health departments of surrounding counties shared and compared data to determine the common denominator of all who were ill. Within one week, the illness was sourced to a lodge (cabin-style motel) outside of Yellowstone Park where we had stayed one night. More investigation by the health departments resulted in finding the source of the virus: contaminated water supply from a broken water pipe at the lodge.

Know this - - the source of the virus CAN usually be determined, and it's usually the water or the food!

DLW - January 10, 2011 9:46 PM

Tricia...I too wondered that. The illness seemed to begin right after Costa Maya, with most being too sick to see Cozumel...myself included. Just seemed odd.

Cathy - January 10, 2011 10:35 PM

TEENA - you say "no one can or ever will know for sure where this started"
You are wrong. Royal Caribbean CAN and WILL determine the source of the virus, 99% of the time. They just won't tell their passengers or the media the source of contamination. WHY NOT? Is the truth painful to RC? Which pain is greater ? - - suffering corporate image OR violently ill passengers !

Your positive perspective is ok except if you are disrespectful and minimize the concerns and pain of others. Truth, Trust, and Compassion is much more important than Harmony.

Passenger - January 10, 2011 11:55 PM

It was really un·nerv·ing how some of the passengers became so frantic and paranoid during the ordeal. One women in particular with her 3 year old boy in a corridor got very aggressive when other passengers pasted by. She attempted to create a physical barrier around the boy to prevent people touching or breathing on him all the while yelling at her husband to find the protective bubble already..

KOrourke - January 11, 2011 3:37 PM

I was on the cruise prior to the Jan 3rd sailing. There were people on my cruise who were sick as well but this flu was not due to the ice or the water. A number of people were sick prior to the cruise but since this stomach flu lasts only 24 hours, were feeling fine by the time we sailed. However, one of us became ill the fist night and anohter of us 3 days later. I also heard others onboard talking of being nauseus and ill. I think this flu was very contagious and brought on board by passengers. There have been many people we know of in Florida and Georgia with this flu. The only good thing is, it is very short lived. One day of nausea, fatigue and diarreah and you are fine the next day.

stefano - January 12, 2011 10:23 PM

You know what? You don't have to go on the Cruise to get it. Over the Holiday we went skiing, and the whole
family got it! First my wife crushed, then our son, and finally I got it on the drive home (5 hr drive)
So don't just blame it on the Cruise Line.
Such is life. Every now and then you get sick.
So what. Drink more vino!

Chris - January 14, 2011 1:50 PM

We are going to be sailing on 1/17 (next week). Has anyone heard how this last sailing was?

Linda Hodges - January 14, 2011 5:41 PM

My husband was one of those ill on the cruise. He became ill 5 PM on Wednesday of the cruise after we went ashore in Cost Maya in the morning. We both ate the same things while on our excursion. When we returned from the excursion we went to the Windjammer for lunch at 3 PM. We did not eat the same thing. At 5 PM BAM he became very ill and was sick all night. He saw the doctor Thursday morning after waiting 2 hours. He felt a little bit better Friday but after receiving a call from the nurses, was told to remain in our cabin another day - not to leave until we docked on Saturday. We received a letter while on board that we would receive credit for the "day" he was quarantine. However, it was two days and we haven't received anything as to our credit. I will say the ship's crew was very attentive. I do not believe it was a virus. If it was, why didn't I get it? I usually pick up any virus around!! I believe it was from something he was exposed to in the Windjammer that Wednesday afternoon. This was not our first cruise. Will we take our chances and cruise again? Yes, we will!

srsmith - January 15, 2011 11:54 AM

So, my wife and I are scheduled on this ship in Feb. My wife is always very germ conscious. At this point, our trip may already be ruined as she will be a nervous wreck. Does anyone know if we can cancel?

Teena - January 16, 2011 5:52 PM

Dear srsmith,

For every 1 person unhappy about this cruise, there are 20 happy ones. Please don't be afraid to cruise and rest assured that while no one is perfect, you couldn't have made a better choice than Royal Caribbean Cruiseline.

As for cancelling, if you have travel protection you can choice to cancel and receive a 75% cruisefare credit toward a later cruise but there would be no refund since you are simply choosing not to cruise.
Without insurance, you can cancel but you will loose
everything.

For the person who is so angry and pointed out that they spent money that was not "expendable income", please note that I work 3 jobs and booked my trip
a year in advance to be able to afford it. It was
a great vacation inspite of the unwanted illness.
Like it or not, things happen in life we would love to avoid. It's your choice how it is handled.

Nothing in my comments have been personal. Nothing was meant to start an argument. My hope was to give food for thought and "vent" my feelings for the situation just as the rest of you have.

Hope you're all feeling better now.

kathy - January 17, 2011 4:55 PM

My boyfriend got sick approximately 5p immediately returning from Costa Maya. We spend our day at the beach with a snorkeling excursion (which was not worth the money). From spending 2-3 hrs in the infirmary (sp) with him the main common shared thing everyone had in common was eating breakfast in the WindJammer restrt Wed morning. People went many different ways on Wed in Costa Maya there was no way that everyone got Norovirus from being in Costa Maya. I heard many patients that evening did not even off the ship that day, I did not get sick on the ship but got sick for several days after my vacation with a mild cause of the same symptoms. As for compensation of 20.00 credit for on board use. I traveled with several people and non of us were offered any credit to use and we were all on the same ship. How's up with that???

Sara - January 17, 2011 6:40 PM

The day these people got off, I was one of the passengers to board later on that day. The crew and the captain made it much better. Yes, there were 150 some people who got sick on the boat - but the ship's workers did a wonderful job of keeping the ship clean afterwards. It is not the ship's fault that the illness had spread, but RCI did the best they could to prevent it for the other passengers. January 8th, the day I boarded the ship, we were informed about the illness and the delay of departure. Sure we were upset, but grateful that the ship was doing something to help! We had heard that the norovirus was spread person to person, but the ship had hand sanitizers, the crew did EXTRA work to help out in the dining room and the buffet. Even the performers had to double shift to serve everyone.
I had a wonderful time on Radiance.

MJM - January 18, 2011 12:05 PM

I'm now believing it was the food on the ship that made us sick!! I had no idea what it was before. But now after reading the comments, about getting sick from eating at windjammer. It must have been the food. My daughter and I became ill the night after eating tacos. It was just a 24 hour thing unlike others that were sick the entire cruise. We were still exhausted the rest of our cruise, and had no energy. I am not asking for compensation for this, because I do realize it can happen anyplace. But come on it was not a "bug"

Heidi - January 18, 2011 6:14 PM

My family and I were on the cruise that left on the 8th of January. The boat's departure was delayed by about 5 hours so that the staff could pull double duty and clean like mad and so that cdc could come on board and inspect. During our stay, I beleive something like 25 people got sick which, according to the captain, is within normal range. Something that was very smart was the fact that there was a crew member at every foodstation at the Windjammer buffet to serve you your food in order for there to be no contamination. We all thought that it was very well organized and the service there was excellent. The crew was amazing in ensuring that everyone was taken care of and that this delay and now the extra precautions wouldnt hinder anybody's chances of having a great trip. In me and my family's opinion, the Radiance staff did a superb job in dealing with the aftermath of what happened on the previous sailing. They all had to put in extra hours to clean and sanitize and they were exhausted but you could not tell from their faces as they were constant smiles. Kudos Radiance crew.

Cathy - January 19, 2011 1:21 PM

For all who think Purell Hand Sanitizers are effective in killing germs, here's FoodForThought:
According to a current FDA recall notice, it seems Microbial Contamination can sustain even with Isopropyl Alcohol 70% v/v; but yet Purell supposedly kills most contaminants with only Ethyl Alcohol 62% w/w. Huh? Maybe there's a difference between Isopropy v/v and Ethyl w/w ?? Details below.

http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm239219.htm
FDA recall notice, 01/05/11

Triad Group Issues a Voluntary Nationwide Recall of All Lots of Alcohol Prep Pads, Alcohol Swabs, and Alcohol Swabsticks Due to Potential Microbial Contamination
. . .Use of contaminated Alcohol Prep Pads, Alcohol Swabs or Alcohol Swabsticks could lead to life-threatening infections . .
Alcohol Prep Pad Active Ingredient: Isopropyl Alcohol 70% v/v

http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/product/245277/Purell_Instant_Hand_Sanitizer/
PURELL INSTANT HAND SANITIZER
Active Ingredient: Ethyl Alcohol 62% w/w

Sherry - January 21, 2011 9:30 AM

My husband and I were on this ship when it left on the 8th. What totally outraged us was the fact when we met our contact at the airport for the shuttle, she took all our information and then as I started to walk away she said "oh by the way, I have to give you this paper stating that the ship came in sick. If you want we can reschedule your cruise." What's THAT about??? We were already there----then we found out from others on the ship that they were personally contacted by phone or email about the ship being sick and given an opportunity to reschedule. Why wasn't EVERYONE contacted and given that option. This was my second cruise and my husband's first (which I had to practically beg him to go on). I was on RC before and it was excellent but this is just unacceptable!!! Plus we thought it funny that when we were leaving Cozumel the captain came on and said that we were waiting for a few people to come back onboard---the truth was that 2 people were being taken OFF of the ship in an ambulance.(we were watching them from the deck). In my opinion RC was not prepared to send that ship out again. My husband and I heard from a crew member that the ship has to come in to port with no-one sick before it's actually "cleared". Very, very disappointed!!

TERRI - January 24, 2011 12:43 AM

I went on the cruise the 17th of January, my main drink is milk 2 different days I got sour milk although the expiration date said it should of been fine. I drnk the ice water in the bucket and from the machine and did not get sick. I did bring the milk to the attention of the staff and I saw him take care of it right away.

Kay - February 22, 2011 8:57 AM

My Husband and I were on the "sick" ship. The first morning in the cafe we ate breakfast. The eggs tasted like fish, the veggies tasted like fish, the potatoes tasted like fish, everything tasted like fish on the buffet, we threw our food away and stood in line for a fresh omelet. Not the way we wanted to start our Anniversary Cruise! Tasting great food is part of cruising! We have been on 4 other cruises on Carnival and had excellent food, we would say the food on the Radiance of The Seas was very poor the whole cruise, dining room and cafes. We have had better dinners at restaurants in our home town!
Our cabin water was yellow? We ask the room steward about the color, to be told they were working on the pipes the water was safe. I drank soda with my $40.00 unlimited soda cup! Wow $40.00 for soda cup or $5.00 for a can of soda!! . We paid alot for our Anniversary Cruise and received a piece of cheese cake to "share" for our Anniversary dinner! RC went way out on that!! People sick and throwing up! Boy that made us feel sick!! I was sick the last two days on the ship, laid in bed, had room service which was a long wait as they were overloaded with sick people calling in for room service! Puke on balconies from people being sick over board.The morning we arrived into Tampa port we were woken up at 6:00 Am for them to check our "Frig" and told we need to disembark quickly. We were thru customs and off the ship in 15 mins!! Yes I wrote an email,called RC and complained, as I had talked to a couple who was on the ship before us and they had sickness on their ship! RC said "Sorry" we can give you a $100.00 future cruise credit! NO Thanks, we will cruise on Carnival or another cruise line! Very disappointed with Royal Caribbean food,shows! This ship was beautiful! Royal Caribbean put more effort into the food you serve and the shows you put on! When you are on a cruise, you are "stuck" on the ship, you can't leave the ship, but next cruise we DO have the choice not to go on Royal Caribbean and we DO have the choice to talk to people about our disappointment in Royal Caribbean and bad news always travels quicker than good news. I am posting this the end of February as I just came across this posting, while trying to find out about a bracelet I bought on ship that broke after wearing it a few time!! My next phone call!! Next year will be our 25th Anniversary and plan to take our kids on a cruise we will not be on a Royal Caribbean cruise!

Emily - April 18, 2011 12:03 PM

I just went on the Radiance of the Seas April 11-16 and I got horribly sick starting the 15th. I had to hide it from staff for fear of being kicked off. Yes, this promotes the spread, but what are you supposed to do when they put you in that type of a situation? You eiher report it and get mediocre treatment and get kicked off and be left with medical bills and return travel bills or you just shut your mouth, rehydrate and experience the worse vomiting and diarrhea of your life until the trip is finally over.

I chose to grip it and rip it.

I also found it odd that they don't even provide antibacterial soap in the staterooms. Honestly, is a bar of facial soap going to stop the fecal-oral route of transmission of disease? Um, this pharmacist says NO.

It was my first cruise with RC and it will be my last depite the intrigue of the oasis of the seas. I will go back to celebrity or norweigan. Their boats weren't so worn out and didn't make me crap my pants when i sneezed.

Shirley & Les Stratton - January 22, 2012 2:03 AM

Well we have just come across this sick ship info and I would like to add that we went on a cruise on the Rhapsody of the Seas up the coast of Queensland, Australia from Sydney. We had a wonderful trip, the food was great, staff friendly and helpful, couldnt have asked for better. We are off again in October on the Radiance from Fremantle to Sydney via New Zealand and we are really looking forward to it.

Dawn - February 9, 2012 9:49 AM

We were on the Freedom of the Seas cruise ship Jan 15-22, and on the last day of our cruise four of our family members got sick with vomiting and diarrhea. Then on the way home two more were sick with the same thing. It makes you think how are they "santizing" the ship.

Ghost - June 16, 2013 5:37 AM

I Have just returned from the Alaska cruise two days ago. The food is not very sanitary, if you go, be sure to observe what and where you eat and you will be ok. (hopefully)

There was an outbreak on the ship, my wife got real sick with the "norovirus" they claimed, as well as 3 others of my inlaws, I almost vomited the first night but never did thankfully.

My wife was assigned to our stateroom and was not allowed to leave the room or boat at the port of call. They told her the pass card would flag her at security if she tried. This was to help prevent the spread. She got offered the minibar & movies for free for a day as well as a small credit toward another cruise. They require a stool sample of others claiming to be sick, so don't think to play sick unless you want to prove it with your poop to get some free stuff (it being not that great at all)

Many people got sick on this cruise, I talked to various employees and the captain announced it as well.

Tips:

Deck 3 gets smelly near back of the boat like cig smoke, beware of those staterooms. Our attendant was great though (go Andrian!). "chops" had good steak (make sure its at least medium well) and the make your own pizza bar, but other then that chose carefully.
"Washy washy" as they like to say standing next to the purell stands is also next to useless, wash your hands with soap and water before eating things requiring touching food like rolls and what not, but try and avoid touching any food with your fingers altogether, get foods that always require a fork. Yes this may seem paranoid but on a cruise ship just do the opposite and you will see, especially with Radiance Of the Sea, I feel like.
Get a juice package and fill up on bottled water, it will reduce your chance of sickness. Wear flip flops in the shower to prevent planter warts, don't use the hand soap dispenser inside the shower unless you like a handfull of black mold.
Elevators are slow, and bad if there is an outbreak, use stairs if you are able. Am I talking about zombies? I felt like I was trying to avoid becoming bite by a zombie. (side note: scary movie; cruise ship terror with no weapons and zombies...can you imagine the fear?) By the way I survived the outbreak! I am not a zombie.
Avoid the aurora theatre during an outbreak.
Ports of call suck other then walking around to avoid that hidious beast called radiance, bad weather outside, bad food and sick people inside will give you a sailors mouth.
prepare to dump some serious cash on ports of call, there is a snake on every corner and a worm on every turn. (My wallet was safe)
The train tour was good but you will suck black train exhaust as all the doors are open in the passenger carts.
Beds are very firm, ask for another blanket to hang up in the window unless you want to sleep in the daylight.
Alaska was very pretty but don't use a cruise ship to get a serious great Alaska.
Tip good, these people work slavelike conditions, pay attention to their conditions, talk to them and be nice and you will see.
The cruise had some pro's but more cons. Its a bad boat, I won't be touching another one even if someone payed my entire way and then some. Its not a vacation but a learning experience once you see past the vacation illusion they try to preform for you.

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