Monday, 10 January 2011

Norovirus on the P&O Arcadia

Just spoke to a client of mine that has recently been on board P&O Arcadia for a lovely Christmas and New Year cruise to the Mediterranean.  Unfortunately, the cruise was plagued by the Norovirus!!!! 
For two thirds of the cruise, ALL the water activities were closed; the Hydro pool, the 2 swimming pools, the 5 whirl pool spas, even the Sauna/steam room, ALL of them closed!!  To top it all off, even the menus on all the restaurants took a hit.  The only restaurant that was available for the 2000+ passengers was The Belvedere. This meant that for breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon tea, the passengers could only get service at The Belvedere restaurant on board the Arcadia!!  All due to 6 passengers boarding the ship with the virus, this is according the announcements done by the captain during the cruise.
Even though all cruise lines, including P&O, try to keep their hygiene to the highest of standards and try to minimize the impact of an out break on board their ships, sometimes, bacteria win.  Part of the procedures to minimize these kinds of outbreaks, a simple questionnaire is given out to all passengers before boarding, where they are asked a variety of questions like:To assist us in preventing the spread of Communicable Disease during your cruise, we require you to answer the following questions,” OR, “Within the last few days, have you or any person listed above developed any symptoms of diarrhoea or vomiting?”  It then asks for your signature to the questions and goes onto say ' I certify that the above declaration is true and correct and that any dishonest answers may have serious health implications.”  What kind of implications can occur if you answer these questions dishonestly?  Well, you might become the most hated person onboard as you are ruining the cruise for the other 2000+ passengers onboard.  Alternatively, if you answer honestly, you might not be allowed on board the ship!
My client mentioned that the staff made an exceptional effort to make the cruise as pleasant as possible and tried to make good on a bad situation.  There were even talks of P&O giving the passengers some compensation?!
To read some of the reviews regarding Norovirus outbreaks on board cruise ships, please visit our “Cruise Reviews” section on our website or on our Forums.

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