Spreading it around: why cruise lines ban sick people

It seems like a case of damned if they do, damned if they don’t. Here’s a news story about a cruise line that’s under fire because it ruined a family’s holiday when it refused to allow two sick children to board.

Serenade of the Seas (Royal Caribbean)

And yet the same web site — and many others — regularly runs stories (such as this and this) about large numbers of passengers whose holidays are ruined because they got norovirus (“gastro” in Australian headline-writing parlance) on cruise ships.

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Keeping it clean

I wouldn’t normally write about a press release announcing that a cruise line, or other travel company, had won some kind of award or distinction.

ms Eurodam (hollandamerica.com)

However, this is different. Holland America Line has announced that its ms Eurodam has registered a particular achievement for the 11th consecutive time. And that should interest everyone who has ever cruised, or has ever contemplated a cruise holiday.

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Hotel hygiene 101

It continues to amaze me that so many people who work in the hospitality industry don’t understand the basic rules of hygiene I learned as a child.

And how, despite millennia of experience in creating public buildings, and decades of public-health research, many restrooms (bathrooms, toilets, WCs … call them what you will) are still badly designed from a hygiene point of view.

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Feeling ship-shape

Explorer of the Seas (Royal Caribbean)
Explorer of the Seas (Royal Caribbean)

I was sorry to read that more than 180 passengers on Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas were struck down by what the Australian media called a “stomach bug” on a recent cruise into Sydney.

I sincerely hope the inconvenience of being ill doesn’t put these people off taking further cruises. I feel their pain, because it happened to me during a cruise down the Suez Canal, but I can assure them that Royal Caribbean will look after them, and work hard to prevent a repeat.

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