Preventative handwashing limits pissed off passengers
Posted: December 30th, 2007 - 12:31pm by Doug PowellThe Evening Standard reports that 78 passengers have been stricken with norovirus and confined to their cabins on what has been dubbed The 'Curse of Camilla' cruise ship on only its second cruise.
The passengers, including former Formula 1 motor-racing champion Sir Jackie Stewart, dubbed the Canary Islands trip the "cruise from hell" after complaining about poor room service, blocked toilets, a lack of Christmas decorations, cold food and extra charges for tea and coffee. They complained hygiene standards were "appalling" and that the outbreak was connected to poor food handling.
Passengers said it was only after the virus struck that Cunard provided alcohol-based hand gel to combat its spread – by which time it was too late.
Jean Trainor, 49, from Blackburn, Lancashire, said,
"No hygiene rules were implemented until people fell ill. If they had been, maybe this could have been avoided. There has also been problems with lavatories not flushing. Everyone I've spoken to is pissed off, including the crew because they're having to put up with all the guests moaning. I resent having paid £7,500 to be on this cruise. I'll never sail on the Queen Vic again."
Ron Wade, 71, from South Lanarkshire, said,
"I was very surprised that nobody was being told that they must wash their hands in antiseptic lotion as a matter of course. Since people became ill, we have all been advised not to use the public loos to stop the spread of the virus. Unfortunately, some of the loos in our cabins have been blocked."
The Evening Standard says that when Cunard's £300million MS Queen Victoria luxury liner was officially launched by Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall in Southampton three weeks ago, the bottle of champagne failed to smash against the bow, prompting superstitious speculation that the ship was cursed.
Maybe. Or maybe cruise ships and their staff need to go out of their way to encourage handwashing and hygiene. And proper handwashing requires access to proper tools; before the outbreak happens.