May 2015 - Maasdam to Canada, New England, New York
Our ship was late leaving Ft. Lauderdale due to the fact that is was being cleaned and sanitized after an outbreak of the norovirus on the previous week's cruise. We were not informed of the infection until we arrived at the port on Friday, May 1, 2015 and discovered that there were several local news crews parked by our ship and we were finally handed a piece of paper telling us about the norovirus and the current efforts underway to cleanse the ship. We boarded with intrepidation, but believed that HAL had our best interest at heart as well as that of their employees. HUGE MISTAKE. Soon after our departure there was another outbreak of this virus and it was very poorly contained. Passengers and crew were both ill, although the Captain and HAL management were not at all forthcoming about the severity or magnitude of the outbreak. I imagine they felt that if they didn't discuss it, it would go away. HAL had many. many opportunities to be honest and open with the passengers and should have had the doctor and/or nurses address the passengers at dinner or at the shows, when many of us were gathered together. Calmly and honestly tell us what was going on, what was being done to help us, the mode of transmission and how we would be able to help ourselves. The passengers deserved at least that much. We were told that upon being questioned by passengers about the virus while at a Mariners Luncheon, the Captain angrily walked away - very mature Captain Smit! Recovering guests were told to eat lightly, light broths, crackers, Jello, etc. Unfortunately, the menus continued to feature creamed soups, curried soups, spicy soups, etc. It was difficult if not impossible to find some simple chicken broth or Jello. The doctor's office managed to run out of Imodium and even masks & gloves for the nurses. They did not bother to replenish supplies while in port either. It appears that HAL is merely concerned about their bottom line and not the health and safelt of their employees and guests!