Crown Princess Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Contributor Level: Deck Hand

Experience
4-6 cruises

Reviews
0

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1 out of 5

Norovirus outbreak on Crown Princess

Sail Date: December 01, 2011

Reviewed: 4 years ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Suite

We set sail from Fort Lauderdale on 24Dec11 for the western Caribbean on Crown Princess. A few days prior we received notice that the ship had an *increased* in Norovirus cases on the most recent sailing & departure was delayed due to thorough sanitization. I boarded with my husband & elderly parents (a retired military vet and retired schoolteacher). It was my parents' 1st trip to the Caribbean which they'd planned for >7mos. At the muster the Captain identified it as an *outbreak* on the previous sailing before quickly correcting himself and saying it was an increase in cases. I was with my parents from Dallas to Fort Lauderdale and all day on 24-25 Dec. Approximately 36+ hours after embarking, my parents developed diarrhea in the very early morning hours of 26Dec. Out of concern and a sense of duty to their fellow passengers, they contacted the med office to be evaluated - BIG MISTAKE! A nurse met with them and said they had norovirus. It was the morning of the much anticipated Cayman Island port visit. The diarrhea was resolved within FOUR hours on the SAME morning, but the nurse placed them in quarantine for 48hrs. They were disappointed but complied. The nurse was suppose to check on them throughout the day and continue to re-evaluate them but that did not happen. They repeatedly attempted to reach the med dept., but received no response until that evening. They reported all symptoms had resolved before 1000 the same day but were told that they would remain in quarantine another ~36hours. This meant that they also missed the 2nd port of Roatan, Honduras. They were irritated as it was becoming increasingly more obvious that they had traveler's diarrhea or food poisoning, and they had only ONE symptom and NO vomiting. Also, we were with them the entire time prior to this episode, and we had no symptoms. My parents were unable to get the med personnel to respond to them to re-evaluate and clear them for the 3rd port. No physician had evaluated them during any of the initial assessment or extended quarantine period. In the afternoon of 27Dec, I began making calls on their behalf in the hopes that they would be released in time for our 3rd port visit. It took over 90-min to get a phone call back from the nurse and she was incredibly rude. She lied and told me that she had checked on my parents throughout the day, but when I confronted her about this lie she yelled at me and said, "what surname are you calling about?" She hadn't even known who I was referring to but she lied about contacting them despite that. She said that she would not clear them until 1000 the following day although I explained to her that they would miss the 3rd port if they were not cleared by 0830 and that they had only one symptom and that it had lasted ~4hrs. She did not care. She later hung on my father when he was speaking with her. I placed a complaint and gave it directly to the customer relations desk the same night (27Dec) but did not hear about the complaint despite being on the ship until 31Dec. They lost 75% of their port time and when they asked about compensation because the ship's doctor told them the norovirus epidemic had been on the ship for ~4wks, they were told that they *obviously* had this BEFORE embarking and that there would be NO compensation for the lost vacation. Per CDC: the incubation period is 24-48hrs with the median time being 33-36hrs. From my own experience, tbe ship's infection control procedures are horrendous! Staff wore latex glove & served all food at buffet until 29/30 Dec, but they were poorly educated about why they're doing this or how to do this. The staff's lack of knowledge was evident in their repeatedly touching their faces or rubbing the sides of the serving areas between placing food on our plates. Food overrated, entertainment very poor, dining room staff and bar staff very good, cabins adequate in size but not well cleaned, shore excursions were excellent. Staff is always working you for the up-sell

Pros: shore excursions

Cons: poor customer service and poor medical staff/treatment

Recommends Crown Princess? No.

Food and Dining
boring and mediocre menus; we did both traditional seating and anytime dining which was convenient; preferred staff at traditional who were extremely attentive and the atmosphere was more relaxed; the anytime dining was like a very busy, loud and cold restaurant; desserts were awful - I had been looking forward to being pampered but you must reduce your expectations
Ship Quality
very large ship >3000 people leads to lots of problems and delays with embarkation and disembarking to shore excursions; common areas were relatively clean but cabins did not feel really clean
Service and Staff
The only personnel that I will recommend (and highly at that) were our traditional dining room waiter and waitstaff and the bar staff in Adagio and Skywalkers. The customer service personnel at the passenger services desk were horrible to work with and their boss does not return calls/messages; medical staff is rude and mostly absent (probably enjoying the shore excursions instead); everyone was always pushing for the up-sell any time they could
Entertainment
don't waste your time going to the theater productions - although they can adequately sing/dance, the plots are stupid and you'll feel dumber for going
Cabin / Stateroom
we had a mini-suite which is nice for the extra size, but the room did not feel as though it had been thoroughly cleaned in a long time despite the 4wk epidemic of norovirus that was simultaneously ongoing; unfortunately our large balcony was accessible for the viewing pleasure of any cabin above ours which did not provide any privacy and left the balcony open to become the trash pit for smokers above and those who choose to throw their drinks overboard


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