You don't want this to happen to you on your next cruise!

Let's talk about a recent experience I had regarding what I thought was norovirus. Without a doubt, I know it's pretty safe to say that no one wants to get sick while they are cruising. On the first night of my Alaska cruise, I came down with something, which my doctor cousin is pretty sure was bacterial and not viral (and so was the onboard nurse). Thank goodness for me, but still a little scared regardless. Here's some things I learned that will hopefully help you avoid, deal with, or get through a bout of onboard gastro issues.

1. Symptoms- Had I known the exact symptoms, I don't think I would have been so quick to visit the onboard nurse. I know I panicked, but I also know how important it is to report any possible cases of norovirus, so the ship can contain it and keep the other passengers safe. Symptoms of norovirus include abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, muscle pains, and chills. The nurse kept repeatedly asking me if I had cramping and a fever, which I did not. It was a sigh of relief to me because it seemed like those were definite marks, and I was grateful that those were 2 symptoms, I did not have.

2. Quarantine- So I thought I had skirted being quarantined because I officially didn't have norovirus--no-sir-ee-bop! The nurse put me on 24 hour quarantine to make sure no one caught whatever germs I had going on. I was incredibly grateful that I had a balcony cabin, so I wasn't entirely locked in my room. I was also incredibly grateful that the next 24 hours was at sea because they would not have allowed me off the ship on a port day. The nurse also gave me some medication and a powerade to help with my symptoms.

3. Room Service- The nurse informed me that because I was going to be quarantined, I would be given some special allowances. Yeah, you might think this is pretty cool, but I was just itching to get out of my room. I followed her orders, though, because I didn't want to get in bigger trouble than necessary. While I was quarantined, I received complimentary room service, including bottles of water. Now, you may think that's fancy, however virtually every crew member on the ship knows what's going on with me....aka I have a restricted diet on room service to help my tum tum get back on track.

My room steward had to perform a deep cleaning on my room to get rid of any germs. He also had to leave my room for the last to be cleaned so again, no other passengers would be affected. Lastly, to keep me occupied outside of napping and balcony time, I received complimentary movies on the ship's entertainment system. This was nice because I FINALLY got to watch Avengers: End Game.

4. Future Credit- As you might remember, I sailed on the Ovation of the Seas from Royal Caribbean. This incident occurred in August 2019, so I don't know if this is something they would continue to do, nor did I expect it--so please don't expect this if quarantine happens to you. I just wanted to share my experience. Ok, disclaimer over :) After my quarantine was completed, I received a letter in my cabin from the Hotel Director that they would be letting the shoreside team know to assign a partial future cruise credit to me--how generous was that?! I was totally not expecting because I didn't blame the cruise ship for getting me sick, nor was I upset (really) that they put me on quarantine, as I know how important it is to keep the ship's passengers and crew safe and healthy.

5. Avoidance- While I feel I'm really great at my washy washy--I was certainly lacking somewhere to get some symptoms. Although it may seem annoying, always remember to wash your hands--even when you don't think you need to, wash your hands. That's the best way to avoid spreading germs, and get rid of any germs you may have picked up somewhere.

So while I wouldn't want to be quarantined again, it was not the worse thing in the world. I was totally catered the entire day and I was very impressed by the precautions the ship took to make sure no one else got sick. Something I will be more cautious of for next time cruising, though, would be to remember what the symptoms are. I hopefully will never feel like how I did on this occasion, but I will be aware for next time if I need to go to see the nurse or not. If you have any questions on my lovely experience, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Happy {and safe} Travels!


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