Ocean Village

johnvvc
27th December 2009, 16:18
Hi,

Just back after spending a very pleasant 14 days on Ocean Village cruising the Carribbean. Our first cruise (to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary) and I just might be tempted to go again !!!

Arrived back in Birmingham Airport Christmas Eve to find our car covered in snow and ice - what a welcome back !!!

The old Ocean Village is just beginning to show her age but still a very enjoyable way to spend a couple of weeks. I gather she will be returning to the Med for a while then going to Australia. I was a bit surprised to read here on the forums that Ocean Village 2 is already down under, I assumed she would have stayed to replace the original Ocean Village.

Excellent food and superb restaurant/cabin service. The young Indian cabin steward we had was absolutely top class - nothing too much trouble. He was telling me they worked a 9 month contract then had 3 months off before returning to the ship.

I did make enquiries about sneaking a look around the Bridge but was told there had been a guided tour the previous day which unfortunately we'd not known about.

There was a 'Communication Centre' on board which presumably handled telephone calls, Internet access, television feeds etc. We made one call via their facilities - longish delay getting through, horrendous delay on the signals making a duplex call very difficult. Presumably calls were via sat but I thought this delay was a thing of the past and I had a fit when I found out how much it had cost !!! 'Net access was also extremely slow - and again very expensive but adequate to keep in touch.

I was also a bit surprised at the difficulty they appeared to have getting a decent signal from CNN and a couple of the others. The ship was bristling with antennas - I counted ~40, not including the large radomes or whatever they are called.

"Good afternoon Sir, Communicatuion Centre, how can I help!... :rolleyes:

Bring back the professionals - bring back the R/O !!! (Thumb)

Incidentally I've a few pictures to upload to the Gallery. I did upload a couple last night and all appeared to go well but they don't appear to have made the trip - when I searched for Ocean Village they are not there...

John

Pompeyfan
28th December 2009, 22:43
Good report John, was Ian Hutley captain?. He went to Ocean Village from Aurora, but hoped he would move again before she goes to Australia.

David

johnvvc
29th December 2009, 10:12
Hi David,

The Captain was Angelo Vago who according to one of their handouts sailed as First Officer on the Star Princess as Ocean Village was called then, back in 1989.

He used to come on the Tannoy ~5pm every day with a little 'report' - state of the weather, next port of call, eta, don't forget the sun cream etc !!! I never got the opportunity to meet him but he sounds a nice guy.

I'd never been on a cruise before and was slightly concerned about missing the ship - the wife loses all sense of time when she's shopping !!! I gather we did leave someone behind but apparently she'd met a young man ashore and it was love at first sight !!!

Ah well.

John

Pompeyfan
29th December 2009, 19:23
Hi David,

The Captain was Angelo Vago who according to one of their handouts sailed as First Officer on the Star Princess as Ocean Village was called then, back in 1989.

He used to come on the Tannoy ~5pm every day with a little 'report' - state of the weather, next port of call, eta, don't forget the sun cream etc !!! I never got the opportunity to meet him but he sounds a nice guy.

I'd never been on a cruise before and was slightly concerned about missing the ship - the wife loses all sense of time when she's shopping !!! I gather we did leave someone behind but apparently she'd met a young man ashore and it was love at first sight !!!

Ah well.

John

Ian must have been on leave then John. He certainly transferred to Ocean Village earlier this year as her main captain as he was on Aurora, but they usually stay for more than a year.

It is often best to go on an excursion if you are worried about missing the ship. If you take a day or afternoon excursion you will not miss the ship, doing any shopping in the mornings?!.

David

silverfox
4th January 2010, 23:19
HI ALL

Just a quick note re Ocean Village.

Carnival Corporation, the owners of the brand name 'Ocean Village', are 'doing away' with the brand name altogether. Both ships, Ocean Village and Ocean Village 2 are going to sail under 'P&O Australia' , which is also part of Carnival Corporation

Pompeyfan
7th January 2010, 17:47
HI ALL

Just a quick note re Ocean Village.

Carnival Corporation, the owners of the brand name 'Ocean Village', are 'doing away' with the brand name altogether. Both ships, Ocean Village and Ocean Village 2 are going to sail under 'P&O Australia' , which is also part of Carnival Corporation

Brand name or not, crew including masters are not keen at being based in Oz.

David

john g
11th January 2010, 13:52
Good to hear you enjoyed the OV John, we've been on her a cou[le of times and really liked the style, shame the concept is going but CC have the glass Butlin villages now (Ventura and Azura ) which they need to fill on a regular basis and of course offer a more up to date atmosphere (for the future punters) If you want the classic experience check the Oriana , just done the New Year cruise absolutley first class food,service and totaly British in every aspect. Aurora is similar I believe....

Pompeyfan
12th January 2010, 10:21
Glad you enjoyed Oriana John G. She is certainly the best, and Aurora exactly the same, although I prefer Oriana of the two mainly because she is a bit older, and seems to have more character which is hard to explain, but you may notice what I mean if you cruise aboard Aurora.

David

septiclecky
13th January 2010, 20:59
Brand name or not, crew including masters are not keen at being based in Oz.

David

Where did you get that info from as I was on the Oriana when she was permanently out there, no crew member I knew wheren't keen to be out there most took full or part local leave before coming home.

Pompeyfan
14th January 2010, 14:09
Where did you get that info from as I was on the Oriana when she was permanently out there, no crew member I knew wheren't keen to be out there most took full or part local leave before coming home.

I got the information first hand by working out there myself aboard Arcadia when based in Sydney when we took over from Himalaya. All the stewards moaned about it because they got next to no tips. And when I went out to Brisbane on the new Oriana two years ago, none of the Australians tipped, not the cabins stewards and 'wingers' I got to know anyway, so little has changed it seems. And Captain Hutley told us on Aurora in November 2008 that he was going to Ocean Village that he hoped to be moved again before she goes to Australia. He had a reason for saying that.

I personally liked it based in Sydney, one because I had friends and family there, and of course we visited my old home of Auckland, and I saw Sydney as my second often staying with family when we were in port for a few days.

However, like many other crew, I was not dependant on tips or expected any. Odd that you should mention Oriana. Well my friend worked aboard her the entire time she was based in Sydney. He was Assistant Accommodation Steward. I have just phoned him and he confirmed that stewards hated Australian cruising because of the tipping culture. In fact, when I went out to Brisbane on the new Oriana my friend joked asking if I would pose as an Australian or Kiwi so I did not have to tip!!.

If you were aboard the old Oriana I am surprised you ask such a question because it has been well known for many years that very few Australian and Kiwi passengers tipped. But of course if in a job like mine, deck department, engineering, trades, Pursers office etc etc you did not expect to be tipped, but a 'winger, BRS and PRS etc did. Therefore, if you were an Electrician or something you may not have known about the tipping culture etc because it would not have affected you.

Perhaps if there are any other SN members who were a 'winger', BRS or PRS you could tell us if you were tipped well when based in Sydney. One member was a Cinema Attendant on Arcadia, so I will ask him to reply to this thread if he is on line.

David

bobw
15th January 2010, 12:00
I believe P&O Cruises Australia are dropping the daily tipping surcharge though Princess Cruises will keep it on. Princess Cruises also add 10% on to the price of their drinks, which adds up if you are a boozer.
With P&O Cruises continually dumping their old clunkers on the Aussie cruise market and offering cheaper fares than Princess, they will continue to attract the bogans who would not tip to save their life. The same bogans who swallow the spiel that these are "new ships" to cruise from Oz. They had fireworks and a big ceremony in Sydney for the "launch" of Pacific Jewel!

john g
15th January 2010, 13:49
Fireworks for the Pacific Jewel sounds like good old CC marketing would be interested to know how OV2 has been changed for the OZ market.....possibly a beer bunker and more bar and barby fittings ?

septiclecky
15th January 2010, 23:42
I believe P&O Cruises Australia are dropping the daily tipping surcharge though Princess Cruises will keep it on. Princess Cruises also add 10% on to the price of their drinks, which adds up if you are a boozer.
With P&O Cruises continually dumping their old clunkers on the Aussie cruise market and offering cheaper fares than Princess, they will continue to attract the bogans who would not tip to save their life. The same bogans who swallow the spiel that these are "new ships" to cruise from Oz. They had fireworks and a big ceremony in Sydney for the "launch" of Pacific Jewel!

Unlike cruising elsewhere Aussie cruising was in the 80's mainly young people who did not bother what their accom was like as they where always on the p*** so if you wanted to get into their cabins to do any work you couldn't as they where asleep until the middle off the afternoon.

That was why P & O where continually dumping ships near to scrapping in OZ.

Pompeyfan
16th January 2010, 00:10
I remember a cruise to nowhere from Sydney aboard Canberra in 1972. The ship was full of Australian rugby teams and nearly wrecked the ship all getting drunk, throwing chairs overboard, wrecking the Cricketers Tavern, and much more.

P&O sent their older ships to be based in Sydney in those days, like we on Arcadia when we took over from Himalaya in October 1974. So little has changed it seems?!.

David

hereandthere
16th January 2010, 23:16
Good report John, was Ian Hutley captain?. He went to Ocean Village from Aurora, but hoped he would move again before she goes to Australia.

David

Hi David
Ian Hutley was on Ocean Village until early December.He's on leave now and joins Oriana in late Feb he said. He is a really great, personable guy, we did 2 OV cruises with him this year.

Pompeyfan
16th January 2010, 23:44
Hi David
Ian Hutley was on Ocean Village until early December.He's on leave now and joins Oriana in late Feb he said. He is a really great, personable guy, we did 2 OV cruises with him this year.

Thanks for that. Ian did not want to go to Australia with Ocean Village so will be delighted to Join Oriana. A bit odd because he was aboard Aurora for a year or two, the newer of the two. Hamish Reid was the captain of Oriana, but he is now on Oceana.

David

Dulcibella
30th January 2010, 23:35
Re the new Oriana, for me she is PURE P&O, or at least the P&O That I knew in the 50s and 60s! When I went aboard her in Southampton about 5 years ago her interior reminded me of the immediate post-war ships, with all the wooden panelling, in some ways quite Canberra-ish too, especially the Cricketer's Tavern.

Re cruising well my Wife and I have taken to cruising on MV Discovery, formerly P&O Cruises Island Princess. She is a nice size, not too many passengers and she has great itineraries. Two years ago we flew out to Manaus, 1000 miles up the Amazon River, and came back to Harwich via Parintins, Santarem, Devil's Island, Trinidad, Barbados, St. Vincent, Antigua, Horta and Ponta Del Garda.

Most of the group who boarded the ship in Manaus were former ex-sea staff, of all ranks and occupations, and shore staff of once famous shipping lines.... P&O, New Zealand Shipping Co, Union Steamship Co of NZ, Shaw Savill, Cunard, Ellerman & Bucknell etc., etc., a real Maritime Memories voyage. Last year we flew to Istanbul for a cruise through the Black Sea, Greek Islands, Mediteranean, Iberian Peninsular ports and again back to Harwich. The Captain, Derek Kemp, is a very popular man and easy to get on with.

I certainly prefer to sail aboard a ship of her size than these big slab-sided vessels that pass for cruise ships today.

Ian (Dulcibella)

Nairda59
26th February 2010, 13:40
Well sad to say Ive just spent a miserable 14 days in the Carribean on Ocean Village hospital ship !!!!
Alleged "norvo" virus !!!
The whole trip was something else. Every crew member summoned to keep shtumb and get to grips in the dining rooms, serving food in rubber gloves and aprons -- some holiday.
The Captain was Charlie Carr who didnt like any criticism of his tub or what was happening. Strange that he left the ship and handed over to the female staff captain in Barbados.
A ship that is tired and well past its sell-by date. A style of cruising that has gaping holes in it despite the huge effort put in by what are ,I suspect, poorly paid crew.

hereandthere
27th February 2010, 13:48
Well sad to say Ive just spent a miserable 14 days in the Carribean on Ocean Village hospital ship !!!!
Alleged "norvo" virus !!!
The whole trip was something else. Every crew member summoned to keep shtumb and get to grips in the dining rooms, serving food in rubber gloves and aprons -- some holiday.
The Captain was Charlie Carr who didnt like any criticism of his tub or what was happening. Strange that he left the ship and handed over to the female staff captain in Barbados.
A ship that is tired and well past its sell-by date. A style of cruising that has gaping holes in it despite the huge effort put in by what are ,I suspect, poorly paid crew.

What a ridiculous article. Whether you liked OV or not is irrelevent. Noro brought on board knowing or unknowingly by a passenger we will never know.It's highly contagious, it spreads. It happens - look at Fred Olsen, Cunard and now Oriana. Oriana have had it for weeks. It's the time of the year. And of course every ship has to take huge precautions to avoid the spread. Ocean Village is now clear which shows what a good job they did to avoid a total outbreak.Charlie Carr's roster had come to an end when you got off, that's why he left the ship.

Pompeyfan
27th February 2010, 22:12
Well sad to say Ive just spent a miserable 14 days in the Carribean on Ocean Village hospital ship !!!!
Alleged "norvo" virus !!!
The whole trip was something else. Every crew member summoned to keep shtumb and get to grips in the dining rooms, serving food in rubber gloves and aprons -- some holiday.
The Captain was Charlie Carr who didnt like any criticism of his tub or what was happening. Strange that he left the ship and handed over to the female staff captain in Barbados.
A ship that is tired and well past its sell-by date. A style of cruising that has gaping holes in it despite the huge effort put in by what are ,I suspect, poorly paid crew.

Sorry it spoiled your cruise, but sadly these outbreaks of viral gastroenteritis is not confined to modern day cruising. As I have said many times on this site, and also the sister site, The Cruising Forum, we had exactly the same type of outbreak during the 'line voyage' era aboard Canberra during the early 1970s, and then Arcadia when she was cruising full time again in the 70s. Each time we traced the source back to crew. Although very contagious, it is not spread like a cold or flu virus. If you touch something contaminated by a carrier, you would have to put your hand in your mouth. But if you wash your hands or use the gel before eating, the virus will be killed because (a) soap and water or hand gel will kill it, (b) the virus cannot live for long outside the body. It is not like bacteria. The most likely source of contamination if via food. If passenger to passenger the buffet is a likely source if infected passengers have not washed their hands or used the gel, and touches something you then eat. Basically good hygiene and avoiding using the same butter knife, cheese knife and even salt and pepper pots handled by others could spread the virus to fellow passengers. Always be very vigilant. But by and large, passenger to passenger is not as easy as one is led to believe despite it being contagious which is why we never saw one case during my time at sea when passengers were the initial source.

Also, it should be born on mind that some Fred Olsen ships mentioned by Hereandthere, one in particular had three passengers changes, but the bug was still aboard indicating that a crew member was a carrier as it was in my day. The virus would not have survived the third cruise if not in a host body.

I know Charlie Carr very well, and another SN member knows him even better. Charlie is a good captain, but these outbreaks cause a lot of problems for cruise companies, masters included putting great pressure on them. And to be fair, have been far better at infection control than many hospitals some who have only recently introduced hand gels, while cruise ships have had them for a few years.

My only criticism of cruise companies is that they always seem to blame the passenger, never crew as the source when I know for certain that during my era at least it was certainly crew because I worked in the medical department.

As for Oriana, a friend of mine is aboard her on her present cruise, so I will ask him about any outbreak on her when he come back.

Finally Nairda59, don't be put off by your unfortunate experience. It is sadly one of situations cruise ships have little control over despite doing all they can to control this bug. But I would urge cruise companies to check crew more like we did. It only needs one carrier in the galley to spread the bug like wildfire.

David

jimthehat
27th February 2010, 23:19
Always found it very difficult on P&o to get into food arears without rubbing gel on ones hands as there were always two crew members at each entrance with gel bottles,BUT on my last cruise on the arcadia the crew members had gone and there wer a couple of bottlesfixed to the bulkhead at each entrance.an i suspect that a lot of pass were then entering without using the gel,is this false econmy??

jim

Pompeyfan
28th February 2010, 00:20
Always found it very difficult on P&o to get into food arears without rubbing gel on ones hands as there were always two crew members at each entrance with gel bottles,BUT on my last cruise on the arcadia the crew members had gone and there wer a couple of bottlesfixed to the bulkhead at each entrance.an i suspect that a lot of pass were then entering without using the gel,is this false econmy??

jim

Yes, I think it is false economy Jim. Passengers being what they are do not always use the gel bottles fixed to the bulkheads. I noticed this on RCI a couple of years ago. Fred Olsen usually squirt a huge dollop like shaving foam when boarding the ship, and going into food areas.

David

fred henderson
28th February 2010, 20:16
David has more knowledge of the norovirus problem than me, but it is annoying that the media spend so much attention on cruise ships (where it is rare) and largely ignore hospitals (where it is extremely common). The UK Government’s Health Protection Agency (HPA) is responsible for combating infectious diseases and its website provides some interesting comments:

“Norovirus is the commonest cause of cases and outbreaks of gastrointestinal disease in the UK. The majority of outbreaks of norovirus reported to the HPA occur in healthcare-associated settings such as hospitals and residential care homes. A prospective study of gastrointestinal disease outbreaks in three NHS hospital trusts in the county of Avon in 2002/03 found that 63% of the outbreaks were confirmed due to norovirus. Resulting staff absence due to illness and bed-days lost due to ward closures was estimated to cost the NHS around 115 million in that year.”

In almost every country, including the UK and US, Norovirus is not a reportable disease. It was only last year that the HPA started a new surveillance scheme called Hospital Norovirus Outbreak Reporting. The scheme is voluntary and so far only 43 of the 168 NHS Hospital Trusts in England have taken part, nevertheless these 43 Trusts reported that from January to March 2009 they experienced 262 outbreaks. That is an average of an outbreak every fortnight in every Trust. A total of 82% of the outbreaks resulted in some form of ward closure, with 2,814 patients and 747 staff reported to have been affected as part of these outbreaks and over 4,000 bed-days were lost. On this evidence it is certainly possible to have passengers from three successive cruises infecting a ship.

MRSA and Clostridium Difficile are also gastrointestinal diseases caught by patients in UK hospitals and they are reportable diseases. There were 2,935 cases of MRSA and 36,095 cases of Clostridium Difficile in hospitals in England in 2009. Unlike Norovirus, these infections are often fatal. As with Norovirus however, the infection is believed to be initially brought into hospitals by patients and visitors. Unlike cruise ship passengers, the patients and visitors do not freely roam the hospital, so the infection is then largely spread by a lack of adequate hygienic care by the NHS staff.

World-wide there are about twice as many people going on a cruise each year, than are treated as in-patients in NHS Hospitals. People do not expect to catch an infection on holiday, or while in hospital, but it would seem that a cruise ship is far safer than a hospital and the cruise ship staff are far more effective in coping with the problem if an infection does break out.

Pompeyfan
28th February 2010, 22:13
David has more knowledge of the norovirus problem than me, but it is annoying that the media spend so much attention on cruise ships (where it is rare) and largely ignore hospitals (where it is extremely common). The UK Government’s Health Protection Agency (HPA) is responsible for combating infectious diseases and its website provides some interesting comments:

“Norovirus is the commonest cause of cases and outbreaks of gastrointestinal disease in the UK. The majority of outbreaks of norovirus reported to the HPA occur in healthcare-associated settings such as hospitals and residential care homes. A prospective study of gastrointestinal disease outbreaks in three NHS hospital trusts in the county of Avon in 2002/03 found that 63% of the outbreaks were confirmed due to norovirus. Resulting staff absence due to illness and bed-days lost due to ward closures was estimated to cost the NHS around 115 million in that year.”

In almost every country, including the UK and US, Norovirus is not a reportable disease. It was only last year that the HPA started a new surveillance scheme called Hospital Norovirus Outbreak Reporting. The scheme is voluntary and so far only 43 of the 168 NHS Hospital Trusts in England have taken part, nevertheless these 43 Trusts reported that from January to March 2009 they experienced 262 outbreaks. That is an average of an outbreak every fortnight in every Trust. A total of 82% of the outbreaks resulted in some form of ward closure, with 2,814 patients and 747 staff reported to have been affected as part of these outbreaks and over 4,000 bed-days were lost. On this evidence it is certainly possible to have passengers from three successive cruises infecting a ship.

MRSA and Clostridium Difficile are also gastrointestinal diseases caught by patients in UK hospitals and they are reportable diseases. There were 2,935 cases of MRSA and 36,095 cases of Clostridium Difficile in hospitals in England in 2009. Unlike Norovirus, these infections are often fatal. As with Norovirus however, the infection is believed to be initially brought into hospitals by patients and visitors. Unlike cruise ship passengers, the patients and visitors do not freely roam the hospital, so the infection is then largely spread by a lack of adequate hygienic care by the NHS staff.

World-wide there are about twice as many people going on a cruise each year, than are treated as in-patients in NHS Hospitals. People do not expect to catch an infection on holiday, or while in hospital, but it would seem that a cruise ship is far safer than a hospital and the cruise ship staff are far more effective in coping with the problem if an infection does break out.

I agree Fred, the media seem to target cruise ships. I would also look closely at all kitchens shore side for the source when outbreaks hit institutions such as hospitals rather than just patient to patient etc. As I have said so many times, if these things are so easy to catch, I would have been dead years ago having handled the most dangerous pathogens known to man. (EEK) So the whole thing should be put into perspective when dealing with such a common GI virus, and not take too much notice of the media.

MRS and C Diff are entirely different to any groups of Viral Gastroenteritis or Bacterial Gastroenteritis.

Both MRS and C Diff are both of bacteria nature and both linked to our success with antibiotics.

MRSA is short of Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. The latter is a very common bacteria found in skin infections such as boils, in the nose and so on. Methicillin was an antibiotic used years ago to treat patients with Staphylococcus Aureus infections but it became resistant to the Staph aureus. As time went on Staph aureus became resistant to other antibiotics. There are various sub groups of MRSA. Basically, we are a victim of our own success with antibiotics. MRS is a problem in hospitals basically because people are more prone to infection, open wounds etc, the patients immune system low. These wounds can become infected with MRSA. Healthy people can carry the orgasm with no problems, but hospital patient can suffer which is why cleaning and keeping them free of the infection is so important. If MRSA is passed onto a patient, a more serious infection can occur.

MRSA is not a gastrointestinal disease, however, it could lead to other serious problems once an open wound is infected etc.

C Diff, short for Clostridium Difficile as Fred rightly says is a problem with the intestines. Once again it has come about basically due to our success with antibiotics. You may hear the term Closridium Difficile Colitis or Antibiotic Associated Colitis. C diffile is a bacteria in the intestines. It is found in healthy people just like Staph aureus, and usually causes no problems. There are millions of bacteria in your system, some good some bad. They help break down and digest food. The good bacteria basically keeps the bad bacteria, C diff under control. In other words in smaller numbers. But when normal antibiotics are taken, the levels of good bacteria are reduced, basically killing off the good bacteria and leaving the bad, or rather an imbalance of bacteria meaning C diff takes over creating two main types of toxin.

That is a very brief and simple explanation of MRSA and C diff. The latter is treatable with I think with two antibiotics these days. Flagyl(Metronidazole) or Vancocin (Vancomycin) although I stand to be corrected on that.

David

CROIXLMTUSA
1st March 2010, 00:00
I havent logged on here for a while, but caught the OV thread.. so many great memories..

I was a Massage Therapist on OV2 from May to Nov 2008. I met sooo many great people on board. Interestingly enough, the reason OV is still up here, was that she had had a major renovation not too long ago, and so OV2 could be renovated and put into service down there with her sister Pacific Dawn (nee Regal Princess) and kill two birds with one stone, cause she was in need as well.

We did have the superior spa on OV2. Her stint as the Arosa Blu and then Aidablu, saw a beautiful spa area put in where the original casino/dome was. If you check out P & O Australia's website, the Pacific Jewel never looked better..

As for the crew not being as happy.. it all relates to $ & cents.. or etc..I think the rate of pay is lower down under. But I know I would go back on her in a minute.. loved that spa. Unfortunately jobs are hard to come by lately and any $$ is better than nothing..

The captain you mention, Angelo Vago, is a GREAT GUY... he was our captain for most of the contract. He was mellow and easy going, except when it came to safety drills and stuff.. We had to be on our toes. I actually got invited up to the bridge because he would always see me on deck below watching us sail into each port... (same ones every other week).. but it was glorious..

I will try to post some pics from my stint on OV2... So glad I signed on here.. i needed this trip down memory lane.

Cheers

Croix (the man with the golden hands)

johnvvc
3rd March 2010, 20:47
nairda59 - sorry to hear you had such a miserable time on OV.

My wife and myself were particularly impressed with how regimented the crew members were with the disinfectant gel whenever anyone went into the restaurants. You were also expected to use it at the bottom of the gangway before coming back aboard in certain ports so they seemed to be very aware of possible problems.

As other have mentioned it is unfortunately a fact of life that these outbreaks can and do occur - just unfortunate you were involved. I hope it hasn't put you off cruising. Our cruise with OV was our first but hopefully won't be our last, just sad to hear she's going.

I do agree that OV is beginning to show her age though - and I did mention this in my original posting. The first night we were on board I noticed that some of the Old Ladys carpets looked a bit past their prime - but I've seen worse - especially on an old collier I sailed on a long time ago !!!

Maybe if I'd seen the mileage she has I'd be looking a bit rough too...

Take care.

Nairda59
4th March 2010, 08:43
Well what an interesting bunch or replies.
Hereandthere especially !!
If i was being paid to be on the ship I may just possibly agree with some of the remarks, but as I had saved long and hard for the trip and was a fare paying passenger then Im afraid HereandThere is wide of the mark.
I didnt need Charlies smart remarks implying that i should be grateful the crew were still looking after me.
A little more frankness and being up front with the passengers would have been good.
There is every indication that the illness, whatever it was, was brought onboard from one aircraft. But its still not a nice way to spend a holiday. After many years at sea it wont "put me off" anything.

skilly57
7th March 2010, 05:59
Hi Nairda59
Your experiencing an outbreak of norovirus on the OV was unfortunate. My wife and I were on board for 14 days during January (2010) and all I can say is that staff were nearly always on hand with the little gel squirters in the Bistro, Plantation, Waterfront, La Luna, the gangways etc whenever we were present. And if, for some reason, a staff member was was not present, then the little electronic or manual gel applicators were always available at all entrances - TO THOSE WHO THOUGHT TO USE THEM. The problem is the people to whom hygiene is not a priority, and they then introduce the virus totally without realising it, but often blame others for the result.

The passengers we spoke to during the cruise were all VERY complimentary of the ship and the crew (with most having arrived a day late after having been frozen solid at some place called Gatwick!). The only people who went down with anything during our cruise were the ones who returned aboard with self-inflicted alcohol poisoning and were very delicately removed to their abode by the ship's security staff.

And I'm very pleased to hear that Staff Captain S---- has taken over the reins (if that is correct). She deserves it.

Incidently, the ship goes back the Med about May, then down to Singapore for a refit before becoming the 'Pacific Pearl' on December 19th in Auckland, NZ. So, she will still be available for those who want to repeat their enjoyable cruising experience but in a different part of the world, book your tickets now.

Cheers
Skilly

Nairda59
11th March 2010, 16:26
Im pleased for her too Skilly, and yes she is an excellant follow on.
My criticism such as it is, is that we were uninformed and the tone of the announcements were such as those given to a bunch of naughty schoolchildren. I was a fare paying passenger, remembering my days at sea, the crew are there for the passengers benefit, not the other way round.
You had to use the gel, you couldnt get in the dining rooms without using it, but, remember that a virus cant be treated with gel.
Im amazed at how many of my fellow ex seamen seem to have jumped into a position without considering all the facts.

Pompeyfan
11th March 2010, 22:53
Im pleased for her too Skilly, and yes she is an excellant follow on.
My criticism such as it is, is that we were uninformed and the tone of the announcements were such as those given to a bunch of naughty schoolchildren. I was a fare paying passenger, remembering my days at sea, the crew are there for the passengers benefit, not the other way round.
You had to use the gel, you couldnt get in the dining rooms without using it, but, remember that a virus cant be treated with gel.
Im amazed at how many of my fellow ex seamen seem to have jumped into a position without considering all the facts.

It depends on the gel. Soap and water will destroy the outer coating that protects the virus. But I understand alcohol based gels alone may not destroy it.

David