Goatview Farm - The Saint Report


November 20
Hey! It could have been worse!
550 Stricken on Carnival Cruise (Nov. 20, 2006)

Virus-hit cruise ship ends voyage

A transatlantic cruise ship hit by a highly infectious vomiting virus which struck down some 700 people has ended its 16-day voyage at a Florida port.

More than 550 guests and 150 crew were affect by the diarrhoea and sickness bug, the cruise line told ABC news.

Some travellers were helped off the Carnival Liberty in wheelchairs, while others described spending days vomiting during the trip.

"I just threw up black and I thought I had the plague," said one passenger.

Fourteen guests and five crew were still ill and were being looked after in isolation when the ship arrived, said the liner's owner, Carnival Cruise Lines, in a statement.

The company said preliminary tests had identified the cause of the outbreak as the norovirus, which causes severe gastrointestinal illness.

'Six days'

Carnival officials said the illness had struck several guests just before they boarded the liner - which can hold some 2,800 people - on 3 November in Rome.Passengers described being given injections and anti-diarrhoea medication in the ship's infirmary, and sent bottled water, soft drinks and rice while quarantined in their rooms.

"Basically, I got sick... and was out for six days," passenger Brian Swanson told the Associated Press news agency. "I just want to go home."

The experience on the holiday ship deteriorated even further as several crew members caught the bug.

"Our cabin steward was struck, and we didn't have anybody to clean our cabin for five days," said Pamela Stupnik of Pueblo, Colorado, who said she and her husband had suffered from the illness for two days.

Most cruise activities and excursions had continued as scheduled, however, passengers said.

The ship had been due to depart on a six-day Caribbean cruise on Sunday, but Carnival said it had been delayed to allow crews to disinfect it fully.

Onboard the Carnival Poseidon (Nov. 20, 2005)
Part II

It is 7:15 a.m. on Day Four and we are pulling into Jamaica. I was so excited to finally be in a port that I got up an hour ago and went for breakfast. I don't want you to get the wrong idea about how I am eating on this trip--that lone piece of bacon was originally accompanied by six others.

Yup. It is raining. By Northwest standards, it's not much of a rain. It is warm rain falling into a warm sea, so if they don't cancel the scheduled catamaran snorkel trip, I'm going anyway. After all, I used to go sailing in very cold rain that was falling into Puget Sound and thought I was having fun. And maybe the rain will end--the trip isn't until 11 a.m. I'll go to shore as soon as it is possible.

For the first time in my life, I am traveling too light. Well, not exactly the first time. In the very olden days there were trips that lasted three days and all I had was a purse, my dog Skippy, and the clothes on my back, but that was a long time ago and involved substances. Doesn't count. What I am mostly missing is a tote bag, which is pretty ironic since I have a lot of them, my sister makes them, and I made a conscious decision not to bring one along. I refuse to buy one either on the boat or when I get into Montego Bay.

Saints celebrating feast days today include Saint Felix of Valois, Saint Dasius, Saint Nerses of Sahgerd and Companions, Saint Maxentia, Saint Edmund the Martyr, and Saint Bernward.

Celebrating birthdays today: Estelle Parsons (1921), Ricardo Montalban (1920), Bo Derek (1956).

This refusal to spend any more money than is absolutely necessary on this trip is motivated less by frugality and common sense than by rebellion. I didn't realize that the reason cruising is cheap on the surface is that a cruise essentially provides marketers with a captive audience for seven days. It is like being invited to a time share with the promise of a free cheap set of carving knives and a $5 sleeping bag only more upscale and you don't have to sit there for the pitch. Even the television primarily has channels that are pushing something that you don't need at a price you can beat when you get home. They have made it into another competition with me; there's no trophy for this one.

Noon. The catamaran snorkel trip was cancelled due to the wind and rain. That was probably a good thing because Jamaica sucks. The only way I would ever return to this hell hole is if I were in the Peace Corps. I am actually delighted to be back on the ship, wet, tired, thirsty, hungry, and short about $15 worth (?) of cab and bus fare after a short foray into "town." Of course it wasn't really town because town would be too dangerous. This was some fenced off shopping area with crappy souvenirs.

Jamaica is third world and I felt bad to have so much more than they had and pissed when they wanted to equal it out even a little bit more than had been originally agreed upon. I don't like feeling guilty and I don't like feeling screwed. Diane has lived in third world countries before so she has overcome all that stuff, but I have not.

I was able to talk online with Theo today. She went through Wilma in Key Largo and is now back in Melbourne, Florida. She told me that the reason it is raining here is because we are on the edge of yet another tropical storm that is forming fast. Figures. There aren't any contests today, either.

On to November 21
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Marilyn Jones 2000-2007