Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis: Timing is everything -- Our visit to Seward on the day the cruise ship folks were there...getting sick

Monday, June 23, 2008

Timing is everything -- Our visit to Seward on the day the cruise ship folks were there...getting sick

(The Holland America cruise ship, the Veendam, in Seward on June 22nd.)

After set-netting in Soldotna, the weary troop of travelers (my husband, my daughter, her two cousins and me) drove to Seward so that Josh could fix a network problem for one of his tourism clients. On the way, we stopped (briefly) in Moose Pass to witness their "Solstice Festival".

I guess it had been pouring in Moose Pass until around noon that day and you could tell by the puddles on the ground. You could also tell that these folks were used to serious festival weather because all of their booths had solid plastic sides--well prepared for the sideways rain common in Alaska sea towns.

OK...the real reason we stopped is that the kids had to use the bathroom, but it was a good excuse for me to snap pictures of the tiny but mighty festival. It was also a good excuse for Josh to crawl into the passenger seat and fall asleep while I was walking around so that I had to drive when I got back.

We arrived in Seward and thought it would take 20 minutes to an hour fo fix. After almost 4 hours they couldn't get it to work so they gave up.

So, that gave us four hours to kill in Seward.

We walked around the harbor a great deal and looked at (drooled over) the boats.

Not too long after we got there, the folks from the Holland America ship Veendam were bussed in as well to spend their time in Seward. They fanned out to sign up at the various sight-seeing companies and/or fishing charters or headed to one of the many small eating establishments. I snapped some shots of them with my next "evil cruise ship" post in mind for the blog.

I had no idea I'd be using them this soon.

Per the Anchorage Daily News:
A suspected norovirus outbreak on a Holland America cruise ship left 112 passengers ill in Seward, according to the state Division of Public Health.The outbreak affected about 8 1/2 percent of the 1,313 passengers on board, with another 12 of the 556 crew members reporting the illness, said epidemiologist Beth Funk.

Can I briefly mention the irony of an epidemiologist named "Funk?"
The rumors of an outbreak followed the Veendam from port-to-port and prompted media inquiries through the week, but it wasn't until Monday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention got the report, which is required to be filed when more than 3 percent of the passengers become ill, she said.

Passengers initially began getting sick in Haines, when about 20 people reported the illness, she said. The vessel also ported in Juneau and Sitka before moving on the Seward.

Funk said she didn't think the virus had yet been tested to confirm it was norovirus, but she suspected it was based upon the symptoms.

Norovirus is a gastrointestinal ailment that usually causes vomiting and diarrhea, and lasts between 24 and 48 hours. It's highly contagious, making a closed environment like a cruise ship a prime setting for an outbreak.

My husband woke up not feeling well today and flopped into bed when he got home from work. He was the one in the tourism office at the same time all of the cruise ship folks were there. Oh please, please, please don't let him have this virus.


Blogger Ishmael said...

She has a funky name, but Beth is great! I've spoken to her many times in the past 10 or so years and she is really good at her job. And pretty good looking, as I recall....

6/23/2008 10:41 PM  
Blogger CelticDiva said...

I'm sure she's very cool...I just wanted to note the irony :P

It's funny that you mentioned the "good looking" part at the end! **snicker**

6/24/2008 1:27 AM  
Blogger Philip Munger said...

how many regulations did the ship's skipper break by not reporting the outbreak when the cases were first noticed in Haines?

6/24/2008 8:36 AM  

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