Why haven’t I posted more often? My initial reticence in blogging rather than sending a newsletter was that I didn’t want to turn into one of those annoying people who immediately share with the Universe every thought that pops into their head. I DID, however, want to rise to the challenge of ‘showing up’ at the page every day and not be concerned with the minutia of the layout and editing of a newsletter. Well I haven’t shown up for awhile, but I’m happy to be back with loads to share.
When last we spoke I had just been released from a 48-hour quarantine and the ship was in the throws of an NLV breakout, the dreaded Code Red. We stayed in Code Red for almost 4 weeks straight, adhering to all the extra precautionary measures this protocol mandates. It is SO much extra work for the housekeeping and culinary staff. Not to mention the fact that even the Entertainment Department has to clean and disinfect their workspace every 24 hours. “Workspace” defined as the Show Lounge and backstage area, the library and internet café, the children and teens facility and the bandstands in all of the lounges. Here we gathered to wash down walls and surfaces with buckets of soapy anti-viral solution, disinfecting computer keyboards, mice, pens and pencils, etc. This, in combination with absolutely no self-service in any of the dining areas on the ship and we finally kicked this bug in the ass! When no new cases were reported in 48-hours, Code Red was lifted.
In light of the world wide prevalence of this virus on cruise ships the company has mandated that every ship in our fleet must adhere to Code Red protocols for the first three days of every new cruise. That way if a newly embarking guest unwittingly brings the bug onboard the likelihood of contaminating others is greatly reduced.
My friends and family, as well as several passengers have expressed great concern about safety in our travels, sighting tsunamis, pirates and drug violence. My colleagues and I are much more concerned about cooties spread through inadequate hand sanitizing.
In truth, NLV is a much more imminent threat, which is not to say I take my safety for granted. Ciudad de Juarez is having very serious problems right now, with CNN adding to the hysteria by touting this city just south of the Texas border as “The Murder Capital of the World.” Apparently there were over 2500 drug related deaths in Mexico last year. In the wake of this statistic urban legends are spreading faster than the stomach bug: “Why are we still going to Acapulco? Didn’t you hear that last week alone 25 Americans were shot in taxicabs?”
It’s like saying if there’s violence in Detroit it must not be safe to visit Minneapolis. People have missed out on perhaps a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites because they are too frightened to go ashore.
I have to admit that Central America is not a place I ever longed to see, but oh…Antigua Guatemala is perhaps the most touchingly beautiful city I have ever visited. Cartegena Colombia is spectacular as well. I will be back soon with new photos of recent expeditions.