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February 2020    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 35, No. 2   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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When Your Cabin Mate Gets Sick

can you count on the crew to help you avoid contagion?

from the February, 2020 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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One sick person on a liveaboard can turn a trip into a disaster. You see, liveaboards are tight environments where divers and crew can easily and inadvertently share pathogens. Some readers have told us of their problems, so we asked all our readers if they have had to share a cabin or a boat with an unwell person, possibly with a communicable disease? And we heard stories.

If you're traveling solo and assigned to a cabin with someone who is obviously sick, one would think the captain or cruise director would find a solution. But, no such luck for subscriber Maureen Howard (a pseudonym; the subscriber prefers to stay anonymous), who, after taking about 40 liveaboard trips, signed up for a pricey nine-day trip aboard MY. Arenui in Indonesia. Traveling alone, she was assigned a cabin with a woman diver who was a long-time repeat customer of the boat. The first night, Maureen found her projectile vomiting.

"When I took the cruise director aside and asked that the common areas of our room be wiped down because of this, he said, "he'd seen this before and it was jetlag. The next day my cabinmate seemed to have a fever, and I asked her to let me know if she felt she was getting to be contagious. She said it was too late for that. I walked out of our cabin empty handed and didn't go back in for three days. When I finally went in, I held my breath while I retrieved my things."

Maureen wanted to find change cabins and get another bed (the brochure promised a maximum of 16 passengers), the boat carried 19 -- an extra passenger and an additional couple training to be cruise directors....

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