Passengers aboard the Explorer of the Seas Cruise Ship have been exposed to one of the largest outbreaks of norovirus on a cruise ship in 20 years.
Almost 700 passengers suffered from symptoms including vomiting and diarrhoea, forcing the 10-day Caribbean cruise to be cut short after hundreds of sick holidaymakers were confined to their cabins.
A holidaymaker from London who was on board the cruise ship with her husband has commented on the conditions she experienced stating, “My husband had to put me in a wheelchair to take me to the infirmary.
“The door opened on the lift and there were just hundreds of people being sick everywhere, they were throwing up in buckets and bags- I started crying, I couldn’t believe it. I was in shock.
“I’ve never wanted to go home so much in my life. I’ve never slept so much in my life and I’ve got no sun tan.
“The seas were so rough, they shut the doors for 2 days. We had no air. There was no air, no circulation…and that’s why, I think, we got ill”.
It has been reported that staff on board the cruise ship attempted to contain the spreading of the virus by quarantining affected passengers to their cabins, with many affected passengers having their food delivered via room service. The ships buffets were also covered, with no passengers allowed to touch the food and crew members wore gloves and masks when handling food in an effort to avoid further infection.
Royal Caribbean, the owner of Explorer of the Seas, stated that special cleaning products and disinfectants will be used to clean the ship in order to kill the norovirus before its next voyage.
Norovirus is not uncommon on cruise ships, as the disease can spread remarkably quickly where many people are contained within enclosed spaces, for example schools, nursing homes and hospitals.
Despite being incredibly infectious, the symptoms of the virus are usually experienced for only a few days and in this case, it was confirmed only seven people were still suffering from the illness as the cruise ship returned to port and that no passengers required hospitalisation.
Royal Caribbean has stated that they will offer all guests a 50 percent refund on their cruise fares and 50 percent credit towards a future cruise. All airline fees and hotel fees for passengers who were forced to change their travel arrangements will also be reimbursed.
Tracy Stansfield, an experienced holiday claims solicitor at Your Holiday Claims said of the case, “Reading the reports on this case it appears that it has been very difficult to pinpoint the origin of the virus spreading on the cruise ship.
“Outbreaks on cruise ships can spread incredibly quickly, so it is of upmost importance that food hygiene standards are of the highest quality”.
Contact Your Holiday Claims to find out how much compensation you may be entitled to
At Your Holiday Claims we have recovered millions of pounds in compensation for clients who have suffered from illness or accidents whilst holidaying abroad and our holiday claims experts hold a combined 50 years’ experience within travel law. Find out more about your potential holiday illness claim.
If you have suffered illness whist holidaying on board a cruise ship, you can contact Your Holiday Claims for advice on whether you could make a claim by calling 0330 100 2851 or by completing the online contact form for a prompt response.