The passengers of a cruise around the Canary Islands have seen their luxury voyage cut short. A broken propeller had resulted in an early return to dock, before an outbreak of norovirus occurred on board.
Passengers on board the Oriana cruise ship suffered the illness after being given the chance to continue to use the facilities of the ship after its early docking. On its initial return to port due to the broken propeller, a P&O Cruises director said: “Our decision to bring the ship back has not been taken lightly and I am sorry that our customers’ holiday plans have been impacted.”
P&O stated that passengers “will be able to remain on board and enjoy the dining and entertainment offering on Oriana while in Southampton until March 1, 2014, as planned”.
However, of those who remained on board, many disappointed passengers fell ill suffering from norovirus. Instead of soaking up the Canary Island sun, around 57 people were suffering from sickness, severe stomach cramps, and diarrhoea, as UK temperatures plunged.
This is the second such outbreak to occur on the Oriana- in December 2012 hundreds of passengers fell ill, resulting in many being quarantined.
It has been reported that those remaining on board started to become aware of a possible outbreak as passengers were isolated and vigorous sanitation processes began.
One British passenger said: “This holiday has completely fallen apart. When we found out about the norovirus we said enough is enough.
“We’d only been going for a few days when they told us they would not be stopping at La Palma. It was surprising to me that they continued to sail further from home. From the original itinerary that we booked, we missed five ports.”
As a result of the early return to dock, P&O Cruises have already offered passengers 100 percent of the cost of the cruise for use on a future Oriana cruse, or a 40 percent cash refund.
After the norovirus outbreak, a further statement from P&O Cruises read: “Enhanced sanitation protocols have been implemented to help minimise transmission to other passengers. The safety and comfort of passengers and crew is always our number one priority.”
Tracy Stansfield, an experienced holiday claims solicitor who holds an in-depth knowledge in handling claims for compensation as a result of illness and accidents on cruise ships said: “Passengers who have travelled on the Oriana cruise ship have experienced a multitude of issues during their voyage.
“We would advise those who have been offered credit towards another cruise as compensation by P&O Cruises to seek legal advice before accepting- especially those who have suffered from the norovirus outbreak.”
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