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Cruising holidays are not always plain sailing

Over the last decade or so, cruising has become increasingly popular. Once the preserve of the wealthy, cruising is now enjoyed by travellers from all income brackets. Crusing was, in the past, often regarded as a holiday favoured by retired people, but, once again, this is no longer the case. Many families enjoy cruising and some of the cruise lines specifically cater for this market with their ice skating rinks, climbing walls and Kids' Clubs. Parents can relax, safe in the knowledge that their children are in expert hands, leaving them free to explore ashore or just relax on board.

However, whilst cruise ships generally provide high quality catering forthe thousands of passengers, there are times when problems arise. If the way food is prepared or stored does not meet the required standard, this can lead to outbreaks of food poisoning, stomach bugs and viruses. The average capacity of a cruise ship is 3,000 passengers and around 1,800 staff. With so many people in a confined area, contagious diseases can quickly pass from person to person. Where a serious illness cannot be contained, cruise lines may halt the cruise and order a thorough deep clean sanitation to take place.

Viruses can either be brought on board by passengers or picked up through contact. Outbreaks of Norovirus are often linked to cruise ships. Norovirus can cause inflammation of the stomach and large intestines. The disease can be passed via contaminated food and water but is more usually spread on a cruise ship through physical contact with people or with surfaces or items they may have touched. The most common way for the outbreak to spread is due to poor hygiene practices.

If you do have the misfortune to suffer from food poisoning or Norovirus, or indeed, any illness or accident on board ship which was not your fault, you may be able to pursue a cruise compensation claim. You may also be able to make a claim for a 'spoilt' holiday.

We are expert travel lawyers, we have a wealth of experience in handling cruise injury claims and can give you the specialist advice that you need. Call 01302 320621 or email


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