According to reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a fifth of the 919 passengers aboard the Balmoral cruise ship have become ill with nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea since it left Southampton last month on its way to New England.
Such outbreaks are fairly common on cruise ships, due to the volume of people contained in close quarters. Sufferers will be confined to their cabins for 48 hours in an attempt to contain the illness, and cleaning and disinfectant protocols stepped up across the ship. So what should people do to seek recompense for their illness and loss of enjoyment?
Beth Powell, spokesperson for National Accident Helpline, said:
In cases where the illness has been relatively minor and recovery is swift, we'd suggest that holidaymakers' best course of action is to talk to their cruise or tour operator to see what can be resolved.
Most cases of norovirus clear up in a day or two, and legal action feels a little heavy handed when tour companies will have clear internal policies on how to recompense passengers who have become ill while in their care, ranging from vouchers towards another cruise or a full or partial refund.
However, in a minority of cases, norovirus can have a long-term impact, leading to ongoing health conditions, financial problems and other family and lifestyle implications. In these cases we'd recommend that people seek appropriate legal advice on their situation.
Consumers who wish to seek impartial advice can contact National Accident Helpline on or visit our page about accidents abroad.