Cruises pose a great opportunity to see different destinations in one trip, as well as creating an opportunity to meet new people with planned excursions and on board entertainment. Yet in 2015, for the sixth consecutive year, cruise ship holidays topped our annual list for the most complained about holidays.
With many passengers largely in a confined space, an outbreak of illness can spread quickly if cruise operators do not take hygiene procedures seriously.
Serious gastric illnesses can be caused by bacteria in undercooked food and through poor hygiene, and can result in symptoms including, diarrhoea, sickness, fever and lethargy. These conditions can often result in long-term serious gastric problems leading to a lifetime of suffering for those affected.
Suffering illness on board a cruise ship can result in passengers falling seriously ill and weak. Our expert international personal injury lawyers provide the following advice for those embarking on a cruise ship voyage, including how to react if you are unfortunate enough to suffer from an illness whilst on board:
• Wash your hands thoroughly with hot soapy water at any opportune moment – more often than you usually would back at home. This should include after using the bathroom, before and after eating, and on arrival back from a port of call
• When dining in a communal eating area, ask the staff running the restaurant how long the food has been left out for
• It is vital to stay hydrated with safe drinking water. Remember that alcohol dehydrates your body
• Ensure that all raw food such as salads and fruit is washed thoroughly with safe water
• If eating at a buffet, look out for what guests are using to serve their food, whether or not the cutlery is clean and if it is contaminated with other dishes, and if you have any allergies, always ask if there is no clear labelling
• If you do get sick, report your illness to the medical centre on board the ship by telephone to avoid the spread of the illness
• Flush any faeces or vomit in the toilet with the lid closed and ask for your toilet to be disinfected by the cleaning staff on board
• Use cabin service where possible and avoid eating from public dining areas for at least 48 hours after symptoms have ceased. If required, do listen to your cruise operators if they instruct you to stay in your cabin until your symptoms have passed
• Ask for extra towels from the cleaning staff and do not share them with others
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