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Ventura Cruise – Top Tips To Stay Safe As Passengers Struck Down with Illness

It's concerning to read over the weekend that large numbers of passengers on board the MV Ventura have experienced debilitating gastrointestinal illness. The popular Ventura, operated by P&O Cruises, confirmed yesterday, Sunday 19th May, that the liner had implemented "enhanced" sanitation protocols following an outbreak.

Through my work, I see the impact of gastric illness and the debilitating effects of pathogens such as legionella, norovirus and E.coli should never be downplayed. 

Some individuals have gone on to develop lifelong complications such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or chronic fatigue syndrome.

The International Serious Injury team at Irwin Mitchell are renowned for successfully representing large groups of passengers pursuing claims against cruise operators due to illnesses they have suffered when travelling on well-known cruise liners such as the MV Island Escape, MV Marella Explorer 2 and the MV Thomson Dream. 

We've vast experience representing holidaymakers and have successfully concluded claims for others who have fallen ill on the MV Ventura in recent years.

Ventura passengers have reported to the BBC that illness had been prevalent on board the vessel for a number of weeks, with some reporting that despite taking sanitary precautions they have still experienced symptoms of gastric illness.

Passengers told Metro there have been 250 suspected cases of the vomiting bug in the last four days.

Below are some of my ‘top tips’ to help cruise goers prevent infection and to help where illness has been contracted on board a cruise vessel:

  • Washing Your Hands – thoroughly washing hands and more often than normal can help kill any germs before they can infect you. It is also advisable to frequently use hand sanitiser, especially in areas that are busier where there is no easy access to hand washing facilities. 
  • Drinking Fluids – if you do fall ill it is important to ensure that you keep hydrated. If you are struggling to keep down water, try taking re-hydration sachets. 
  • Eating Safe Food – viruses are relatively resistant to heat and can survive temperatures as high as 145°F. Where it appears that staff members who handle food might be infected raise your concerns and avoid any food that might have been handled by them. 
  • Clean and Disinfect Surfaces – it is often the case that when someone is ill, accidents can happen. In which case always clean thoroughly and disinfect the entire area as soon as possible while taking proper precautions. 
  • Reporting – where you experience symptoms it is important to immediately report them to the medical centre. Ensure that any report is documented in writing. 
  • Stool Test – sometimes the illness might not be norovirus and might be of another origin. It is important that a stool test is carried out to determine the cause. 

When you get home…

  • Send a formal Letter of Complaint – Even where you have reported the illness while on the cruise it is advisable to send a detailed letter to your cruise operator.
  • Seek Medical Advice – Once you are home it is important to seek advice from your GP, especially if you are still experiencing symptoms. Your GP will be able to arrange for a stool test and provide advice or medication to assist you with managing your symptoms.
  • Evidence Out of Pocket Losses – If you incur out of pocket expenses as a result of your illness it is important to retain your receipts. These losses could range from probiotics to over-the-counter medication. 
  • Legal Advice – If you’re unhappy with how your complaint has been handled by your cruise operator, you could consider seeking legal advice. 


Find out more about our expertise in supporting those with norovirus and holiday illness cases