Woman Falls Ill On Birthday Cruise On Marco Polo
A woman who took a birthday cruise on the Marco Polo just days before hundreds of passengers on board fell ill says she too was struck down by the same symptoms.
Vivien Sadler, from Nottinghamshire, fell ill towards the end of her cruise on the ill-fated liner, just days before news broke that 150 people on board the next trip were reportedly suffering from similar symptoms. Six passengers have been taken to hospital and the cruise has been terminated in the Cromarty Firth.
Mrs Sadler booked the two-week cruise around the UK and Iceland with her husband to celebrate her birthday, sailing on June 22nd, and has now instructed travel law experts at leading national firm Irwin Mitchell after getting off the liner on July 4th.
She said: "When we arrived there were pamphlets in the cabins showing us how to avoid catching Norovirus, so we were extra careful to follow the instructions to the letter. Neither of us wanted to get ill but, despite our best efforts, I began suffering from symptoms such as vomiting and stomach cramps."
And she expressed concern at the subsequent outbreak, saying: "I am extremely upset as it appears they continued to allow elderly people to board the ship despite knowing how vulnerable they are to illnesses such as Norovirus."
Clive Garner from Irwin Mitchell, who is now representing Mrs Sadler, has acted for thousands of passengers struck down by serious illnesses on cruises.
He said: "It's very worrying indeed that Mrs Sadler suffered these symptoms on the cruise before hundreds of other people fell ill. Their experience does seem to support reports of an earlier outbreak on board the ship and if that is the case it is a matter of serious concern.
"Holidaymakers, who had all paid good money for their trip, should have been warned about the outbreak before they boarded.
"This warning should have included the steps being taken to manage the outbreak, and the risk of infection. In this way, new passengers should have been allowed to make an informed decision about whether they wished to cancel or go ahead with their cruise."
Mr Garner added: "This must have been an extremely unpleasant and upsetting experience for Mrs Sadler who simply wanted to mark a special occasion aboard the Marco Polo.
"Protocols to deal with the management of Norovirus on board cruise ships have been in place for many years and demand strict adherence to enhanced hygiene standards, including quarantining those with illness symptoms, increasing cleaning and disinfection measures on board, warning all passengers to take special care with hygiene and a range of other measures to reduce the risk of infection.
"From the reports of Mrs Sadler and other passengers on board the Marco Polo, it appears that there has been a failure to implement the measures required. In all the circumstances we expect Transocean Tours, the cruise operator, to admit liability and enter early and constructive negotiations with us to resolve claims for all of our clients."