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Sailing to Sickness Record

Getting ill whilst on holiday is one of those clichés that every traveller is keen to avoid. By taking a few precautions such as only drinking bottled water and being careful about what you eat, you can usually steer clear of any illnesses, but on a cruise ship it can be considerably more difficult to keep your personal health at its peak. Whilst a luxury cruise can be a relaxing and enjoyable experience, sea sickness is not the only health issue that passengers need to be concerned with.


There will always be issues with hygiene when there are thousands of people living and eating in a restricted space as diseases can spread quickly. There have already been several incidents this year of outbreaks on-board cruise liners where a considerable amount of passengers have fallen ill and not been able to enjoy their holiday.
According to data, published by Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), epidemics of gastrointestinal illness have broken out on eight cruise ships so far in 2014, with the norovirus thought to be the main cause in five of these cases. This is quite worrying considering that 2013 only saw nine outbreaks throughout the whole of the year. The norovirus can be a particular problem aboard cruise liners as it is readily contagious, causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea and it is thought to be behind a number of infections on a number of ships in the first few months of the year.
In April alone, three outbreaks of illness were reported on two separate cruise liners, with each incident affecting more than 100 passengers on-board. Passengers were confined to their room with most of them suffering with diarrhoea and vomiting. The disease which caused the outbreak has yet to be identified, but the cruise operators believe that it could be linked with the norovirus.
February 2014 saw the largest outbreak on-board any cruise ship in 20 years. More than 600 passengers aboard Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas fell ill, forcing the cruise operator to cut the voyage two days short.
Whereas 11 passengers on The Crown Princess had to pay $300 each to disembark the boat in San Diego to avoid catching the gastrointestinal bug which had affected more than 100 passengers and crew on board.
Although you can take measures to avoid falling ill, there is no way of guaranteeing your health for the duration of a holiday break. With all these horror stories it can be tempting to completely steer clear of cruises out of fear that you could fall ill, but the truth is it is a great holiday and you’re unlikely to catch anything. Taking out travel insurance that covers you against falling ill whilst onboard a cruise ship is the best way to have that peace of mind that you have nothing to lose. Travel insurance can’t make you better again, but it can cover you should the worst happen.

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