Imagine planning a family vacation on a cruise ship, the only time of year that the entire family is able to get together to eat, have fun and play in the sun. And what a perfect way to spend the time, than on a brand new cruise ship.
Until one person gets the norovirus, commonly known as the “winter vomiting bug,” which causes diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain to those affected. Once one person is affected with the norovirus, it is extremely quick to spread, especially on a cruise ship filled with thousands of passengers and close quarters.
The close quarters on a cruise ship account for the quick spread of the virus. Although some get quarantined to their rooms for the remainder of their cruise, the spaces are so small that even a quarantine can’t stop the spread of the germs from occurring aboard the cruise.
For example, a family of ten celebrating a honeymoon aboard a seven day cruise to the Bahamas caught the norovirus which spread to the rest of the family rapidly and soon turned their vacation into a nightmare as all ten member of the family suffered the effects of the norovirus for the remainder of their vacation.
After several norovirus outbreaks have left many ill in the past year on cruise ships, lawyers have now stepped in to take action against them as many think the cruise lines could have done a better job at disinfecting and cleaning the ship after the outbreaks became known.
Shine lawyers from Australia have filed a large scale action against Carnival cruise lines in which they allege that the cruise did not “adequately disinfect and quarantine” following the outbreaks. They believe that cruise lines could have done more to prevent the spread such as simply educating the passengers about what the norovirus is and how to possibly prevent yourself from getting it.
The lawyers allege that the cruise was only given two hours between trips to sanitize and fully clean the ship, which is about the size of a New York skyscraper. This was clearly not enough time and many have felt it was irresponsible for the cruises to continue on while knowing the ship was infected with norovirus.
This has created a PR nightmare for cruise lines such as Carnival as they fight to save their reputation as a safe and clean cruise line to take for families. Surprisingly, there was not much a dip in sales for cruises, as many would expect after such bad outbreaks.
Although the cruise lines didn’t handle the outbreaks well, it seems as if the “regulars” or the people who love to cruise will keep coming back, regardless of the risk for catching the norovirus, while those who don’t cruise regularly and saw the outbreaks on the news, have found ourselves deathly afraid of ever being on a commercial cruise.