Hornchurch pensioner’s dream cruise on Sun Princess ruined by norovirus outbreak

Carol was unable to see New York because she was so ill

Carol was unable to see New York because she was so ill - Credit: Archant

A pensioner whose dream cruise was ruined when she fell ill following an outbreak of norovirus is taking legal action against the liner’s owners.

Carol Watson, from Hornchurch, suffered severe sickness and diarrhoea during a trip from Dover to Los Angeles.

She claims she even saw other passengers collected at ports by ambulances because they were so unwell.

An outbreak of norovirus hit the Sun Princess Cruise ship in July last year. Carol says she was told by staff that everything was “under control” and that steps had been taken to prevent further spread.

But half-way through her month-long trip, the 67-year-old began suffering severe gastro illness that left her confined to her cabin and too poorly to enjoy the stop-offs.

Carol said: “When on board the cruise when I heard about the news that there was an outbreak of Norovirus on the ship I was worried but staff reassured me everything was under control and I tried to stay away from the communal areas. I saw other passengers being ill.”

The cruise sailed to Norway and Iceland but by the time it got to New York, the main reason Carol took the trip, she was too ill to even leave the boat.

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When she finally reached the British Virgin Islands she was still suffering sickness, diarrhoea and stomach cramps and unable to enjoy the sites.

She said: “When I look back on the holiday now, the one thing I remember most is being so poorly rather than the amazing places I was taken to which makes me angry. I will not be able to move on until I have answers as to how I became so ill.”

Carol has now instructed international travel law experts at Irwin Mitchell in a battle for answers against Princess Cruises, the owners of the ship.

Suki Chhokar, a partner and travel law expert at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Official guidelines for the management of norovirus infections on cruise ships state that a vessel affected by an outbreak should undergo a deep clean before setting sail again. We are currently investigating how our client fell ill on board the cruise ship.”

Princess Cruises did not respond when contacted by the Recorder.