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12 November 2012 09:24
A wine cruise round the French and Spanish coasts left 350 passengers with suspected norovirus
Scores of cruise ship passengers have been taken ill following a suspected on-board outbreak of norovirus, it has been revealed.
The outbreak prompted the Constellation's departure from Southampton to be delayed and left around 350 passengers suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea, highlighting how vital it is to have
cruise travel insurance or
medical travel insurance policies. The Celebrity Cruises ship had been on a 12-night wine cruise around the French and Spanish coasts with about 2,200 passengers and 900 crew members on board. The hours-long delay in departure from Southampton was necessary to enable the ship to be deep cleaned.
Passenger David Mattey criticised on-board sanitation and said being hit by the bug had "completely ruined" his break. Celebrity Cruises said "extra cleaning and sanitising" was being conducted on the Constellation and in the cruise terminal, adding that on-board hygiene procedures were "comprehensive and always strictly adhered to". Rosie Zambra, of Southampton's Port Health Authority, said it was alerted of concerns over increased levels of "what appeared to be norovirus" several days before the ship's arrival.
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