Luxury Cruise Passengers Fall Ill on Queen Mary 2

Posted on: December 28th, 2012 by ABC News No Comments

Christian Alminana/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — A small number of passengers onboard the Queen Mary 2, one of the world’s most luxurious cruise ships, have reportedly come down with a stomach bug on a Christmas cruise.

Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 is on a 12-day, round-trip sailing from New York to the Caribbean that departed Dec 22. According to the line’s website, the ship is docked in St. Lucia.

The BBC reported there are 19 confirmed cases of the illness onboard out of 2,613 passengers. The cruise line told the BBC, “the affected passengers on Queen Mary II, which is currently cruising the Caribbean, have been confined to their cabins and ‘enhanced sanitation protocols’ are being carried out.”

Cunard did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

“When this happens, the ship’s crew will start cleaning the ship more thoroughly, buffets will be served by servers wearing gloves, there will be multiple announcements about hand washing and probably more hand sanitizer stations,” said Cruise Critic news editor Dori Saltzman. “Additionally, the cruise ship must report this to the CDC. When the cruise ends, the ship will undergo an intensive cleaning, which may delay the next cruise by an hour or two.”

The outbreak, suspected to be norovirus, has not yet been registered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In order for an outbreak to be registered, more than three percent of the passengers or crew must report symptoms of diarrheal disease to the ship’s medical staff during the voyage, according to the CDC website.

In 2010, there was a norovirus outbreak on the Queen Mary 2, also on a Christmas cruise to the Caribbean. The CDC reported that 185 passengers and 29 crew became ill on that trip.

The ship is scheduled to sail its next voyage from New York on Jan 3. It will be a seven-day transatlantic crossing to Southampton, England.

The Queen Mary 2 is regarded as one of the world’s most luxurious cruise ships, featuring a Canyon Ranch spa, a planetarium, a ballroom and the first Veuve Clicquot champagne bar at sea.

Cruise Critic’s Saltzman said any compensation for affected passengers would be “highly unlikely.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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