Over 200 Passengers on Prestigious Queen Mary 2 Get Norovirus

Perhaps the most luxurious cruise liner, Cunard Line's Queen Mary 2 (QM2), has been stricken with a norovirus infecting over 200 passengers. The $900 million liner is considered to be the epitome of luxury, with a Canyon Ranch Spa, a planetarium, a full ballroom, a Veuve Clicquot champagne bar, library, theater, 15 restaurants and bars and special dining facilities for passengers holding the most expensive tickets, among other things. A ticket for a cruise around the Caribbean is approximately $5,000.

Norovirus sickness is sometimes called stomach flu or food poisoning. It is an extremely contagious virus, which can be contracted from another person who is infected, contaminated food or water or coming into contact with contaminated surfaces. It is a particularly serious illness for young children and older adults.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), norovirus results in acute gastroenteritis, causing severe stomach pain, nausea and diarrhea. On an annual basis, approximately 21 million people get sick with it, 70,000 are hospitalized and roughly 800 people die from norovirus.

The QM2 was carrying 2,613 passengers and 1,255 crew members on a pampered twelve night Christmas cruise around the Caribbean, departing from Brooklyn on December 22, 2012. It was reported that 194 passengers were infected, along with 31 crew members. The luxury liner was scheduled to leave New York on a seven day transatlantic cruise to Southampton, England, according to Cunard Lines, which is owned by Carnival Corporation.

The QM2 had another norovirus outbreak in 2010, on another luxury Christmas cruise to the Caribbean. According to the CDC, there were approximately 220 passengers who contracted the illness on that voyage.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) in England has documented 83% more norovirus cases in 2012, over 2011.

The CDC confirmed that the QM2 was the third shipboard outbreak of norovirus within a week. Princess Cruise Line's Emerald Princess reportedly had approximately 200 passengers and crewmembers infected on a ten day Caribbean cruise. Yet another, the Princess Cruise Line's Crown Princess was infected with an onboard outbreak involving over 100 passengers on a cruise in Galveston, Texas.

The CDC Vessel Sanitation Program team, including an epidemiologist, will conduct a thorough investigation and provide their assessment of the situation on each vessel.

If you have had your dream cruise turn into a nightmare because of an accident, injury, illness or death you need to seek advice from a Seattle maritime attorney who is experienced in handling cruise ship passenger claims.

There are two vitally important things that have to be done. First, you must file a written notice of claim with the vessel owner within six months from the date of the accident, injury or illness, stating the facts and claims you are asserting. Second, you only have one year from the date of the accident, injury, illness or death to file your lawsuit.

John Merriam and Gordon Webb have 50 years of collective experience handling maritime and admiralty cases all over the world, including cruise ship passenger claims.

You can contact us from anywhere in the United States, day or night, via our toll free number at 877.800.1007.

All cases are handled on a contingency, so there is never a fee unless we make a recovery for you.

Other resources:

Cruise Ships Queen Mary 2 and Emerald Princess Hit By Suspected Norovirus, ABC News, Article by Genevieve Shaw Brown, Dec. 28, 2012

More than 200 passengers on Queen Mary 2 fall sick with vomiting and diarrhea on exclusive Christmas Cruise - as those on SECOND liner become ill with 'norovirus'
, Daily Mail News, Article by Beth Stebner, December 29, 2012

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