Last week we reported on a norovirus outbreak on the Fred Olsen cruise ship, Black Watch, while sailing to Russia. The cruise ship’s sickened passengers dubbed the ship the "Black Death." One ill cruise passengers was quoted saying:

“The staff marked doors of those infected with a cross. It was like the Dark Ages. Forget the Black Watch – we were on the Black Death plague ship.” 

Well the so-called "plague" continues. The Daily Record says that 72 people on the latest cruise aboard the Black Watch have been struck down with the same sickness causing nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.

Fred Olden Black Watch Cruise ShipThe cruise line confirmed to the newspaper that 112 passengers on the August 18th cruise became sick, and then 59 more passengers fell ill on a September 1st cruise to Norway. That means that 234 passengers have become ill on the last three cruises on this cruise ship which carries less than 750 passengers.

According to the Daily Record, one poor passenger said: 

“Norovirus was rife. The sauna, jacuzzi, casino, buffet and cinema – all the facilities we had paid for – were closed, as were all the public toilets."

“In my opinion, this ship should never have been allowed to leave  . . . It should have been docked until it was free of the bug.”

My thoughts?

There’s no excuse having three consecutive noro outbreaks which average over 10% of the passengers (the article doesn’t mention the sick crew). 

The business model of all the cruise lines keeps the ships running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There’s is no time for a systematic, scientific inspection to determine the actual cause of the norovirus and to determine when and how it is was introduced onto the ship, whether by food, water or a previously-sick passenger.  "Enhanced cleaning" of everything, when the virus may have been brought aboard in lettuce or sprouts, is pointless. Cruise lines are quick to blame the passengers for not washing their hands, but the real culprit could be contaminated food, water or an ill crew member.    


Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Ra Boe 

  • JohnHole

    What people expect when they take a cruise? Hundreds even thousands of passengers coming from all over the world, many many of them without hygienic habits all of them confined in a small floating vessel in the middle of nowhere just to save the money instead going straight by plane, so they stay for days sometimes for weeks onboard living like in a hospital disgusting, best thing stay home!!!!!

  • Robert Morrison

    As a passenger onboard the Black Watch ship that sailed from Rosyth to Norway on the 1st of September and was also unlucky to catch the noravirus I have been fighting Fred Olsen Cruise Lines for decent compensation with no success to date.Even though I did contract the virus the complaints I have are more about the facilities missing from the cruise than my illness caught on the cruise.Questions I would like answered are as follows Q1 Why was I not informed of any health problems before we boarded the ship both by Fred Olsen but also by the Port of Rosyth authority who according to Fred Olsen gave the ship the all clear Q2 Why were allowed to use the public toilets as we left Rsyth but that same evening were not.Q3 Why were we not told that the facilities in there brochure would not be useable at anytime on the cruise.Q4 Why was there no alternative facilities for our use. Q5 Why was there refurbishment work going on the same time we were supposed to be enjoying a cruise {Carpet being renewed in show lounge and at one time we couldn`t get in a lift as there was two carpet fitters and a carpet in the lift. Finally Q6 How on earth the captain and officers of this plague ship were able to talk to any passengers without being very embarrassed though one female officer we spoke to kept apologizing to us every time we spoke to her. Thank you for allowing me to post my problems on this page as I hope somebody at least reads it because it feels like my letters and emails to Fred Olsen has fallen on deaf ears, again thank you.

    Robert Morrison

  • Anthony Rob

    But how does this virus spread around? Does anybody know?
    In simple words, if you put that shit in your mouth! Did you wash your hands properly?
    Is this a singular case in UK? Maybe is good to check the statistics…and will see when autumn is coming what is happening around, not only on cruise ships.
    Is the guilty in only one side?