A news station in Australia reports that "at least 70 passengers on the cruise ship Sea Princess have been struck down by a severe gastro bug."

Meanwhile, there are norovirus measures taking place on the Pacific Pearl heading toward Sydney following advice from the Australian Health Department, including not allowing passengers to use the self-serve buffet. The captain told passengers that the ship had no noro incidents on recent cruises but the cruise line decided to follow health guidelines because the number of outbreaks on other ships in the region.

Also, the Pacific Jewel reportedly arrived back in Sydney a few days ago with suspected noro cases which required the closing at White Bay terminal for extra cleaning for a couple of hours. 

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  • Joy Saker

    We just got off this cruise, and the health problem was handled very well indeed. A nurse on board who had suffered from Noro before says she doesn’t think this particular bug was Noro itself, but another Gastro bug, which seems to have come on board part way through the cruise, when we stopped at Vanuatu or Fiji. At Vanuatu, hand shaking with the locals is considered compulsory when on an excursion, and it’s very hard to avoid. You are also a long, long way from handwashing facilities when on an excursion, and I suspect that is how the bug started.

    The cleaning crew went into overdrive onboard, and were constantly disinfecting handrails, lifts buttons, theatre seats, and furniture, and spraying floors and walls. We were instructed to wash our hands for 20 seconds, or as long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice through – suddenly the cruise became quite tuneful!

    There was a drift of passengers from the buffet to the main dining rooms, where cruets and bread rolls were removed from the tables so they could not be inadvertently touched by another passenger.

    I think the health problem was handled extremely well, and the problem didn’t detract from our cruise experience in any way. Sorry for those who were sick. You could tell who they were by the food trays outside their cabins, and the passengers I knew of and could identify by these means were often young males – not renowned for their handwashing when imbibing large quantities of drink.

    The solution lies in your own hands, especially if the solution is the one provided outside all dining facilities!

  • Sue

    Cruise on Celebrity Solstice 9th to 21st December 2014, Auckland New Zealand to Sydney Australia. On arrival to our cabin on the 3rd night of our cruise a notification letter advised us of a Norovirus outbreak and the symptoms and precautions etc. On the 13th my husband got it and it took 3.5 hours to get medical attention as he was very sick and couldn’t walk to the medical room. The Dr finally arrived and gave him an injection and I bought Imodium in my little medical bag. Then I got sick on the 16th and again on the 18th. Both times injection. Thank goodness it didn’t exasperate my ulcerative colitis, I had been taking prednisone anyway. But i was also given Bendryl medicine as well. Norovirus is nasty with bloating, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, cramping and general malaise. We had to complete a C DC form but I wasn’t given one on the second occasion. I was not able to take my husbands stool sample to medical but it wasn’t asked for and not pressed. I was not also not pressed for stool samples. We were informed by a letter left in our cabin on the last night we would be compensated for the days we were confined to the cabin on a future cruise to be used in the next 12 months! We think we should be compensated for this cruise and having to not being able to enjoy the 3 days we couldn’t get out of the cabin. We missed out on swimming with the Hector nose dolphins which are rare in Akaroa. I cancelled the swim as not much fun going on my own. Viator refunded my money which was good as the tour operator filled the 2 spots and I couldn’t enjoy going out on the deck to view Dusky, Doubtful and Milford Sounds. I have a family connection with Milford Sound. The other day I was sick was a sea day but that doesn’t make it any better. So 3 days we couldn’t enjoy ourselves. We were also advised in the letter that we would be contacted but if we don’t hear back from the representative in 30 days, we should contact the contact number in Melbourne Australia! . I must mention that we did find ship a lovely one and had some good experiences too. After the notice of the outbreak, hand sanitation prevalent, salt and pepper shakers and candles off the tables, as well as help yourself to the bread, library books taken off the shelves, staff sanitising the handrails on the stairs and at times sanitising the up down button on the lifts also when we disembarked in Sydney we noticed staff and performers in white jumpsuits being allocated to different areas of the ship to clean it presumably.