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Seasick on Sun Princess: Norovirus strikes again

Cruise ship | Shine Lawyers

The passengers of Carnival’s Sun Princess cruise ship have had their holiday marred, as the vessel was hit with yet another outbreak of norovirus. The voyage left Brisbane on 31 July 2017 travelling to Vanuatu and New Caledonia. By the time it returned on 10 August, at least 91 passengers were infected with the virus.

Spokespeople of the cruise ship claim a ‘deep cleanse’ of the ship has been conducted. This, however, is too little too late for passengers who have already contracted the disease.

What is norovirus?

Norovirus is a strain of virus named after a significant 1972 outbreak in Norwalk, Ohio. Norovirus is highly contagious, and is known for causing severe outbreaks in schools, restaurants and cruise ships. If contracted, you will experience symptoms including:

  • Nausea;
  • Vomiting;
  • Diarrhoea;
  • Headaches; and
  • Stomach cramps.


Repeat offence: The virus returns

Alarmingly, this is not the first instance of norovirus on board this ship. The Sun Princess has previously reported passengers coming down with the virus on voyages to Papua New Guinea and New Zealand in February of this year. Less publicised is the fact that other Sun Princess passengers complained of contracting the norovirus on other voyages before and after the Papua New Guinea and New Zealand voyages, also following a claimed ‘deep cleanse’.

Shine Lawyers’ Transport Law department is representing multiple passengers from this voyage, who are seeking compensation for their illness on board the Sun Princess cruises.

I think I’ve contracted norovirus. What can I do?

If you have contracted the norovirus from a Sun Princess cruise ship, you may have a claim under Australian consumer protection and contract laws. Your ability to make a claim will depend on a variety of factors, including:

  • The extent and severity of any damage or injury sustained;
  • Whether the crew knew about the outbreak; and
  • What steps were taken to prevent the virus spreading through the vessel.

Get in touch with Shine Lawyers‘ Transport Law department, and we can begin investigating your claim.

I didn’t catch norovirus, but a friend or family member did

You may still have a claim if you weren’t ill, but had to care for a spouse, partner, companion or child who did catch norovirus during the voyage. Compensation may be awarded where your trip was ruined due to the outbreak of norovirus on the ship.

More information on the Sun Princess Cruise Norovirus Class Action:

Written by Shine Lawyers on . Last modified: March 13, 2018.

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  • Heather wrote:

    Unfortunately, people who are sick go on cruises all the time, some know they are sick and some have may have “just a cough”. Some may have a “funny tummy” but say nothing about it.

    I’ve seen people refuse to use the disinfectant at entrances to the buffet and dining room and unbelievably, passengers refusing to wash their hands (with soap and water) after going to the toilet … one passenger on our last cruise was reported to have said when pulled up about it, “why should I wash my hands? I’m going to the dining room and I’ll sanitise there”.

    The form or “questionnaire” given to passengers at embarkation to “read” and sign to indicate whether they have been ill recently is useless IMO.

    In almost 30 cruises, I have never seen a doctor or medical staff at boarding checking those forms or simply looking for people who are coughing etc.

    Consequently, on my last cruise when we boarded the World Cruise in Dubai, some 16 days after it departed from Sydney, a large number of people on board had a hacking cough – like a bad “smoker’s cough”.

    According to friends who were on the ship for the entire World cruise, a passenger embarking at Fremantle boarded the ship with this hacking cough.

    Some passengers self confined to their cabins for up to 8 days, and those I met who did do that said they felt better but still had the cough.

    The hacking cough persisted amongst many passengers for the 53 days I was on board.

    Some weeks after disembarking, I read on one of the FB sites re: Princess cruise that one passenger who embarked a “well man” was diagnosed by his doctor wth Whooping Cough after the cruise. Whether he caught it on board or somewhere else when on that cruise, I don’t know – but according to his wife he contracted the cough on the cruise.

    Clearly the “medical form questionnaire” is a waste of time IMO – I’d be surprised if anyone knowing they are sick actually answers them honestly and with no medical team presence at embarkation, no random checks are done and no-one with an obvious cold is pulled up.

    IMO, sick people who board with colds, influenza etc increase the revenue for the ship so where’s the incentive to actually stop sick people from boarding ?

  • Michelle Elliot wrote:

    It’s not the ships fault. It’s the dirty passengers that DON’T follow good hygiene practices or don’t declare they are unwell before they get on the ship. Maybe they’re the ones you should be looking at sueing. This is something that really bugs me

  • JDR wrote:

    I have been on the Sun Princess many times and have not been sick once. I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that the cruise line did and does EVERYTHING possible to prevent this Norovirus. It is the passengers themselves who are at fault because they don’t take enough care and/or don’t practice good hygiene. I have seen this first hand many times. I think people suing Carnival is ridiculous and I believe, in the end, they will be out of pocket. Of course, you Lawyers won’t be.

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