Suspected Norovirus Outbreak Hits Popular British Cruise Ship

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During the ship’s latest 14-night voyage, P&O Cruises’ Ventura is experiencing a gastrointestinal virus outbreak affecting at least 2% of its occupants.

P&O Ventura

Unofficial reports suggest up to 250 suspected cases including crew and passengers, though the cruise line has yet to confirm exact numbers and has so far only said that around 2% of those onboard were suffering from symptoms of vomiting, diarrhoea and other symptoms. As a guide, 2% of the ship’s total capacity (crew and guests) would be around 100 people.

Those reports from unnamed sources onboard suggest that there has been issues with vomiting in public spaces, uncleaned staterooms for guests placed in isolation, and long waits for the medical centre. Apparently, some guests have chosen to disembark the ship and fly home early.

The illness symptoms were reported early in the voyage, prompting swift action by the crew to contain the spread and treat passengers.

The cruise line has only released limited information, but it has confirmed an outbreak and that a range of enhanced sanitation protocols have been put in place, including an increase in cleaning, laundrettes being closed to guests, and the buffet restaurant becoming crew-service rather than self-serve.

While docked in Tenerife on 17th May, the ship underwent a deep clean, with all able guests asked to leave the ship from 10 am until 2 pm while a full sanitisation programme was carried out. Guests were given £15 as onboard credit as a thank you for cooperating, regardless of whether they already planned to explore Tenerife or not.

Whilst we have proactively stepped up our already robust disinfection measures, I would like to stress that these measures are only successful if we all comply with the health and wellbeing protocols that we have in place.

Washing your hands regularly, particularly before eating and using the bathroom is the single most effective step we can all take. I would urge anyone who experiences symptoms, no matter how mild you feel they may be, to report to the medical centre.

Letter sent to guests onboard

While it has not been confirmed as norovirus yet, it would not be a surprise – the virus is the more common of gastro illnesses to impact cruise ships.


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Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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4 thoughts on “Suspected Norovirus Outbreak Hits Popular British Cruise Ship”

  1. Due to go on Ventura on June 15th around Canaries so hope everything has been sorted by them.
    Can anyone confirm : Has P&O changed policy (May 8th?) about not bringing spirits on board – Now only wine or Champagne?

    • Yes that’s correct. You can no longer bring sprits.

  2. Hi Jenny.
    We’ve just returned from a mini cruise on the Aurora. We had a email stating that the virus was on the Aurora on the previous cruise. It appears that P&O are not being truthful.
    Kind regards

  3. In reference to the P&O Ventura and the virus outbreak, I have literally just disembarked this morning and I would satire the. 40% of fellow passengers have fallen fouls of the big and we’re quarantined to their rooms . However there cabin passengers they showed no signs were permitted to roam the ship! With so many other older passengers , I’m amazed P&O went ahead with the cruise ! Many people were taken off the ship to be hospitalised and some jait wanted to go home ! Never again. p&o

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