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Cruise Ship Illness Compensation

The last thing you want is to be confined to your cabin at sea but sudden illness can happen on a cruise ship holiday.

A photo of Mrs Swaffield

I am very happy and satisfied with the settlement you achieved for me and the service was excellent and thank you very much

Mrs E.Swaffield
Loughborough

Making a claim for cruise ship illness

For British holidaymakers, the idea of opting for a cruise instead of a traditional resort holiday seems more and more appealing. A guarantee of sun, sea and good food continues to attract British holidaymakers who opt to go on a cruise instead of the traditional seaside resort for their annual vacation. Today’s cruising vessels are giant floating hotels with several dining rooms, buffet-style eateries, bar and lounges, which provides highly efficient, quality catering for thousands of passengers each day. It is an amazing way of visiting lots of countries and there is nothing like stepping off the cruise ship into a different port and a different culture every day.

Whilst cruise ships can provide high-quality catering for thousands of passengers each day, sometimes things do go wrong.  If the way the food is being prepared or stored does not meet the required standards, this can cause major outbreaks of food poisoning, stomach bugs and viruses.   

Cruise and ferry ship journeys may not always be “plain sailing” so it’s important to be aware of the legal duty of care you are owed by cruise operators.

The rules about making a claim are different from a hotel or resort if you or one of your family members unfortunately suddenly fall ill aboard a ship or ferry. Your Legal Friend has 30 years’ experience and specialist knowledge in all aspects of international personal injury law. We provide you with all the expert guidance you will need to help you help you succeed in making your claim against a UK tour operator/cruise line.

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Our expert team will call you...

With thirty years of experience in personal injury compensation and a 95% success rate, our specialist personal injury solicitors have successfully won over £200,000,000 in the last ten years alone. So if you’ve fallen ill on board a cruise ship we’ll fight to secure the compensation you deserve.

Cruise ship illness claims team

Alison Saul, Director of Personal Injury leads our holiday compensation team. A fully qualified solicitor with over 15 years of experience and expertise, Alison is dedicated to achieving the highest levels of compensation for her clients as well as ensuring high-quality client care.

Alison is assisted by her team managers, Philip Waters Lee Quinn, Jenna Hargreaves, and Kathryn Langton. Together they have a wealth of experience in personal injury compensation.

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There are many people injured in accidents each year through no fault of their own and the circumstances will be different in each instance. Our team has extensive experience of successfully managing a wide range of personal injury claims, so we can help you secure the maximum compensation you deserve.

Alison Saul

Director of Personal Injury

What our customers say

Mrs. Vora's portrait

“I found the staff to be friendly, helpful, courteous and they kept me well informed on a regular basis”

Mrs. Vora,
Loughborough

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“They acted in a sympathetic and professional manner and resolved my case very efficiently”

Mr Dowse
Leeds

  For a confidential chat, call one of our experts today 0151 550 5228

10 simple steps to claim

Step
1
Obtaining a full description of your accident or illness
Step
2
Obtaining your medical records
Step
3
Contacting the company responsible for your accident or illness
Step
4
Arranging your medical assessment
Step
5
Collating details of your financial loss
Step
86
Negotiating the maximum settlement possibleProviding you with our valuation of your losses
Step
7
Sending your valuation to the other party's insurer
Step
68
Providing you with our valuation of your lossesNegotiating the maximum settlement possible
Step
9
Issuing Court proceedings
Step
10
Sending you your compensation payment

Your questions... answered

I had food poisoning on a cruise, can I make a claim?

Yes, food poisoning on board a cruise ship is often the result of eating contaminated food, eating undercooked food or drinking contaminated water. Stomach bugs are formed by the bacteria in contaminated or undercooked food and the most common types of bacteria responsible for food poisoning illnesses are:

Campylobacter - found on raw or undercooked meat (particularly poultry), unpasteurised milk and untreated water.

E.coli - found in the digestive system. Food poisoning occurs after eating undercooked beef products.

Salmonella - found in raw or undercooked meat, raw eggs, milk, and other dairy products.

Shigella - found in any food that has been washed in contaminated water.

Dysentery - found in faeces passed on by someone with the infection who neglects to wash their hands after using the WC.

If you fell ill with food poisoning on board a cruise ship it can totally ruin your holiday and leave you unable to leave your cabin. You could be entitled to make a claim for compensation.

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I came down with norovirus on a cruise holiday, can I make a claim?

Yes, viruses can either be brought on board by passengers or picked up through human contact. Outbreaks of norovirus have been increasingly linked with cruise ships because health officials are required to track illnesses on ships but not at hotels or resorts.

Noroviruses can cause inflammation of the stomach and the large intestines, called gastroenteritis. The disease can be passed via contaminated food and water but is typically spread on cruise ships through physical contact with ill people or surfaces/objects they may have touched.

It causes flu-like symptoms, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach cramps. Fever and headache are also possible. Symptoms appear after one to three days and usually last between 24 to 48 hours. A passenger may be contagious for as long as two weeks after recovery.

I’m going on a cruise ship holiday, should I be worried about outbreaks of illness?

A cruise ship illness can rapidly pass from person to person. The average cruise ship passenger capacity is around 3,000 for ocean liners but the largest vessels can carry from 5,400 to 6,300 at max capacity if all berths are occupied. A cruise ship illness can rapidly pass from person to person. The most common ways that an outbreak will spread are:

  • Hand to mouth contact from people carrying a bug
  • From touching infected surfaces - such as door handles, railings, toilet flush handles, food utensils, elevator buttons, etc.
  • Poor hygiene practices and systems
  • Failing to wash hands after using the W.C
  • Lack of stringent anti-bacterial sanitisers dispensers
  • Unprotected salad bars
  • Refilling of water bottles in the buffet area

Where a serious illness cannot be contained, cruise lines may halt the cruise and order a thorough ‘deep clean’ sanitisation, which puts the ship out of service for a few days.

Ensure you take care to wash your hands and use hand sanitizing gel whenever it is made available. If you do become ill then make sure you report it to the cruise ship staff so they can help you take precautions not to spread infection to other passengers.

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What are the laws regarding cruise ship illnesses?

The law is different from making a holiday injury claim, for an accident which occurred at a hotel or resort.

The Terms and Conditions contained in your holiday contract, which are supplied by both Tour operators and Cruise lines are bound by regulations set out in the Athens Convention.

The Athens Convention – what you need to know

The Athens Convention applies to EU member states and has been in force in the UK since 1996.

Seagoing vessels owe a “duty of care” in the carriage of passengers and luggage by sea, and to passengers who are either getting on or off the boat.

The Convention operates in favour of the consumer. The fault is automatically presumed on the part of the carrier unless they can prove otherwise, and is different from claims under the Package Travel Regulations 1992, which require you to prove the carrier was at fault.

A cruise ship accident claim will almost always be in accordance with the Athens Convention and not under Package Holiday Regulations 1992.

You can still make a complaint about a ‘spoilt holiday’, according to Package Holiday Regulations 1992 but this will be a completely separate action.

It is also important to be aware that under the Athens Convention, the Terms and Conditions:

  • Only apply to cruises that start and finish in a UK port
  • Do not apply to domestic cruises around the British Isles and the coast of Scotland.

If your cruise departed from a foreign destination...

You may be able to proceed with a claim under the Package Travel Regulations 1992 but only if:

  • There were no ‘stop-off’ ports of call in between
  • Your tour operator is a UK company

Time Limit

A further important difference is the time you have to make a claim from when the accident occurred:

  • 2 years- Athens Convention  
  • 3 years- Package Travel Regulations

Compensation Limit

A limit is imposed on the amount of compensation that can be claimed for personal injury or death.

Read less

What liability do cruise operators have?

All sea carriers must have insurance as they have a strict liability for passenger personal injury, fatality or any shipping related incident unless there is evidence to show the incident was caused by:

  • Natural phenomenon of an “exceptional, inevitable and irresistible character”, or
  • Wholly caused by a third party.

Making a claim – what you need to know

Building your case and making a claim requires the in-depth knowledge of a specialist solicitor. Your Legal Friend has 30 years’ experience and knowledge in all aspects of international personal injury law.

We specialise in helping all those who have suffered from a holiday accident, injury or illness while onboard a cruise ship through no fault of their own and wish to claim compensation against a UK tour operator/cruise line.

We can help you to claim back any additional expenses you have suffered as a result of your accident, such as:

  • Any medical expenses you had to meet whilst on holiday
  • Time taken off work on your return from holiday
  • Missing out on any holiday activities, which your injury prevents you from participating in. 
Read less

Yes, food poisoning on board a cruise ship is often the result of eating contaminated food, eating undercooked food or drinking contaminated water. Stomach bugs are formed by the bacteria in contaminated or undercooked food and the most common types of bacteria responsible for food poisoning illnesses are:

Campylobacter - found on raw or undercooked meat (particularly poultry), unpasteurised milk and untreated water.

E.coli - found in the digestive system. Food poisoning occurs after eating undercooked beef products.

Salmonella - found in raw or undercooked meat, raw eggs, milk, and other dairy products.

Shigella - found in any food that has been washed in contaminated water.

Dysentery - found in faeces passed on by someone with the infection who neglects to wash their hands after using the WC.

If you fell ill with food poisoning on board a cruise ship it can totally ruin your holiday and leave you unable to leave your cabin. You could be entitled to make a claim for compensation.

Read less

Yes, viruses can either be brought on board by passengers or picked up through human contact. Outbreaks of norovirus have been increasingly linked with cruise ships because health officials are required to track illnesses on ships but not at hotels or resorts.

Noroviruses can cause inflammation of the stomach and the large intestines, called gastroenteritis. The disease can be passed via contaminated food and water but is typically spread on cruise ships through physical contact with ill people or surfaces/objects they may have touched.

It causes flu-like symptoms, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach cramps. Fever and headache are also possible. Symptoms appear after one to three days and usually last between 24 to 48 hours. A passenger may be contagious for as long as two weeks after recovery.

A cruise ship illness can rapidly pass from person to person. The average cruise ship passenger capacity is around 3,000 for ocean liners but the largest vessels can carry from 5,400 to 6,300 at max capacity if all berths are occupied. A cruise ship illness can rapidly pass from person to person. The most common ways that an outbreak will spread are:

  • Hand to mouth contact from people carrying a bug
  • From touching infected surfaces - such as door handles, railings, toilet flush handles, food utensils, elevator buttons, etc.
  • Poor hygiene practices and systems
  • Failing to wash hands after using the W.C
  • Lack of stringent anti-bacterial sanitisers dispensers
  • Unprotected salad bars
  • Refilling of water bottles in the buffet area

Where a serious illness cannot be contained, cruise lines may halt the cruise and order a thorough ‘deep clean’ sanitisation, which puts the ship out of service for a few days.

Ensure you take care to wash your hands and use hand sanitizing gel whenever it is made available. If you do become ill then make sure you report it to the cruise ship staff so they can help you take precautions not to spread infection to other passengers.

Read less

The law is different from making a holiday injury claim, for an accident which occurred at a hotel or resort.

The Terms and Conditions contained in your holiday contract, which are supplied by both Tour operators and Cruise lines are bound by regulations set out in the Athens Convention.

The Athens Convention – what you need to know

The Athens Convention applies to EU member states and has been in force in the UK since 1996.

Seagoing vessels owe a “duty of care” in the carriage of passengers and luggage by sea, and to passengers who are either getting on or off the boat.

The Convention operates in favour of the consumer. The fault is automatically presumed on the part of the carrier unless they can prove otherwise, and is different from claims under the Package Travel Regulations 1992, which require you to prove the carrier was at fault.

A cruise ship accident claim will almost always be in accordance with the Athens Convention and not under Package Holiday Regulations 1992.

You can still make a complaint about a ‘spoilt holiday’, according to Package Holiday Regulations 1992 but this will be a completely separate action.

It is also important to be aware that under the Athens Convention, the Terms and Conditions:

  • Only apply to cruises that start and finish in a UK port
  • Do not apply to domestic cruises around the British Isles and the coast of Scotland.

If your cruise departed from a foreign destination...

You may be able to proceed with a claim under the Package Travel Regulations 1992 but only if:

  • There were no ‘stop-off’ ports of call in between
  • Your tour operator is a UK company

Time Limit

A further important difference is the time you have to make a claim from when the accident occurred:

  • 2 years- Athens Convention  
  • 3 years- Package Travel Regulations

Compensation Limit

A limit is imposed on the amount of compensation that can be claimed for personal injury or death.

Read less

All sea carriers must have insurance as they have a strict liability for passenger personal injury, fatality or any shipping related incident unless there is evidence to show the incident was caused by:

  • Natural phenomenon of an “exceptional, inevitable and irresistible character”, or
  • Wholly caused by a third party.

Making a claim – what you need to know

Building your case and making a claim requires the in-depth knowledge of a specialist solicitor. Your Legal Friend has 30 years’ experience and knowledge in all aspects of international personal injury law.

We specialise in helping all those who have suffered from a holiday accident, injury or illness while onboard a cruise ship through no fault of their own and wish to claim compensation against a UK tour operator/cruise line.

We can help you to claim back any additional expenses you have suffered as a result of your accident, such as:

  • Any medical expenses you had to meet whilst on holiday
  • Time taken off work on your return from holiday
  • Missing out on any holiday activities, which your injury prevents you from participating in. 
Read less