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Around 200 passengers Queen Mary 2's 12-night tour of the Caribbean have reportedly been hit by a winter-vomiting bug.
The 2,600 holidaymakers paid around £5,000 each to go on the luxury cruise, but many started being sick and suffering with diarrhoea after the vessel left a New York port on Saturday.
The Daily Mail reports that the mood is "less than festive" as passengers suffering with the norovirus have been quarantined in their cabins, while others have been encouraged to order room service or only eat in the main dining room.
Salt and pepper shakers have been removed, and passengers that attended church services on Christmas Day were given Holy Communion by a vicar wearing gloves.
One female passenger told the Daily Mail that everyone was worried about coming down with the bug, but that the crew were "trying their best, continually washing down handrails and lifts, but more cases are being reported each day, it's not at all enjoyable."
A spokeswoman for Carnvial, Michele Andjel, told the Daily Mail there were just 19 people with "active symptoms" on board yesterday (27 December), adding: "Enhanced sanitation protocols have been employed to help minimise transmission to other passengers.
"The safety and comfort of passengers and crew is always our number one priority."
According to the Daily Telegraph, a statement from the company said: "There has been an incidence of a mild gastrointestinal illness among the passengers on Queen Mary 2.
"This illness is suspected to be norovirus, which is highly contagious and typically transmitted from person to person.
"Queen Mary 2 is currently on a 12-night Caribbean cruise which departed from New York on Saturday December 22.
"There are 2613 passengers on board, the number of passengers with active symptoms today is 19."
A spokesman said that five per cent of the passengers – around 130 – had been affected altogether but most had now recovered.
The Queen Mary II is the largest and most expensive ocean liner ever built, and her facilities include fifteen restaurants and bars, five swimming pools, a casino, a ballroom, a theatre, and the first planetarium at sea.
The norovirus news comes just a couple of weeks after cruise ship passengers threatened a mutiny when more than 150 people were hit by a vomiting bug.
Passengers on P&O's Oriana cruise ship said the figure was more like 300, but the company itself said only nine cases of norovirus had been confirmed, according to The Sun.
The liner set sail on 4 December for a tour of the Christmas markets of Zeebrugge, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Oslo and Hamburg.
But it had reportedly been hit with the bug within hours, and many of its 1,843 passengers quickly fell ill.
Passengers told Sky News that their holiday had been "a nightmare". One passenger, Paul Gilman, said: "It has been outrageous from start to finish.
"People were falling like flies, yet the crew were trying to insist everything was fine.
"Everyone is saying, 'this is a plague ship'. It's a living nightmare."
A second P&O cruise was hit by the winter vomiting bug just days later.
At least ten passengers on the Azura fell ill with the norovirus, which causes vomiting, diarrhoea, a high temperature, headache and stomach cramps.
The Sun reports that the ship had taken 3,059 passengers on an 11-night cruise to Spain and Portugal.
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