Vomiting bug hits 130 holidaymakers on luxury cruise ship

Vomiting bug hits 130 holidaymakers on luxury cruise ship

A gastroenteritis outbreak on a 12-night luxury Fred Olsen cruise has hit 130 passengers.

The Black Watch cruise ship, which travelled to Scandinavia and St Petersburg, returned to Rosynth, Fife on Friday where it is currently docked.

The ship departed on 8 September with 778 holidaymakers on board.

Specialist cleaners and health inspectors checked and cleaned the ship.

A Fred Olsen spokeswoman told The Independent: "Every effort was made to contain the illness, in accordance with onboard medical protocols. Representatives from the local health authorities have been on board the ship this morning and have confirmed that they are satisfied with the containment and preventative measures being undertaken by the ship."

Speaking to the BBC, the spokeswoman added: "It is frustrating that, even with the extra preventative and containment measures that were put in place, a number of guests on board suffered from this illness, which is common in hospitals, schools, hotels, cruise ships and other areas where people are in close proximity."

The company said that passengers who were due to set off on Black Watch last night for an Iberian cruise were informed of the situation.

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Vomiting bug hits 130 holidaymakers on luxury cruise ship

This is really frowned upon – and some cruise lines have banned 'chair hogging' completely.

You may happy exploring a destination on your own – particularly if it's somewhere you've visited before. But there are usually some amazing experiences on offer, from jeep safaris in Jamaica to dolphin exploration in Dominica and a classical concert in St Petersburg, so it's definitely worth checking them out.

Unless you can afford to book an extra cabin for your luggage (and we have heard of some very rich passengers doing this), average staterooms don't have masses of storage space. So just pack a capsule wardrobe – although it's always worth taking a couple of swimsuits so one can dry while you wear the other one.

Some passengers decide that because they've already been to a place they don't need to get off at a port – but there is always something new to discover, particularly if your ship offers 'destination immersion' shore experiences, or even just to get a change of scene. Many cruises have one (maybe more) days at sea on a cruise, so plenty of time to hang around the ship then.

OK, if you have really strong willpower, you *may* be able to avoid all the gourmet food (and there are usually lots of salads and healthy options available). But with so much excellent cuisine on offer it would be a shame to miss out on more the more indulgent creations from the likes of Marco Pierre White and patissier Eric Lanlard.

Of course holidaying with your family is a fantastic opportunity to spend quality time together – but cruise ships have amazing kids' clubs, with every possible whim catered for. Not only does it give your children a chance to make new friends and try different experiences, but it will give you a little alone time too. For example, on Oriana, Aurora and Azura, the kids' clubs are open until late – ideal if you want to give the kids an early supper and then enjoy dinner a deux knowing they're in safe hands.

It's compulsory. Plus, you'll also discover how to put on a life jacket (not as easy as it looks) and what a muster station is.

Joining the other passengers on deck as your ship pulls away from the dock is something very special and adds to that 'golden age of cruise' feel. There will usually be cocktails on offer so you can toast the start of your holiday, too (although check before you take one, as some cruise lines do charge for these).

The cabin staff work incredibly hard, and are often away from their families for months on end – so show your appreciation. Some cruise packages include tips – check what's included in yours and if you want to leave a little extra in an envelope, it will be gratefully received.

You can do this up to a point – it is your holiday, after all. But if you want to make sure your restaurant seating is at the right time or you can have that fabulous spa treatment (alfresco massage, anyone?), you'll need to do a little planning. Don't feel you have to do everything though – if you overschedule you'll just feel pressured.

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