Passengers on P&O 'plague ship' describe cruise holiday as 'living nightmare'PA



Passengers on a P&O cruise ship told of their holiday which turned into a 'living nightmare' when 300 people were hit with the norovirus.

Sky News reports that passengers on the Oriana, dubbed the 'plague ship', spoke of those who suffered the vomiting bug as they returned from the 10-night cruise yesterday.

Cruiser 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.'

Retired electrical contractor Gerry Hunt and his wife Carol, both 71, from Kent, told the Daily Telegraph the liner was 'engulfed' by the virus.

Mr Hunt said: 'People that fell ill were ordered to stay in their room for two days and were banned from leaving the ship at ports.

'That angered passengers and left some feeling like prisoners on a plague ship.

'The virus engulfed the liner but crew tried to blame passengers for bringing it on board.

'Passengers were being sick everywhere.'

Tourists on the cruise, which took in the Christmas markets of Zeebrugge, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Oslo and Hamburg, said there was lack of food and toilet paper on board the ship following the outbreak of norovirus.

Meanwhile, Sky News reports that a second cruise ship has been struck by the winter vomiting bug. In a statement, P&O said there were 10 cases of the highly-contagious bug on the Azura, which has been on an 11-night tour of Iberia and is due to dock in Southampton today.

Carol Marlow, managing director of P&O Cruises, said: 'Norovirus is prevalent at present and ships are not immune. A small number of people on the previous cruise had it but we cleaned the ship thoroughly.

'The virus incubates up to 24 hours but the first case was four to six hours after leaving port. They could not have caught it on board.'

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