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Food Poisining

Oct 5, 2019
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Hi,
I recently returned from a MSC Mediterranean cruise. I travelled with my husband, sister and brother in law in two balcony cabins. Midway through of our trip, 3 of us became ill with what we believe was food poisoning. Two of us visited the ships doctor and were placed on IV for rehydration and meds to stop the vomiting. As a result we missed several ports and incurred extra costs.

I became ill on an excursion bus to Rome (booked with MSC) and had to take a cab back to the ship because I was so sick. This cost me 180 euro. I also had to have my clothes washed by the ship and not to mention the medical bill. But most importantly, it ruined our trip. I have been on many cruise lines and feel that I am an experienced cruiser. I believe this could have been prevented if the ship took proper precautions for the health and safety of their guests. The hand sanitizer stations were often empty and staff were not stationed at the buffet entrance encouraging passengers to wash their hands. I witnessed many passengers enter the buffet area with out washing.

We returned this past Saturday and I sent an email to both MSC and online travel agency I booked from regarding my experience. I have not heard back from either.

I was just wondering if there is anything else I can do and can I ask for some compensation. I've never experienced this before and not sure what is the best approach. I would appreciate any advice you can give me.

Thank you.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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Unless you have proof that it was food poisoning on board it is very hard to request compensation. There may be a good will voucher but those are usually vouchers.
 
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Feb 21, 2018
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If it was food poisoning, it would have affected many on the ship and usually, within 24 of ingesting whatever food was 'bad'.

As Christina mentioned, it could very well be norovirus which is an illness that can affect people who are spending time in 'closed' environment where there is often regular contact with surfaces that transmit the virus. Cruise ships and airplanes are the typical spots where these illnesses can hit because of the closer quarters people exist in.

As others have said, your trip insurance should cover medical bills and some policies will actually pay for 'missed days' if you can demonstrate that you were confined for a period of time and restricted from moving about the ship. (Cruise lines will often confine suspected norovirus cases to their stateroom, offering complimentary medical visits and room service … sometimes even small amounts of on board credit … in an effort to stop the virus in its tracks).
 
Oct 5, 2019
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I am not certain it was food poisoning, it hit me within two hours of breakfast. No sure how I would know the difference between norovirus and food poisoning. I do have travel insurance which will cover the medical bill. I didn't realize medical insurance could pay for missed days, I will look into this. Thank you for your responses.
 
Sep 10, 2017
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Maybe you had the stomach flu which can up to three days. How long did the symptoms last?
 
Feb 21, 2018
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I am not certain it was food poisoning, it hit me within two hours of breakfast. No sure how I would know the difference between norovirus and food poisoning. I do have travel insurance which will cover the medical bill. I didn't realize medical insurance could pay for missed days, I will look into this. Thank you for your responses.
It's not the medical insurance that would pay for missed days - it would need to be a specific provision in your travel insurance policy that states it will reimburse $XX for days of confinement. Some policies include it, others do not. It's worth checking into though.
 
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Neil Maley

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I am not certain it was food poisoning, it hit me within two hours of breakfast. No sure how I would know the difference between norovirus and food poisoning. I do have travel insurance which will cover the medical bill. I didn't realize medical insurance could pay for missed days, I will look into this. Thank you for your responses.
Most policies will not pay for the days you were forced to spend in your cabin. Policies pay for trip interruption which would take place if you were sick enough that you had to leave the ship and go home.
We’ve had several clients that this happened to and insurance wouldn’t cover unless they had to leave so don’t be surprised if the insurance doesn’t pay for those days.

Is it entirely possible that you all had some time of stomach bug totally unrelated to what you ate. Those can go through a household quickly. I recall our entire family being sickened when one of the kids bringing home a bug from school.
 
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Nov 21, 2014
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I’m actually surprised you weren’t quarantined to your cabin. Norvirus is a dreaded outbreak for a cruise ship and the ships we’ve been on get real nervous if you complain about nausea/vomiting and/or diarrhea. We lost the last two days on a cruise due to the “fear” of norvirus. I was quarantined too! Quite frustrating!
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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Getting sick while you're travelling is really awful. But you can't hold another entity responsible. Sick just is. We're human, we get sick. Our systems get out of whack when we travel. Sometimes we get sick. Nobody has done anything bad, sometimes you just get sick.

It's fairly well established that food poisoning is difficult to prove unless there are large groups of sick people who all ate the same foods. It is also pretty well known that our systems revolt with too much/different food, too little sleep, to much alcohol and just plain too much excitement. I've heard of starting Pepto-Bismol twice daily a couple days before departure. I only get sick in Mexico, so I don't know if the PB treatment is valid ... but it makes sense.
 
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justlisa

Feb 12, 2019
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So I cruise frequently and when it's with a group we usually have a running total of who gets the cruise crud and it's a decent percent (it's more good nature fun than it sounds lol). Usually it doesn't hit most until you get home, but I've had symptoms start on board. Thankfully mine have yet to be of the vomiting sort, but I've had some bad cases. It just happens when you have a lot of people in confined space - and a huge portion were confined in an airplane with exponentially more people before getting to the ship.

Did you hear of other people getting sick too? Food poisoning on a cruise ship would likely affect a lot of people. If you didn't hear of a lot of other people sick (or see the ship step up sanitation levels) - there is a good chance since your entire group got sick that it was something you got before the cruise that took a few days to manifest.

For future reference there's a lot of nasty bugs that the hand sanitizer doesn't kill. It doesn't harm you to use it, but make sure you're regularly using soap and water to thoroughly clean your hands.
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
Well stated justlisa.

Another issue on the ships is people gorging on food because it’s free that is totally different then how you eat at home. This happens at many resorts that are all inclusive. I am amazed at the plates of bacon I see people walking around with at the buffet- that can cause these type of illnesses as well.

Ships are putting more and more hand sanitizers throughout the ship and yet I still see people walk past them and not use them.
 
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ADM

Apr 10, 2017
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Well stated justlisa.

Another issue on the ships is people gorging on food because it’s free that is totally different then how you eat at home. This happens at many resorts that are all inclusive. I am amazed at the plates of bacon I see people walking around with at the buffet- that can cause these type of illnesses as well.

Ships are putting more and more hand sanitizers throughout the ship and yet I still see people walk past them and not use them.
Don't forget the people who constantly lick their fingers and proceed to touch everything.
 
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Neil Maley

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Don't forget the people who constantly lick their fingers and proceed to touch everything.
And don’t wash their hands coming out of the bathroom. It still shocks me when I see this.
Or take cookies or bread without using tongs a just out their hands in the bowls.

It’s actually a miracle more people don’t get sick on ships and in resorts.