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I understand that it is easy to become ill on a cruise ship and find that treatment is not available. Is this truly a concern?

Yes, illness can spread rapidly on the tight confines of a ship at sea. Cruise ships have infirmaries with medical staff, but the extent of the medical crew’s knowledge and abilities can vary. You may be days at sea with little help.

A cruise ship is a newly formed community of people who play, eat and live side by side. Any kind of illness can be brought aboard by someone who does not realize they are sick or who simply is not willing to give up on their vacation, regardless of the implications for others.

In addition, cruise ships are huge food-service operations with round-the-clock food and drink preparation and service. Negligent sanitation practices and contaminated food can lead to gastrointestinal illnesses, like norovirus, food poisoning (salmonella), dysentery and other food-borne illnesses. Here’s a CNN report about an incident that left 66 passengers and 17 crew members sick on a cruise in 2014.

Because of close quarters as well as the recirculated air below deck on a ship, illness can spread rapidly once it starts. Even a properly staffed infirmary can be quickly overwhelmed. At a foreign port, medical care options and quality may not meet the standards you are used to at home.

You may be able to obtain compensation if you suffered a debilitating illness that was linked to negligence on the part of the ship’s crew or the cruise line itself. A Cohen & Jaffe cruise ship negligence attorney from New York can advise you about a potential claim.

Posted in: Cruise Ship Accident FAQs