(10: 30 a.m. GMT) — P&O Cruises’ Azura has been delayed in Southampton due to a Norovirus outbreak onboard.
The 3,096-passenger ship is being deep cleaned today (October 30) and passengers are being asked to arrive five hours later than planned, with the ship setting sail at 8.30 p.m. (GMT) tonight.
P&O Cruises is offering passengers £20 onboard credit for refreshments while they wait.
A statement posted to the line’s Facebook page yesterday (October 29) states:
«If you are joining Azura tomorrow we have some important information for you.
There has been an increase in gastrointestinal illness on board, we believe this was caused by Norovirus which is the second most frequently reported illness after the common cold.
As a result, embarkation will be starting later in the afternoon so we can clean the ship appropriately. We are asking guests to arrive 5 hours later than the arrival time given to them. We will be crediting all board accounts with £20 per person to allow you to get some refreshments on the way to Southampton.
For those guests travelling on a P&O Cruises organised coach please arrive at the coach as planned.
We are really sorry about the disruption but we do need this time so we can manage our cleaning appropriately.»
Norovirus: What You Need to Know.
The issue first came to light on the Cruise Critic Message Boards with member finalstraw writing: «We have a suspected outbreak of Norovirus right now. Lots of cleaning of every surface going on and buffets are no longer self service.
And today joolsb wrote: «Brilliant — I wonder what they expect us to do till (in our case) 8.30pm? We fly in to Southampton at 0930 … It’s going to be a long day — but we’ll have £20 to spend — and it’s my birthday so what the heck, we might just blow the lot!!!»
Azura is about to depart on a 15-night Transatlantic crossing to the Caribbean.