Latest tragedy to strike P&O cruise ships

Cruises are popular amongst over-60s and the P&O ones have been popular with many due to their frequent trips. But
The latest tragedy on board the P&O involves an Aussie woman.

Cruises are popular amongst over-60s and the P&O ones have been popular with many due to their frequent trips. But the P&O fleet has not been without problems; in April they were exposed to have had sanitation issues from cockroaches and mid this year a ship had to be evacuated due to a gastro outbreak.

Now, a 79-year-old Aussie woman, Margaret Carlson, has died on the cruise ship sparking concerns from her family she was suffering from a possible gastro outbreak.

Vanessa D’Souza claims her mother began showing signs of gastro after boarding the P&O Pacific Jewel Cruise ship in Sydney last Tuesday, she told Sydney Morning Herald.

The 79-year-old from Terrigal on the NSW Central Coast was found dead in her room when the cruise ship docked at Yorkeys Knob in Cairns on Saturday afternoon.

Mrs Carlson, who had gone on the 10-day cruise with her other daughter, had seen medical staff but was told she had probably brought a bug onto the ship with her, the daughter said.

Her teenage grandson, also claims to have fallen ill on board the ship.

Ms D’Souza also claimed other cruise passengers had been locked out of their rooms on Monday without explanation. The family believes the rooms were being disinfected.
“We’d like some answers,” Ms D’Souza told Sydney Morning Herald.

Police said it was believed the woman had passed away shortly around breakfast time to suspected natural causes, despite some media reports it was from gastro.

The P&O have also denied there was a gastro outbreak, saying “There is no reported gastro outbreak onboard,”
“An elderly female passenger sadly passed away on Saturday on the Pacific Jewel cruise. Our thoughts are with her family.”

Queensland Police has said Mrs Carlson’s cause of death is not being treated as suspicious and that she died of natural causes but a report will be prepared for the coroner.

Does this worry you? Do you think the cruise company owes the passengers a better explanation? Tell us what you think in the comments.

  1. Ian Foster  

    Deaths on cruise ships are inevitable considering the age and health of some of the passengers. Better for the ship’s crew to be discreet.
    See the joke about the old lady on Princess cruises.

    • Brian Abbott  

      Our cruise company tells us there is an average 17 deaths on cruise ships nation wide every year. 99% of them are elderly.

    • Maryanna  

      My husband and I have been on 6 cruises and each time cannot fault the care, hygiene and the helpfulness and friendliness of all staff. They have always gone over and beyond to care for everyone on board. If you consider there are on average 2-3 thousand often elderly people on board it is inevitable that someone may die. Stop automatically blaming cruise ships every time someone falls ill. I cannot speak highly enough of their professionalism and care on board.

  2. Brucimus  

    The ship photo is a P&O UK ship, nothing to do with P&O Australia. Two different cruise lines, but both owned by Carnival Corp

  3. D Russell  

    Rather pass away having a good time than sitting at home knitting

  4. Ann Edwards  

    My Husband & I have been on several cruuise with different cruise companies and have always found them excellent as far as passenger safety and health issues are concerns especially around the food areas, there are always signs, hand sanitizer and staff to help you stay vigilant with so many people in a confined area you have to be very aware of these issues and take extra personnel care.

    • Josie Baker  

      We have been on several cruises , there was a outbreak , but were told to please was our hands at all tne statoions with tne handwash as precaution
      We have never been sick but always wash our hands to prevent any problems

  5. Steve  

    Maybe we should wait for the coroner’s report…

    • Pamela  

      I agree with you Steve. Shouldn’t jump to conclusions. It’s very sad that this should happen and too easy to blame the shipping line.

  6. Michelle Thornton  

    People will always look for reasons to blame someone! It is well known fact that deaths do occur on cruise ships. I have been on cruises where this has happened…twice! No fault of the cruise line……it was their time to die!

  7. Robyn Mcleod  

    I agree with Steve wait for coroners report before making a judgement

  8. Norma & Andrew Brodie (age 75 and 78)  

    Arrived home from Brisbane/Cairns/ Brisbane P.&O.Aria cruise Saturday. Have sailed before with them, no problems. Agree with Ann and Steve above. Also, surely police report should overrule usual media overdramatising!. Not fair to ethical businesses.

  9. Sue anderson  

    I recently returned from Oceania. I visited reception to say I had been up all night with diarrhoea. I wanted to cancel trip that day. They said it was too late for refund. No suggestion of panic or details or even name or cabin number!

  10. Bill Carey  

    I have been on 12 cruises and the number of men who come out of toilet cubicles and go straight out the door without washing their hands is unbelievable. I follow the instructions and wash my hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds and have never been sick. People then blame the ship if they get gastro. The answer is CCTV cameras inside toilets showing the outside of doors and the passage out then name and shame the offenders.

    • Bob clarke  

      Yes saw the same thing on our trip but with another line, that really put me off going to the self help food stations.

  11. kevin doecke  

    i went for cruise on pacific jewel 10 days to the island’s noumea etc in july last night on board i felt ill igot worse when i got home went to hospital had virus which trigged my asthma still not well

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