My husband and 4 others went on a Viking seven day Cruise from Amsterdam to Basil, Switzerland on November 24, 2012. We got on board on a Sunday. The ship was the Helvetia.
No sooner had Monday morning come; one member of our party became ill along with other passengers. An older woman, who had become ill, was taken off the ship as early as that Tuesday at a port never to be seen again.
From that point on passengers left and right were getting sick. I would hear angry, disgruntled passengers milling around the beverage bar describing their terrible symptoms. One dentist traveling with his wife commented to me that he'd never been ill like that in his life.
By Wednesday it had put a damper on the trip. The cruise director Rene from day one was telling the passengers to use the hand sanitizers located around the ship along with "chow for now." And my husband and I did along with others. I was even bathing two times a day to insure from becoming ill.
Meanwhile in the middle of the week the toilets weren't working at all. I smelled sewage during the night while in bed. They were eventually fixed and we were told that wash cloths had been thrown into one of the toilets and stopped up the system. How curious.
Friday night came and my husband got sick. On Saturday he rested. My husband said that an hour before he vomited for the first time he had drank the water from the dispenser at the coffee bar. He said it tasted funny. I immediately told the cruise director and he blew me off and dismissed it.
By this time three fourths of passengers had become ill but had recovered.
By Sunday morning at 1:00 Am I became terribly sick. And it continued till 8:00 in morning, just 4 hrs before we were to go home to the states. I became so badly dehydrated that I needed 4 bags of fluid siphoned into my body at a Swiss clinic. I couldn't fly home from Switzerland, till Tuesday, Dec. 4th.
Luckily we had insurance and are waiting for reimbursement, which will take at least 60 days.
When I got out of the clinic we had to go back to the ship. A new group for the next cruise was embarking. I told myself that wasn't enough time to fumigate that ship or at least find out the source of the problem. It had only been a few hours. I feel that ship should have been taken off the line.
When I got home I communicated with the Viking Cruise line and asked if any passengers became ill on the Helvecia before we got on. They said no. They were careful not to email me that information but to call me on the phone. The representative I spoke to sounded like a wound up android with little compassion for what I went through. I asked if reports of illness are coming from that ship now. Of course she said no. That cruise lands or it may have landed already in Amsterdam on Dec. 9th, 2012
My husband and I are of the opinion that it was the water that was contaminated. How else could something spread so quickly from the moment we got on board?
And for what we went through, Viking Cruise line only gave us a 10% discount voucher for a next cruise.