U.K. Cruise News Shorts: Norovirus Claim Settled, U.K. Immigration Changes affect Cruisers, and NCL Alters Ship Itineraries in Europe

January 14, 2013
(8:30 a.m. EST) -- From time to time, there are news stories from the cruise world that only need a few words of explanation, but are important enough that we just can't pass them up. Here are a few of those we thought you might like to know about.

Norwegian Cruise Line changes routes in Europe
NCL has announced that it will be changing itineraries for Norwegian Jade and Norwegian Spirit for the 2013/2014 winter season. The changes cover departures between 26 October, 2013 and 15 April, 2014. Spirit will replace stops in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands with stops in Casablanca, Morocco, on its nine-night Canary Islands and Morocco cruises, with turnarounds in Barcelona and Málaga.

Jade's 11-night, ex-Citavecchia (for Rome) Western Mediterranean cruises will replace stops in Alexandria, Egypt, with stops in Istanbul, Turkey and Naples, Italy.

U.K. Immigration changes to affect cruise passengers
A change in interpretation -- rather than the letter -- of U.K. immigration law will mean that cruise passengers face more intensive screening at U.K. ports.

Previously, U.K. immigration personnel cleared cruise ships in advance, on the basis of passenger and crew manifests, according a Scottish National Party statement. The SNP and Cruise Scotland -- a body representing the nation's cruise interests -- fear that a newly adopted practice requiring face-to-face checks for all cruise ship passengers and crew at the first U.K. port of call will prove detrimental to the Scottish cruise industry and the U.K. cruise industry as a whole.

According to Cruise Scotland's Chairman, Richard Alexander, cruise lines have indicated that the move will "make the UK uncompetitive and unappealing," threatening an industry currently worth £41 million to the Scottish economy.

In response, a UK Border Agency spokesperson said: "There have been no changes to immigration rules affecting cruise ships. We conduct full checks on all cruise passengers entering the UK to ensure our borders are not compromised.

"We welcome genuine visitors to the UK and we are in discussions with Cruise Scotland to make sure effective plans are in place to protect the border with the minimum inconvenience to passengers." Scottish woman awarded £8500 in P&O norovirus ruling
A Scottish woman who suffered severe abdominal cramps and diarrhoea during a world cruise on P&O's Aurora has been awarded £8500 in compensation out of court, according to The Scotsman Web site.

Elizabeth Marshall, of Leith, is still experiencing symptoms some four years after the four-month world cruise began. Amid claims of waste water in the ventilation system onboard, Marshall says the line "effectively poisoned" her. P&O's owners, Carnival U.K., paid compensation under the condition that they did not accept liability.

--by Jamey Bergman, U.K. Production Editor