The peak season for norovirus, a familiar cruise holiday illness, is looming large on the horizon according to epidemiologist Doctor Aron Hall.

Dr Hall, who works at the US based Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, issued the warning as the 2011-2012 cruise season begins to gather pace.

Norovirus is a gastrointestinal virus with symptoms proving particular discomforting as passengers endure bouts of diarrhoea and vomiting.

In most cases, sufferers aboard cruise ships are placed into quarantine where they must simply wait and let the illness run its course.

Recent US figures showed that the number of norovirus cases has reduced over the last year. But despite this, Dr Hall warned travellers planning cruise holidays over the next few months, to be extra careful.

He noted that the period from December to February represents the peak season for norovirus cases and warned that cruise ship holidays could easily be affected.

Speaking to the Sun Sentinel, Dr Hall warned that "any place where people congregate and share germs,” could be at risk.

Have you ever suffered for norovirus?

Do you have any advice for anyone who does?