Norovirus Outbreak On Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Leaves 200 Passengers Sick

Norovirus outbreak on cruise ship

Several passengers aboard the Royal Caribbean cruise ship “Grandeur of the Seas” had a less than exciting vacation after their trip was cut short following complaints of Norovirus infection. According to CNN, nearly 193 passengers on board the ship, which was on a nine-day trip to Jamaica, complained of gastrointestinal sickness while on board the vessel. Nine crew members on board the ship too complained of symptoms that closely resemble that of the Norovirus. One of the passengers reportedly needed emergency medical attention, following which the ship returned to the Port of Baltimore, from where it had set off.

After a thorough check, The U.S. Centers for Disease Control confirmed that the cause of the gastrointestinal sickness was indeed Norovirus, which has in the past afflicted passengers aboard cruise ships. The CDC had reportedly sent in a team of four that included two environmental health officers and two epidemiologists to collect samples on board the ship while it was still in Jamaica. Royal Caribbean is now planning to use the ship for a scheduled subsequent cruise.

Royal Caribbean spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez has, in a statement to CNN, said as follows.

“Once all guests had debarked Grandeur of the Seas, we began an extensive and thorough sanitizing onboard the ship and within the cruise terminal, to help prevent any illness from affecting the subsequent sailing. All guests today will receive a letter at boarding that asks if they have experienced any gastrointestinal symptoms within the last three days. Similarly, if guests are uncomfortable taking their cruise, for reasons related to personal health or otherwise, our staff assisted them in rescheduling their sailing for another time. The ship will depart today, as scheduled.”

Incidentally, this is not the first time that “The Grandeur of the Seas” has witnessed a Norovirus outbreak. In 2014 alone, there were reports of at least two separate Norovirus outbreaks on the ship.

Meanwhile, Syracuse.com reports that several passengers have complained that the cruise line is not providing them with enough information.

According to a passenger identified as Nick Canning, the cruise company kept on changing the actual number of people who were infected with Norovirus.

“It kind of seemed like they weren’t being very honest with us about the whole situation. We heard that there were three people sick. Then another person said it was over 100, so, I mean, we never got a clear answer from any of the crew members,” he said.

Another passenger described her experience as a “cruise from hell”.

Last year, the Inquisitr had reported of several cases of Norovirus infections from across the U.S. Another ship, named Crown Princess, back in November, 2014, had its trip cut short after over 170 people showed symptoms of Norovirus infection.

[Image via Wikimedia Commons ]