Passengers of Royal Caribbean's Independence of the Seas expressed relief early Saturday as they returned to Florida after more than 200 people fell ill aboard the five-night cruise. Royal Caribbean said 220 passengers came down with a gastrointestinal illness during the cruise, which left Fort Lauderdale's Port Everglades last Monday for Labadee and Jamaica.
The norovirus which has caused havoc to the cruise industry had emerged in Massachusetts waters forcing the closure of shell fishing within Wellfleet Harbor. The ban imposed by the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) has been set since October 28, but does not include bay and sea scallop adductor muscles and carnivorous snails, including conchs and whelks.
Hundreds of Royal Caribbean passengers were stricken with acute gastrointestinal ailments, including vomiting and diarrhea, on two cruise ships off the coasts of Mexico and California earlier this week. The debilitating illness was identified as norovirus, outbreaks of which aren’t uncommon on cruise ships, especially during the winter season.
A ten-night sailing of Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas cruise ship was cut short by one day after nearly 10% of passengers were struck by norovirus. An unrelated medical emergency expedited the need for the ship to dock early as bad weather made an at-sea transfer impossible.
The Falkland Islands is aiming to develop a policy to protect the territory from the spread of norovirus, an infection which is not uncommon in big urban centres but which several cruise vessels have also experienced.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. on Friday said its “Vision of the Seas” cruise ship returned to Port Everglades in Florida with 108 people who might have caught an illness thought to be norovirus.
Many passengers aboard a River Rhine cruise ship have fallen ill. The cruise liner, the MS Bellriva, had been on the river when around 70 people complained of symptoms linked to the highly contagious Norovirus.
More than 100 people on board a cruise ship operated by a unit of Carnival Corp have fallen ill with a stomach virus, the latest setback facing the world's biggest cruise company, which came under scrutiny last month for the Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster in Italy.
Political controversy has erupted in Gibraltar following the outbreak of a Norovirus infection in a local hospital. The highly contagious virus which causes vomiting, diarrhoea and dehydration is not unknown to the cruise industry which has been forced to cancel trips and isolate vessels.
Due to a reported outbreak of norovirus on the cruise vessel Star Princess, following agreed protocols, the Chief Medical Officer took the difficult decision not to allow the vessel to land in the Falkland Islands as scheduled. The vessel had been due to arrive in Stanley at 8am on the 14th January.