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.
According to Royal Caribbean spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez, over the course of the sailing, 193 passengers (9.91%) and nine crewmembers (1.15%) experienced gastrointestinal illness, confirmed on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website as norovirus.
Those affected by the illness, Martinez said, responded well to over-the-counter medication administered onboard the ship.
After passengers were offloaded, the line began an extensive sanitizing of the ship and within the cruise terminal. This was the second such cleansing in two weeks. The line conducted a similar sanitization the day the shortened sailing departed as a number of passengers on the previous sailing also were hit by a gastrointestinal bug. On that sailing, 123 passengers (6.3%) and seven crewmembers (0.9%) got sick.
Passengers on the shortened sailing received an onboard credit (varying in amount by stateroom category) for missing Labadee, the line's private port of call in Haiti, as well as a future cruise certificate equal to one day of the cruise fare they paid.
Grandeur of the Seas is expected to sail as scheduled. Passengers uncomfortable with sailing on the ship may reschedule for a later cruise without penalty, Martinez said.
Norovirus is a gastrointestinal illness that causes flulike symptoms, including vomiting, low-grade fever and diarrhea. It spreads quickly when many people are confined to a small area, such as a cruise ship -- but also hotels, schools and hospitals. The best way to avoid catching the illness is to wash your hands thoroughly before and after eating and when you use the bathroom.
Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!
I wouldn't touch any of these cruise ships with a barge pole.Feb 07th, 2015 - 06:20 pm 0
The operators seen unable to clean the ship convincingly unless of course the organism is adapting, as viruses can.