[caption id="attachment_78489" align="aligncenter" width="620"] The Royal Caribbean International's Explorer of the Seas is docked at Charlotte Amalie Harbor in St. Thomas, U. S. Virgin Islands, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014. U.S. health officials have boarded the cruise liner to investigate an illness outbreak that has stricken at least 300 people with gastrointestinal symptoms including vomiting and diarrhea
[/caption]Royal Caribbean Sick Ship Returns
A Royal Caribbean cruise ship returned home early to Bayonne, N.J., Wednesday, and the passengers were glad to finally be able to get off. That’s because more than 600 of them, along with about 54 crew members, had gotten sick with the worst outbreak on a cruise ship in 20 years.
Passengers told stories of people vomiting throughout the ship, waiting for hours to be seen by medical staff and widespread digestive sickness. They had boarded the ship in search of a warm retreat, a honeymoon or a long-anticipated retreat and instead spent days of misery.
The culprit was a norovirus, which causes vomiting and diarrhea and is particularly contagious, especially in close quarters, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The center worked with the company to determine the cause of the outbreak and the best course of action.
The cruise line said it was refunding passengers half of their trip ticket and giving them a 50 percent discount off a future cruise. The ship is being sanitized to get rid of the virus before it is used again.
Many of the patients who returned home said they were not interested in ever taking another cruise.
“Royal Caribbean Cruise Returns Home – With a Sickness Record,” CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/29/travel/royal-caribbean-illness/