As nearly 500 were sickened by a norovirus outbreak on Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas, the ship returns to Port Canaveral says Orlando Sentinel.
Oasis of the Seas, which was on a seven-day Western Caribbean itinerary, cut the trip short by a day as passengers and crew were found infected by norovirus.
The massive cruise ship changed course Thursday, when 277 people were found having contracted norovirus. It is a gastrointestinal illness that causes vomiting and diarrhea and is spread through contact.
The 6,285-passenger ship will return to Port Canaveral on Saturday, skipping a planned stop in Cozumel, Mexico.
Royal Caribbean is giving all passengers a full refund for the inconvenience.
How was the situation handled?
By Friday afternoon, passengers were notified via a ship wide announcement that the number of people affected had climbed.
About 100 people who showed symptoms of norovirus are quarantined in their cabins to stop the spread of the illness.
Erica Sattler, a 22-year-old passenger from New York who was celebrating her mom’s birthday on the ship, said she and her family support the cruise line’s decision to cut the trip short.
“With so many sick people I don’t think that anyone objected to us heading straight back,” Sattler said. “We just hope that everyone gets better soon and that nobody else gets sick.”
She added that the crew has been working “tirelessly” to wipe down and disinfect surfaces.
Cruise ships are required to report outbreaks of norovirus to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention any time the amount of passengers affected surpasses 2 percent of the total passenger count.
The CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program posts incidents on its website when the outbreaks include more than 3 percent of the passengers and crew onboard.
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