It might be a new year, but that doesn’t mean cruise ships have steered clear of their bad luck and PR disasters. This time it’s not Carnival Cruises, but the Royal Caribbean. According to reports, dozens of passengers on a four-night cruise fell sick with a stomach illness.
The Majesty of the Seas docked in Miami Friday after a trip that included stops at Nassau and CocoCay, Bahamas, and Key West, Florida. As CNN reported, sixty-six of the more than 2,500 passengers aboard experienced gastrointestinal issues, such as vomiting and diarrhea, Royal Caribbean International said. From the 800 crew members, two became sick, RC reps said.
So what’s causing this stomach sickness to spread? The cruise line suspects the diagnosis to be norovirus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta describes norovirus as a very contagious bug that can be spread by infected persons, in contaminated food or water, or through contact with contaminated surfaces. It can even be fatal. Each year, the U.S. sees 570 to 800 deaths from norovirus.
Passengers are being treated with over-the-counter medication they are receiving on the ship. Upon docking, the cruise company said, “conducted an extensive and thorough sanitizing on board the ship and within the cruise terminal, to help prevent any illness from affecting the next sailing.”
Looks like Royal Caribbean could see several lawsuits or may be passing out many free cruise trips (if the passengers will even want to go after this experience).