The Royal Caribbean cruise ship, which was filled with 659 passengers and 54 cruise workers suffering from the norovirus, finally returns home on Wednesday. The challenge now is to clean the ship. This marked the highest number of sick people reported on any cruise ship in two decades, CDC data shows.
In total the ship had 3,071 passengers and 1,165 crew members, according to the CDC. Explorer of the Seas departed Cape Liberty on January 21 for what was supposed to be a 10-day cruise. After passengers and crew members developed symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting, the journey was cut short.
CDC officials boarded the ship in St. Thomas on Sunday to study the outbreak and the response on the voyage back to Cape Liberty. What caused the virus? It is still unclear.
“The number of reported new cases of gastrointestinal illness has dropped sharply after a spike in the first days of the cruise, and most guests who fell ill are up and about,” the cruise line said Monday.
Who would dare board the same Royal Caribbean ship, even after being cleaned inside and out?