Tourism & Cruises

Norovirus outbreak forces one of the world’s biggest cruise ships to cut trip short

Have you ever heard of norovirus?

This short video explains what norovirus is, how it is spread, groups that are at high risk for severe disease and how you can protect yourself and loved ones from getting it. Seniors and young children are vulnerable.
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This short video explains what norovirus is, how it is spread, groups that are at high risk for severe disease and how you can protect yourself and loved ones from getting it. Seniors and young children are vulnerable.

Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas cruise ship will cut its current cruise short due to a norovirus outbreak.

At least 277 passengers and crew members have fallen ill since the 6,780-passenger ship left Port Canaveral on a seven-day Western Caribbean cruise on Sunday. The ship will return to Port Canaveral on Saturday, one day ahead of schedule.

Royal Caribbean said all passengers will receive full refunds.

“We think the right thing to do is to get everyone home early rather than have guests worry about their health,” said Rob Zeiger, chief communications manager for Royal Caribbean. “Returning on Saturday also gives us more time to completely clean and sanitize the ship before her next sailing.”

Vacationers aboard the Oasis of the Seas were not allowed to disembark the cruise ship in Jamaica on Tuesday because of the outbreak on board. On social media and the website CruiseCritic, passengers complained about not being able to get off the ship, which is continuing to Cozumel, Mexico.

According to the CDC, norovirus is a contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea. People contract norovirus when they come into contact with contaminated food, surfaces, or other people who have it. Although shipboard outbreaks cause headlines, norovirus has also occurred at schools, conferences and in hotels.

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Taylor Dolven covers the tourism industry at the Miami Herald, where she aims to tell stories about the people who work in tourism and the people who enjoy it. Previously, she worked at Vice News in Brooklyn, NY, where she won a Front Page Award from the Newswomen’s Club of NY for a national investigation of police shootings.
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