Earlier this week, the CDC announced approximately 300 guests and crew aboard Explorer of the Seas were suffering from from norovirus like symptoms. Reports from Royal Caribbean stated the ship’s crew immediately began advanced cleaning and serving procedures, aimed to reduce the contraction of the virus.
As the week continued, the CDC reported an increase in potential norovirus cases, prompting Royal Caribbean to shorten the current sailing and return to Bayonne, New Jersey two days earlier than scheduled. As the ship sailed toward Bayonne, many guests opted to remain in their staterooms even as the number of guests experiencing symptoms declined. During this time, CDC officials began questioning guests, attempting to determine the original carrier.
Only a few hours ago, the Explorer of the Seas arrived at Bayonne and will soon begin disembarking guests. Guests disembarking early today have been offered a 50% refund, a 50% future cruise credit, and financial compensation for additional travel expenses. Guests who were affected by the virus will also receive additional compensation, based on the number of days spent confined to their staterooms.
Until the Explorer of the Sea’s next departure on January 31st, the ship’s crew will begin a deep clean of the ship’s public spaces, staterooms, and exterior decks. This time has been set aside by Royal Caribbean to remove any trace or particle of the virus, ensuring the next sailing won’t experience nearly as many reported cases if any.
Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that can be contracted in most public places. Norovirus is the leading cause of acute gastroenteritis in the United States and is responsible for 19-21 million illnesses each year. The CDC advises the public to practice good hand washing habits and general cleanliness to avoid contracting and spreading norovirus.
More norovirus Tips
For more tips on avoiding norovirus while at sea, Cruise Addicts offers a very helpful and informative article:
Staying Healthy On Your Cruise