According to the CDC, a ten-day Royal Caribbean cruise-ship aboard the "Explorer of the Sea," will return two days earlier after an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness that has caused some 577 passengers to become ill with the symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea.
Unfortunately, Royal Caribbean was unable to deliver the vacation our guests were expecting," the cruise-ship line said in a statement.
COMMENT: Upon the vessel's return to its home port of Cape Liberty, NJ, the "Explorer of the Sea" will undergo a "thorough sanitization program on the entire ship to make certain that any remaining traces of the illness are eliminated.
"The cause of the illness was not immediately clear, though symptoms are consistent with norovirus, the cruise line said.
Noroviruses spread easily and are a common cause of gastroenteritis, which produces vomiting and diarrhea.
According to the CDC, 577 of the 3,050 passengers and 49 of 1,165 crew members reported being ill.
Those passengers aboard the Royal Caribbean vessel who were diagnosed as ill should request a full refund of their booking.
As I have said so often in the past, particularly on cruise-ships having more than 2,000 passengers and crew members, illness, vomiting and diarrhea are a frequent occurrence, which is why I urge cruisers to select vessels with reduced occupancy.