Illness Causing Royal Caribbean Ship to Return to Port Early
A norovirus outbreak has struck Royal Caribbean’s mega-ship Oasis of the Seas, causing it to head back to Port Canaveral a day ahead of schedule.
The outbreak hit a high point when the ship was sailing to Jamaica, and as of Thursday morning there have been reports that 277 guests and crew members have been impacted by the illness. Because of the outbreak, passengers were not allowed to disembark when the ship docked in Falmouth, Jamaica, according to reports from passengers.
Oasis of the Seas, Royal Caribbean. We’re docked at Falmouth Jamaica. Level 3 Norovirus outbreak. 100+ passengers and a crew member sick. Canceled shore excursion. Waiting to see if Jamaican authorities let us off the ship. #refund #lostvacation #disappointed #royalcarribean— Alan Thomas (@alan_thomas13) January 9, 2019
A Royal Caribbean spokesman told the Associated Press “We think the right thing to do is get everyone home early rather than have guests worry about their health. Those affected by the short-lived illness are being treated by our ship’s medical team with over-the-counter medication. Meanwhile, we are bringing additional medical staff on board and we’re engaging in intensive sanitary procedures to minimize the risk of any further issues."
The ship departed Port Canaveral on Sunday for what was supposed to be a 7-night Caribbean cruise. Now, it is skipping a planned port day in Cozumel and will arrive back in Florida a day early on Saturday. Royal Caribbean says the full unplanned day in port will give crew extra time to fully clean and sanitize the ship for the next voyage. Passengers will receive a full refund, the line says.