Cruise Ship Cutting Journey Short Because It’s No Fun When 600 People Are Vomiting


The Explorer of the Seas in happier days. (Reflextion717)

The ghostly specter of the Poop Cruise is out haunting again and this time it picked a Royal Caribbean cruise ship to mess with: The Explorer of the Seas will cut its 10-day trip short by two days after more than 600 people on board succumbed to an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness.

Yes, that means vomiting and diarrhea, according to a spokeswoman with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reports CNN.

“New reports of illness have decreased day-over-day, and many guests are again up and about,” the cruise line said in a statement. “Nevertheless, the disruptions caused by the early wave of illness means that we were unable to deliver the vacation our guests were expecting.”

Because it’s no fun for even the non-sick people to be around so many occupied toilets, Royal Caribbean decided that it was time to bring everyone home early and clean up the ship.

“After consultation between our medical team and representatives of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we think the right thing to do is to bring our guests home early, and use the extra time to sanitize the ship even more thoroughly,” the company said.

The Explorer of the Seas left on January 21 from New Jersey and will now set out from the Caribbean to return to port on Wednesday. And then it’s the company’s fun task to perform a “thorough ‘barrier’ sanitization program on the entire ship to make certain that any remaining traces of the illness are eliminated.”

So far it’s not totally clear what caused the illness, though it seems a lot like norovirus, Royal Caribbean says. Thus far a total of 577 of the 3,050 passengers have reported feeling sick, along with 49 of the 1,165 crew members.

It sounds pretty dire on the ship, as one passenger explained the setting.

“I started with upset stomach and vomiting, and that lasted all night and into the morning,” he told CNN by phone Sunday. Shows have been canceled as well, as some of the entertainers have also fallen into the illness’ embraces.

“If I can get off (the ship), I will,” he said.

At least it sounds like all the toilets on the ship are working, so there’s that small comfort.

Royal Caribbean cruise cut short after more than 600 are sickened [CNN]

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  1. SingleMaltGeek says:

    “Barrier sanitization” is not a thing. I used to work in both medical and laboratory settings, and I’d never heard of it, so I Googled it, and the phrase does not appear anywhere…except articles about the Puke Cruise.

  2. SpeakBob says:

    There was a story about this on my local news this morning because one of the local Mayors is on this cruise. They did a phone interview and he said that all sick people were being confined to their rooms, so there was no issue of sick people using public toilets. He also said that nobody in his group is sick nor have they run into sick people while on the ship in public areas. He also had no issue with the fact that the ship is returning to the port early and skipping the last port of call, calling it a safe thing to do when there is an outbreak like this.

  3. SirJanes says:

    I’ve a single anecdote as to how these outbreaks might happen. I was in an acute care nursing home recovering from a hospitalization. There was a sensitization ordered. A Salvadorian was cleaning my area while an American Latina was setting and watching on my roommates TV. The American was scolding the Salvadorian for working too hard and making the others look bad.