|Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas|
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line has terminated the current 10-night voyage of the Explorer of the Seas two days early to allow the ship to undergo a "barrrier" cleaning at its homeport of Cape Liberty. This follows several previous attempts to clean the ship in hopes of stopping the spreading of Norovirus, a gastrointestinal illness, that start affecting passengers and crew last week. More than 500 people became ill.
Tis the Season
CDC Featured PodcastDr. Aron Hall discusses six tips to help prevent the spread of norovirus. Listen To This Podcast (4:09)
The first inclination when you hear about an outbreak would be to blame the cruise line. Clearly, they have let you down - you expected a healthy cruise, and you got sick. .
The cruise line is responsible - right?
The cruise line IS responsible for cleaning the ship and providing the facilities for passengers and crew to maintain proper hygiene onboard the ship. They do that - you'll notice signs posted in all the rest rooms and crew members pointing out sanitation machines, such as the one in the picture above posted outside the restaurant entrance.
But, ladies and gentleman - I suspect that YOU share some BLAME. Did you stop to wash your hands after using the bathroom? Did you sanitize your hands every time you entered a restaurant onboard the ship. Did you do so all but one time? That one time would be enough to kick off this sort of outbreak.
On two recent cruises onboard Disney Dream and Carnival Sensation, we noticed the sanitizing materials and signs. We also noticed many passengers disregarding the signs and avoiding the sanitizing of their hands before entering the restaurant.
Working together, the cruise lines and passengers could Prevent Norovirus!
Facts About Noroviruses on Cruise Ships - gastrointestinal (GI) illnesses can be prevented
Norovirus outbreaks, when they occur on a cruise ship, always make the news. The truth is these outbreaks can occur anywhere there are groups of people in a small area such as nursing homes, restaurants, catered events, hotels, and cruise ships.
Vessel Sanitation Program - prevention and control of spread of gastrointestinal (GI) illnesses on cruise ships
All Explorer of the Seas passengers will receive a 50 percent refund of their cruise fare, as well as an additional 50 percent future cruise credit. Passengers who were confined to their cabins by the illness also will receive a credit of one future cruise day for each day of confinement.
Royal Caribbean also will reimburse airline change fees and accommodations for passengers whose travel home was impacted by the ship's early return to port.