Cruise Ship Norovirus – Celebrity Cruise Ship and Royal Caribbean have Norovirus Outbreaks
Almost 6% of the passengers onboard the Celebrity Infinity cruise ship have been diagnosed with norovirus after travelling on the ship for a 15 day cruise out of San Diego. This is the third time since 2006 that the Celebrity Infinity has suffered an outbreak of the Norovirus, with it occurring most recently in 2013. Celebrity maintains several cruise ships at Fort Lauderdale Port Everglades during the winter cruise season.
Royal Caribbean is also experiencing problems with Norovirus aboard the Royal Caribbean Legend of the Seas. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is reporting that more than 6% of the passengers aboard the Legend of the Seas have become ill with vomiting and diarrhea due to contracting norovirus.
Norovirus is a highly contagious virus than can be transmitted easily through various means – contaminated water or food, or through an infected person onboard the cruise ship. If you touch a surface that has been contaminated by the infected person, you have a good chance of contracting the virus. The virus causes serious intestinal sickness including vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain, and can cause more serious symptoms in the elderly and young children.
Norovirus outbreaks are unfortunately a common occurrence on cruise ships. Already in 2015, the CDC reports there have been 5 norovirus outbreaks – on Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas and Legend of the Seas, the Celebrity Equinox and Infinity, and Norwegian Cruise Lines Norwegian Pearl. In 2014, the CDC reported that 7 norovirus outbreaks occurred on cruise ship – involving most of the major cruise lines – Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruise Lines, Holland America, and Norwegian. In 2013, a startling 25 norovirus outbreaks were reported with 8 of those being reported on Princess Cruise Ships, 3 onboard Royal Caribbean cruise ships, and another 6 norovirus outbreaks on Celebrity cruise ships.
Video footage of the Celebrity Infinity showed cruise ship workers, in hazardous material gear, spraying down the balconies of several cruise ship cabins. The Infinity is actually scheduled to leave port again on another cruise despite having the norovirus problems in its most recent cruise. Travel agents are warning people that are taking Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and other cruise vacations to bring hand sanitizer and handi-wipes to disinfect their cabins, and for use while onboard to avoid a cruise ship sickness.