Over 300 Sick Onboard Explorer of the Seas

January 26, 2014

The Explorer of the Seas, which is scheduled to make 28 stops in Bermuda this year, will return home from its current cruise two days early, after an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness that spiked over the weekend.

More than 300 people on board the cruise ship have become ill during the voyage, the Centers for Disease Control said.

According to the statement, 281 of the 3,050 passengers and 22 of 1,165 crew members of Explorer of the Seas reported feeling ill with symptoms including vomiting and diarrhea.

A CDC Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officer and an epidemiologist were scheduled to board the ship in St. Thomas, USVI today [Jan 26] to conduct an epidemiologic investigation, environmental health assessment, and evaluate the outbreak and response activities.

A royal Caribbean spokesperson said, “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.

“We are sorry for disappointing our guests, and we are taking several steps to compensate them for their inconvenience.”

This year the ship, which can carry over 3000 passengers along with over 1000 crew, will offer five night cruises from Cape Liberty, New Jersey and will berth at King’s Wharf in Dockyard.

Royal Caribbean International Statement Regarding Explorer of the Seas:

Explorer of the Seas will return home from its 10-day cruise two days early, after an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness that spiked over the weekend. New reports of illness have decreased day-over-day, and many guests are again up and about. Nevertheless, the disruptions caused by the early wave of illness means that we were unable to deliver the vacation our guests were expecting.

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. We are sorry for disappointing our guests, and we are taking several steps to compensate them for their inconvenience.

After returning to home port on Wednesday, Jan. 29, we will perform a thorough “barrier” sanitization program on the entire ship to make certain that any remaining traces of the illness are eliminated.

It will be the third aggressive sanitizing procedure the ship has undertaken since we became aware of the issue, and will additionally provide a window of more than 24 hours where there are no persons aboard the ship, which is a significant help.

Guests scheduled for the next cruise on Explorer of the Seas can be confident that all possible measures will have been taken to prevent further problems.

At this point, it appears that reported illnesses among guests and crew peaked during the first few days of the cruise – though, as is common with many illnesses, some additional cases are to be expected over the course of the week.

Our doctors tell us symptoms are consistent with that of norovirus, but that they are awaiting the results of tests to confirm that diagnosis. Our response included flying additional medical personnel and equipment to meet the ship, and conducting additional sanitizing procedures at two of the ship’s stops.

In the end, however, the number of cases was still higher than any of us want to see. We will be cooperating with authorities and conducting our own internal assessments to make sure we are doing all we can to promote the health and safety of our guests and crew.

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  1. OBA no more says:

    Sounds just like what’s going to happen to the oba after the votes are read next election. I will not be voting for you again.

    • Cleancut says:

      A 14 year cruise from hell!

    • Nuffin but da Truth says:

      Keep drinking the green cool aid…it’s working..ya brain dead already!

    • CBA says:

      1) You probably didn’t vote for the OBA to begin with. You’re just saying that in hope that others will follow you.

      2) Do you remember the PLP’s time as Government? Do you remember the thousands of jobs being lost? Do you remember the money being spent like there was no tomorrow? You want to return to those days? Wow!

  2. Confused says:

    what on earth did the OBA have to do with this story?

    • Kangoocar says:

      Just silly nonsense from a liar that never voted for the OBA!!! I can’t stand liars!!!

    • Rockfish #2 says:

      Given the serious nature of the shipboard problem, that has got to be the most asinine post one can think of!

  3. more than enough says:

    and we’re sending bermudians to work in the bowels of these festering monstrosities? or have we negotiated in, strictly, ‘front of the house’ positions?
    i have to wonder how much these jobs pay?

    • Nuffin but da Truth says:

      they pay exactly the same as they pay the other people…peanuts!

    • somuchless says:

      2 dollars a day

      • Hmmm says:

        Wholly untrue… You are a liar. Prove your number.

        • sage says:

          P&o , a British Line was caught paying wait staff $400 a month, half the going rate, gratuities can be good, with passengers paying an average of $12 each a day x 4000, it is pooled and divided. Maitre d’s make up to $2000 a month, entertainers $450 – $2000. Living on a cruise ship, far less glamorous than guests quarters with 2-4 in bunk beds, sharing a small cabin in the bottom levels. I hope our folks make out well and climb the ladder quickly.

    • Hmmm says:

      Nobody is sending anyone anywhere. An opportunity was presented and people took that opportunity. It is the beginning of a career. We all start somewhere.

  4. Dear Lord, in Heaven above, please help us and spare us from such inane comments, and forgive those of such
    misunderstandings. Please Lord, help them to see the way clear, and to support it. Send us those who can help, bless the ones who are here-and get it- born here or otherwise… In your name, I PRAY.

  5. more than enough says:

    spare us, joan, from your unnecessary display of public supplication

  6. X man says:

    There’s always a chance that an outbreak of illness could happen on a Cruise Ship
    All you need is a batch of Meat or Seafood exposed to long or sombody in the Kitchen touch somthing
    that was toxic and didn’t wash his hands. — thats all it takes!
    The people incharge of the Kitchen area’s need to constantly watch out for kitchen workers who come in
    contact with food. – then again the Food could have been purchased with dangerous Bacteria.
    Glad it didnt happen comming or going from Bermuda.

  7. Truth is killin' me... says:

    I hope it’s cleared up before that boat docks here! We have no tourists as it is!!

  8. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    I try to avoid communal O.P.F. because you never really know what your are getting or how it is stored and prepared.

    Before the days of over priced prepackaged pharmaceuticals people would retreat to the kitchen, which, often would provide the source and cure for simple ailments and afflictions such as bee stings ; Sun burn; common cold; cuts;bruises and broken hearts.

    Honey; Olive oil; Arm and Hammer Baking Soda; burnt toast; vinegar; Bleach ; Ice;and Garlic were the miracle “First Aid” cures of their day.

    Crossing an Ocean on a ship may come with its fare share of ailments such as the Flu,Colds and Hangovers to name a few, the most common cruise ship ailment is sea sickness and possibly other water born illnesses of the third world.

    There are 101 ways of getting sick .

    The Standard Bermuda roof and water tank manifest its fare share of problems if not professionally cleaned periodically , Grandma’s cure for all that can be found in the Kitchen.

    Next time you watch some of the cooking channels on TV you will never see them wash the vegetables as they come out of the Refrigerator.

    Personal hygiene is absolute paramount. Communal toilet facilities are the pits.

    How about closing the toilet seat before you flush.