Explorer of the Seas To Return Home Early Due To Norovirus Outbreak

Explorer of the Seas

Cruise Hive had previously reported that Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas cruise ship had a gastrointestinal illness outbreak effecting 281 passengers and 22 crew members. Well now Royal Caribbean has decided to cut short the current voyage which was supposed to be a 10-day Caribbean cruise.

[quote_box_center]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.[/quote_box_center]

Royal Caribbean continue to say:

[quote_box_center]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.[/quote_box_center]

[quote_box_center]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.[/quote_box_center]

[quote_box_center]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.[/quote_box_center]

So instead of Explorer of the Seas scheduled arrival into its home port on January 31st the ship will now end the current sailing on January 29th where the special cleaning and sanitation will be done. Royal Caribbean have not announced any delays for the next cruise.

Since we’ve posted the news there’s been plenty of comments at our Google+ page which you can see below. Feel free to let us know what you think in the comments below.