Royal Caribbean Stop Calls To South Korea Due To MERS Outbreak

Mariner of the Seas
Photo By: Rennett Stowe (Creative Commons)

Royal Caribbean have cancelled calls to South Korea due to a Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak that has already killed 10 people in the Asian country.

The cruise line has told Cruise Hive that four of the companies cruise ships will no longer sail to the country because of the MERS outbreak. Mariner of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas and the ship formerly known as Celebrity Century have all been affected. The cruise line has adjusted itineraries and used an alternative port or a day at sea.

Cynthia Martinez, Director, Global Corporate Communications provided Cruise Hive with the following statement:

We’ve been closely monitoring all developments regarding the increase in the number of cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome, also referred to as MERS in South Korea.  Health authorities from a variety of nations are investigating the situation and we remain keenly attuned to their progress.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has cancelled calls to South Korea for Mariner of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas and SkySea Golden Era. These port calls have been replaced with an alternate port or a sea day. We are taking proactive steps to help ensure the health and well-being of all our guests and crew members. Royal Caribbean is also adding extra measures to protect passengers and crew.

The cruise line is taking the extra precautions to protect passengers and crew from getting infected. Royal Caribbean is providing letters to guests regarding MERS, which includes a description of symptoms. The company is also prescreening all guests and crew members before boarding and If necessary will isolate and treat guests or crew members who display symptoms, using anti-viral medications that are onboard all ships. Ships will also provide hand sanitizers all around for anyone onboard to use.

Royal Caribbean states that guests and crew should wash hands thoroughly with soap and hot water – often,  cove the mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, put used tissues in waste baskets and If tissues are not available, coughing or sneezing into upper sleeves, not one’s hands. Royal Caribbean states “Like our guests, we take all health matters seriously and we’ll continue to closely follow all developments regarding MERS.”

So Far at least 122 people have been infected by Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and other cruise lines are also monitoring the outbreak closely.