Norovirus Update: Celebrity Constellation Cruise Ship is Latest to Join List of Sick Ships

A number of cruisers have been contacting our office asking about a sickness outbreak aboard the Celebrity Cruises' Constellation cruise ship. 

The Centers for Disease Control ("CDC") officially placed the Constellation on its vessel sanitation list of ships with sickness.  The Constellation sailed on January 28th from Fort Lauderdale and returned yesterday, February 11th. 

95 out of 1,992 passengers reported being ill during the voyage (4.77%).  12 crewmembers reported being ill. The sick passengers and crew reported symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea.

Only cruise lines calling on U.S. ports are required to report disease outbreaks to the CDC.  Cruise Celebrity Cruises' Constellation Cruise Ship - Norovirus?lines are required to make the report only when 3% or more of passengers or crew reported symptoms of diarrheal disease to the ships medical staff during the voyage.  Under-reporting occurs regularly because many passengers can't make it away from their toilets due to diarrhea, and some passengers don't want to be confined to their cabins. 

This is the fifth "official" cruise ship sickness outbreak which has found its way onto the CDC database which lists the Celebrity Silhouette, Celebrity Constellation, Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas, Princess Cruises' Crown Princess and P & O Cruises Aurora cruse ships.  The CDC data does not include the outbreak on Princess Cruises' Ruby Princess, which we reported on last week

The CDC has confirmed norovirus only on the Crown Princess and Aurora.  It is disappointing that the CDC can't figure out the type of disease on the other ships.  In no cases did the CDC pin-point the cause of the outbreak, to either a virus brought on the cruise ships by a passenger, or unsanitary handling of food by a crew, or infected food and/or water.  If the CDC can't figure out how the outbreak occurred, it seems hard to respond to the problem and eradicate the causative factors.

There has been a lot of criticism on how Celebrity Cruises handled the latest outbreak on the Silhouette.  You can read the comments by passengers here.   

How did Celebrity Cruises handle the outbreak on the Constellation?  If you were on the cruise, please leave her comments below, pro or con.

November 5, 2012 Update:

News sources are reporting that the Constellation suffered another outbreak of norovirus, this time during a 12 day cruise which just returned to Southampton.  BBC reports that 350 passengers became ill with vomiting and nausea. Read our article: Cruise Puke Fest: Norovirus Strikes Celebrity Constellation. if you were ill on that cruise please leave a comment at the end of that article.    

 

Photo credit:  Getty

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Comments (18) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Emilee Ward - February 13, 2012 5:55 PM

Your health is always going to be a concern while travelling and on a cruise ship. Different environemt and large numbers of people provide opportunities for bugs to spread. Some common sense practices,like washing your hands, can help keep you healthy throughout your travels.

joanne - February 14, 2012 12:47 PM

was on the Constellation for thier February 28th sailing - several passengers developed illness. No matter where you went on the ship you had to purcel your hands. In the middle of the cruise you were not allowed to serve yourself even coffee. Considering the circumstances I thought they handled the situation well. I was fine the whole cruise until we came home and I got sick. At least I had a great time.

Melanie - February 14, 2012 7:57 PM

I was on the Constellation for the Jan 28th,2012 cruise. Heard about people being ill. Crew were sanitizing everything more and more as the days progressed. All in all it was handled well and I had an enjoyable trip. I too got sick the day I got home.

Diane S. - February 26, 2012 7:36 PM

We sailed on Celebrity Solstice on 1/23/11 for a 7 day cruise. The top 4 floors were extremely sick and people were throwing up in the hallways and dinning room. I had the Norovirus as well as two of my family in my room. It was the sickest I ever was, they gave us a credit for a future cruise on one day each at total of $365 credit, which we will never use. I was handed a little stating a small percentage was sick on the ship on the gangway, but would loose all my $ if I did not get on the ship. It was the worse week of my life. I feared for my family, it was like living in a chicken coop. Celebrity is not reporting the number of sick, I was never given any paperwork to fill out.

May Cosdon - March 1, 2012 8:18 PM

My husband and I were on the Constellation on the February 11,2012 sailing. We both became sick on the 7th and 9th day of the cruise. We were very careful about washing and using hand sanitizers. The crew was constantly cleaning but, evidently it was not enough. We have been on this ship a number of times at this time of the year.

May cosdon - March 1, 2012 8:20 PM

My husband and I were on the Constellation on the February 11,2012 sailing. We both became sick on the 7th and 9th day of the cruise. We were very careful about washing and using hand sanitizers. The crew was constantly cleaning but, evidently it was not enough. We have been on this ship a number of times at this time of the year.

Tina Flood - March 30, 2012 7:48 AM

Research points its finger at several ways to transmit the disease. Food is the most common, followed by surface contact. What concerns me is that you can wash your hands constantly, but if you are on a ship it will be of no help if the virus is in the food. Do they run full inspections, etc., on their kitchens? I would think they do, but one doesn't hear of it, we only hear of contact cleaning.
anyone familiar with kitchen workers and inspections?

tercüme bürosu - September 29, 2012 3:07 PM

Each day it becomes more important to care about your health on cruise ships. In the last years we hear a lot about sick people after travelling with cruise ships.

Jackie Mcewan - October 23, 2012 11:57 AM

My husband and I travelled on the Constellatioin last October/November out of Istanbul. People were sick on our cruise and the previous one, obviously an ongoing problem.

malley - November 5, 2012 4:48 PM

going on constelation tomorrow it will be my 20th cruise recieved aletter today saying not to arrive to early as ship being sanitized due to norvovirus outbreak. never had a problem with any of the ships i have cruised on, this is first time with celebrity cruises. if i do get ill it will be my last and final cruise.

Linda Overall - November 6, 2012 3:31 PM

Just arrived back today from a 12 day trip on the Constellation, The virus was frightning in the speed it ran through the ship both young fit and old.
My husband 54 fit and healthy, contracted the virus after 8 days and confined to our cabin to 24 hours despite the fact that we both followed the hand washing and use of hand sanitizers 100% many passengers contracted it twice.
Were saw crew members not following the sanitizing advise.
the trip was totally ruined as we all made to line up for all drinks and food, most of the stations were closed by the time we had waited for drinks the food was cold, no condiments were available on tables
The library was closed
Kettles, drinking glasses, all books including bibles were removed for the cabins.it was crazy!

Theresa Calvy - November 7, 2012 8:37 AM

Like Linda Overall, I arrived home yesterday from the 12 day trip on Constellation. Everything she says is exactly right. In the end we were not even allowed to put our own salt and pepper on our food!! The waiters had to do it for us! I was with 5 friends and two of us contracted the virus - my friend had it twice! We were always so particular in using the hand sanitizers as well, although we found the officers not too particular in reminding the passengers to use them. We didn't even have anything to be sick in whilst in the cabin toilets if we had diarrohea at the same time!! We were told by some staff that approximately 20 per cent of the passengers went down with the virus and that in the middle of the cruise!

Neil taylor - November 7, 2012 8:58 AM

Just got back from wine cruise .day 2 our waiter was off sick. Day 3, 5 out of 8 on our table including me very sick. Next day no better rang medical centre told stay in cabin and nurse will come. 5 hours later rang again nurse said if no current problems she will do nothing. Very surprised until heard she had seen 375 people that day. Rumour over1000 sick!!!! Ruined cruise completely as more and more taken from cabin including as someone said the bible!!!! Have asked for full refund no reply yet.

Heather Mannion - November 7, 2012 12:00 PM

Arrived back yesterday from 12 day trip on the Constellation, I contracted Norovirus 3 days into the cruise and was very ill, in fact I have never been so ill in my life (56 years). The cabin was stripped of kettle, all drinking glasses, sofa cushions, fruit bowl etc. never to be seen again. Salt/pepper pots were removed from the Dining tables, the waiter was the only person allowed to 'adminster' the contents of these. All drinks had to be queued for, sometimes wait times of upto 5 mins or more. The first time I have every been on a cruise and lost weight. The first and last time we ever go on a Celebrity cruise.

willie - November 16, 2012 5:00 AM

was on the wine cruise 25th october to 6th nov 2012
on celebrity constalation (constapation) all above reperts are true and it was really bad with the virus
or was it a virus ??
no food was taken on this ship for 12 days no food was taken of ship for 12 days at least 350 people went down with virus or food poisoning where was food dumped from this cruise and if food was bad it went into sea
when waiters fall in in resturents when serving food on first and 2nd day ov cruise its not the passengers fault its the cruise line and they will tell you its a 5 star cruise never more like 2 or 3 star if cruise lines sail in uk waters they should come under uk laws health safty rules

Katy - November 23, 2012 9:02 AM

We followed & boarded on the 6th November. Bedrooms were bare as everything had been taken away to be cleaned. Day by day they were replaced until 3 days before the end if the cruise & they took it all out again. Although we understand the need for this we had paid extra for concierge class & had no compensation for the failure to provide what we had paid for! I suspect until the ship is taken out of service for a few days & is professionally deep cleaned there will continue to be problems. Many people were ill during our cruise & confined to barracks! Shame on celebrity for continuing to take money knowing the situation. Hiding behind the problem being the passengers will not make it go away! Good luck to all those who sail on her...crew or passengers!

caroline - November 29, 2012 10:18 AM

Am planning a cruise on Constelation Jan.2013. Will it be safe from this virus ? Please answer soon as I must reserve cabins now.

Tom Sheehan - December 28, 2012 11:23 PM

Went on the ship Nov. 30 out of Southampton, was delayed again to be deep cleaned at port. We didn't leave on time and the first 5 to 7 days we were on sanitation mode couldn't touch anything and people were still sick when we got on-board to cross the Atlantic. Ship is now in U.S. waters and is watched. We had a great cruise but first travel days was a pain couldn't touch anything and food on Lido slow. But nice trip for us. We didn't catch anything until last 2 days bad colds.

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