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 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