Norovirus on Explorer of the Seas: More Sick than Reported

Explorer of the SeasCNN interviewed a family who became sick with gastrointestinal illness while sailing aboard Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas.  

These passengers (Mom, Dad and two kids), made some interesting comments. They disputed the official statistics reported by the cruise line to the Centers for Disease control (CDC) indicating that only 20% of the passengers were infected.  

They believed that a more reasonable estimate is that 80% were infected and 20% were not infected. At some point, they say, the cruise ship's medical infirmary was over-run with sick passengers. The facility could not process and treat the hundreds of people becoming ill. 

The family also said that the cruise line medical personnel "told us to stop coming down" (to the infirmary).

Watch the video below. 

Photo Credit: Roberto Schmidt / AFP / Getty

 

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Comments (6) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Gino beyens - January 31, 2014 1:00 PM

my opinion is that the virus can easily cirulate, spread and nest in the Windjammer café restaurant because the seats are braided in reeds( cane).
Two years ago i was on the advanture of the sea and the Explorer of the seas and I seating in the seats in braided reeds and thought to myself , this seats are very very dirty inn the braids in reed (cane), usury place for virusses!!!!
I am sure that this is a big big problem those seats in reed .I think there's still no one has thought about it.

Jeremy Austen - February 2, 2014 4:26 AM

How can you trust and then go on to publish as fact the views of one family during this cruise. It's incredible that 1 family can accurately estimate the number of people sick without access to the medical records onboard. And we all know how people like to exaggerate and embellish when they are the centre of attention. Just because they were interviewed by CNN , does not mean that whatever they say is true- check the facts first before repeating them in a forum like this. With regards to the infirmary asking people not to come down- this is standard procedures set up by the Cruise line with the help of the CDC- of people believe they are sick and it is during an outbreak they need to rain in their staterooms and call the infirmary- this way they don't spread it or risk exposing themselves to it!!
Check your facts first and stop sensationalizing and repeating hearsay, it's likely that people with any common sense will stop believing you and you could land yourself in a libel suit.

Regards,

Jeremy Austen

Joao Batista - February 2, 2014 6:34 AM

It's enough that among two thousand passengers, a dozen do not wash hands (I grant to you a lot does not, even after going to toilet ) to spread the virus around , mainly because people put hands on everything around the ship like stairways , doors etc, and does not even use the hand sanitizers in front of the buffet before taking their meals.
It would be nice to hear about that in the News and TV Shows , otherwise it looks like a cruise is worst than the allien invasion, at list something to avoid!

In fact, for cruisers, should be a matter of education and personal care, as it is for the crew a matter of professionalism and concern for their passengers.
Plus, the high population density onbord is un unavoidable issue of impossible solution for this businness, and even cleaning and sanitizing all around, the crew member cannot be the policeman behind every customer.

In conclusion, the crew has my sympathy, because I know from my experience "in situ", that not only they are very efficient professionals, who take their profession very seriously, but also that RCL and Crew do and will do everything necessary regarding the comfort and satisfaction of customers.

Ex Crew 113090 Correia F. Batista, Joao

Stayed in cabin...medical never came - February 2, 2014 2:47 PM

I believe this family. There have been numerous accounts of people that stayed in their cabins as they were instructed to do so but no one from medical ever came to see them or came to them after many many hours. Same thing with room service and various other guest services. The ship was overwhelmed by this outbreak. It was the same scenario as the Celebrity Mercury. You think the company would have learned from the previous disaster.

Anina Salerno - February 3, 2014 6:40 PM

I was on this ship during this outbreak. These people are not exaggerating ANYTHING. My husband got sick about 48 hours after we boarded. He was VIOLENTLY ill, had diarrhea, chills, and a fever. When we called the medical facility, they told us to come down. There were people EVERYWHERE, in wheel chairs, regular chairs, sitting on the stairs, lying on the floor. It was clear that they were overwhelmed They were handing out numbers. He was number 120, and they were seeing number 48, I think, at that point. We went back to our cabin and called on the hour because he could not stand up anymore and there was no where else to go. The public areas of the ship were like a ghost town. It took many hours for them to see my husband, and all they did is give him Tylenol and an anti-nausea pill and confine him to his cabin. Foolishly, they did NOT confine me, and since I was taking care of him, I clearly was exposed to the virus. Every time I spoke to other people, it was clear that half the people they were with had been ill, but most didn't go to the infirmary because it was clear they were overwhelmed. We were traveling in a group of 8 people. At least 4 of us got the virus. Only my husband contacted their medical facility. I didn't get sick right away. I felt sick several days later, but I did see the doctor. He said that it wasn't the virus--people were getting nauseated by seeing so much illness. Room service was very slow, and eventually unavailable. The soft drink machines we paid to use were all shut down as well. The first day of the cruise they only had the buffet dining room open, and I saw kids putting their hands in the salad and putting the food they touched back for other people to eat. It was chaotic and a very unpleasant place to eat, and after that my husband and I had decided not to go there again, but it was already too late to prevent his illness. I think that the way Royal Caribbean handled the buffet dining, the snow on the decks, and the cost of this disastrous trip were completely ridiculous. This was our first cruise. They expect a 50% discount on our NEXT cruise to be considered compensation. What if you never want to get on a ship of theirs again??

Keith - February 6, 2014 8:32 AM

I would like to say that the real number of sick people to be far more then reported. I was on this cruise, and after the first full day at sea this cruise was over. There was a large number of people who self medicated and self-quarantined. Many had no idea about the outbreak till the fourth day and at that point so many things had closed on the ship they should have turned around at that point. My 4 year old had no functions for kids during the entire trip. Which was difficult since both myself and my wife where sick. As for the refund it should be 50% plus a total refund for the 2 lost days. Which is what I, plan on asking for, for myself and my wife. I also plan on asking for 90% - $100( the per deiam) for my daughter. I have 85 plus past crusies and this one rated number one for lack of service. The crew did what they could I don't blame them,but corporate should have had a better plan in place.

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