CBS (Miami) reports today that a Royal Caribbean cruise ship arrived back in Port Everglades this morning with an outbreak of norovirus on board
The cruise line has not responded to requests for information, but passengers aboard the Vision of the Seas complained about vomiting and diarrhea. Passengers said more than 200 passengers had to be quarantined due to the outbreak.
“It’s been a hell of an experience,” said passenger Johny Celaire, of the 11-day cruise. The captain reportedly announced there had been an outbreak of the norovirus on board shortly after the cruise ship departed.
CBS reports that one cruise passenger, Joan Webber was not quarantined even though her husband was ill. She is concerned that other passengers infected with the virus will take taxi cabs to hotels and airports where others could be exposed.
“There are people flying out today that are going on an aircraft that have diarrhea so bad they don’t know how they are going to get back up to Canada,” Webber said. “I’m surprised we didn’t go and have the health department talk to us.”
CBS further reports that Celaire said Royal Caribbean’s customer service reps added insult to injury when they called to inquire about the situation.
“She said to me if you had washed your hands you’d be okay,” Celaire said. “I said, ‘How the hell do you know if I didn’t wash my hands?’”
Blaming the passengers is a common ploy by the cruise lines even though the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) state that the most likely cause of norovirus outbreaks is contaminated food or water.