Oceania RivieraYesterday we received information about the current cruise of the Oceania Rivieria which is sailing through the Caribbean (Miami March 20-April 3). "The captain came on the intercom yesterday informing the passengers that a large number of passengers had come down with flu like/gastrointestinal issues and the CDC had been informed. The ship ported at their first stop Santa Marta, Colombia as scheduled today."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has now officially reported the third norovirus outbreak on the cruise ship.  

The first recent outbreak was during the November 18 – December 2, 2015 sailing and involved 74 ill passengers. The second outbreak occurred during the  February 12-22, 2016 sailing which had to be ended early and involved at least 124 sick passengers. We wrote about how the crew members had to work overtime, often off the clock and without extra pay, to try and super-clean the cruise ship. 

This latest outbreak involves at least 52 passengers who are ill with norovirus. Zero crew members were reported ill during the current cruise.

Unfortunately, the under-staffed CDC never tries to conduct a meaningful epidemiology assessment to determine whether the outbreak can be traced to a particular type of food contamination, an ill food handler, poor cleaning of the ship or an ill passenger who brought the noro aboard the ship. 

Expect the number of affected passengers to increase during the cruise notwithstanding the extra hours spraying and wiping by the crew. 

So far this year, there have been 8 gastrointestinal outbreaks reported to the CDC by cruise ships calling on U.S ports. 

Photo Credit: Kefalonitis94 CC BY-SA 4.0, creative commons / wikimedia.

  • Max

    This is no longer fun. Our 15th Oceanis cruise. Because of Noro, many activities suspended. The ship is ‘hosed’ down and left to dry every hour. So all is sticky including our toilet seat. If you touch a rail it is damp and sticky, disgusting. Service is still the big O service, but extremely slow as crew must pour your coffee cream, give you the butter and salt and pepper for you. AND the crew is dirt tired. Late yesterday they discontinued our lounge coffee, which was being served by a steward as we could not touch the machine The captain’s party was without appetizers. We are no longer happy.

    Aruba refused to let us dock yesterday. Held at bay all day. New crew and some passengers had to be delivered to ship late in the day by tug boat. A little risky at best in rough waters. Bonair let us dock today, but it is Good Friday with reduced services. All in all, if this is the rest of the cruise, we would like to go back to Miami now. Please have Oceania take care of us. We have another 3 cruises already booked andI am sure we will enjoy those times.

  • Werner jurman

    In cabin9125 woke up this morning and cabin next to us is taped with the dreaded red tape,so now I am living next to sick people,my clothes are sticky from everything being sprayed,they came into room and sprayed everything including my laptop,shoes,even the free chocolate is wet,what a bust out cruise,ship is not a happy place,people short tempered,crew trying their
    best to smile but it’s noticeable there tired,turn this ship back to Miami give us a credit and clean clean clean without getting the passengers all sticky,I am developing a skin rash from the cleaning stuff,hopefully I don’t visit a attorney.

  • Jan

    My friend and I both came down with norovirus within 12 hours of disembarking Riviera in Miami on Sunday, March 20. We were happy we were able to make it home first. We both notified the CDC, but may have been the only reports since others possibly didn’t report because they were off the ship. We both ate lots of fruit and berries at the Terrace just before leaving. Our husbands did not and were not ill. We are thinking this is where we contacted it — and it is miserable!
    Just now starting to feel normal.

  • Werner

    At sea today art room closed, cooking school the same, crew just washing and spraying, but there is Bingo ( yeah ) oh I forgot I don’t like bingo, but I can go to a next cruise seminar, hmm, same food service, no sugar unless brought to you, same with pepper and salt, walk into dining room tables lack everything needed to eat or drink, each item brought separately, food still good but would like to season myself but can’t touch shakers, creamer the same, tomorrow in Grenada, Easter Sunday so limited openings, but have directions to church services, but can’t complain too much I am in the same boat as everyone else, so making the best out of this cruise only because how hard the crew is working to keep us healthy, looking forward to happy hour, must stay hydrated to ward off germs.

  • Max

    Oceania is not reporting all who are sick. Our friend on deck 9 threw up most of night. The medical group told her to stay in her room for 48 hours after last symptom. They did it remove her card or tape her door. So are we trying to minimize the number reported? I cough in public from the disinfectant so just stay in room. This getting old.

  • Mum

    They say there have been 98 people with the virus and today we saw people being taken off the ship by ambulance in Fort de France, Martinique, it is the worst cruise we have ever been on everywhere is sticky and dripping with disinfectant. We stay in the room all the time after paying so much money to have this type of cruise.

    Many of the amenties are closed and if they aren’t you are frightened to use them. No one is giving you proper information and the staff are so tired from working all the extra hours you are not even getting proper service

  • S Maibach

    We were in the current Riviera cruise and saw things do down hill so we got off the ship in Bonaire. Oceania needs to step up to the plate and refund money for this miserable cruise. They are going to loose a lot of customers if they don’t do something.

  • Robert Dinozzi

    My wife and I were on the current cruise that left Miami on 3/22/16 We managed to escape when the ship was allowed to dock in Grenada.

    This infection started within 24 hours of leaving Miami Management lied to everyone from the beginning.

    We were told it was just a few people and that it came on board from some people that were at a hotel. They did not tell us this was the THIRD time this ship was SERIOUSLY infected within the last four months.

    A day into the cruise there were thirty plus infected people. We were told six cabins were under quarantine. Two days later the number was fifty plus. We were told that the numbers were going down and that we were still under 2%.

    The entire time I was speaking to the concierge staff and they kept telling me we were fine. That the infection was no big deal and that we would be getting into every port with no problems. We docked in Columbia but were refused in Aruba.

    On Saturday the captain admitted there were 41 active cases and there the number was 92 to date. I immediately decided I did not care about money or vacation time and made sure we got off at the next port.

    The attempt to save their brand and control the bad press was blatant. So much so that I refused to give ship management our passports when it came time to disembark. I insisted that I wanted to meet with Grenada customs myself. They had no choice but to allow me to do so. I told the Grenada customs people the ship was a very sick ship with as many as ten percent of the people being ill.

    When they asked why I would not give the ships management our passports I told them I did not trust them at all and worried that they would be returned to me.

    We made it home Easter Sunday night and this morning I called Oceana to plead with them to turn the ship around and ease the suffering of the people that were ill.

    I spoke with the head concierge. Gar O`Neil was his name and he was incredibly rude. Actually hung up the phone on me when I told him they were playing with peoples lives and that someone might die.

    My wife and I were in stateroom 12008 The reason we did not get the Noro Virus was that we hardly ever left the room. I insisted that we literally self quarantine. Even still My wife contracted bronchial Pneumonia.

    I have to say that the crew was amazing They worked hard and were kind The ships management had only one thing in mind. Protecting their brand and trying to minimize the cases.

    This was the last cruise I will ever take. Literally like being in jail with a chance of drowning.

  • Working aboard the rivrera was hell from crossing from barcelona was the hardest journey ever ‘ I have worked so hard these few months ,now the only thing most of the crew never get pay for over time-still yes there is slavery ship still out there .the worst part to see the guest face unhappy every day painful.

  • JB

    Extremely disappointed in the cruise. Became ill two nights after embarking in Miami and after dinner in the specialty restaurant, Polo Grille. I had the whole Maine steamed lobster for dinner. I was sick three hours later, quarantined for two and a half days and not allowed to leave the ship even after being out of quarantine and missed the first four ports. My husband was not I’ll but quarantined just the same. Oceania’s attitude, in my opinion, has been to blame the passengers for bringing the illness on board and accept no responsibility. They offered no compensation nor even an apology. The cruise was a disaster!

  • Glada McCoy

    This was our 12th cruise with Oceania, the most miserable, room 11067, room was so noisy all night couldn’t sleep,supplies etc, to Terrace all day and night. Sure personal knew of the noise, another guest told me, she had refused the room because of noise. We were lied to in reference to norovirus, more peope were quarantined than was disclosed, were not able to get off ship in Aruba. No Apologies, nothing from the Captain or any of personal. If we did not have three cruises booked, I would never go on another Oceania ship. The worst experienceever. I will not recommend Oceania to any friends.

  • Carol Cerny

    36 hrs after boarding the Riveria we were ill along with almost 100 other fellow passengers. We also ate at the Polo Grill( shrimp). We were quarantined and when we were well we were still not permitted to go on half our port excursions.Aruba denied the ship docking as there were too many sick people on board.Even if I wanted to escape the ship I couldn’t. Prisoners. First they made us sick and then punished us for it. Expensive trip and horrible experience. The staff are treated by management like modern day slaves. The only thing management could not ruin was the weather (sunny). But I bet they would have tried if they could.

  • John Cerny

    Virus did not originate in Miami.I dropped off wife and son to ship. I never boarded ship and was never sick. My wife and son who boarded ship were sick 36 hrs. after boarding. Ship made them ill.

  • Joy

    Does anyone know if the current April 2016 Oceania Riviera cruise has had any Norovirus outbreaks? We are scheduled to cruise on this ship in early May and would like to know how the current cruise is going. We know about the other outbreaks, which are concerning, of course. Is there any way to cancel in advance and get a refund if there is a third or fourth virus outbreak in a row? Hope the cycle has broken! Thank you!

  • Ken Barber

    We were also on the 3/20/16 cruise out of Miami and luckily neither my wife nor I caught the norovirus, but I did catch a solid case of bronchitis by the time we left the ship. We agree with all of the above, but also can’t understand why Oceania does not require passengers to sanitize their hands prior to entering a dining area the first 48 hours of the cruise like most other cruiselines do. Putting a dispenser at the door and expecting people to automatically sanitize their hands just doesn’t cut it. Had they done that, there probably would have been a lot fewer people affected by the outbreak. How many times does this have to happen before Oceania “coroporate” wakes up and changes their policy?

  • Gary Trumbo

    I agree with all of the comments made by our fellow passengers. It is appalling that Oceania has not responded to the passengers in any way. I wrote a letter to Oceania the day that we returned on 4/4 and have not had any comments back from them at all. Our travel agent even sent a letter along with our letter to her Oceania contact and again, no comment. We have now booked a new cruise and we will NOT go on Oceania again, unless they step up to the plate and do the right thing. They offered a 25% discount and 25% on a future cruise when they had an outbreak on the 2/22 cruise. Again, we had to endure the “situation” as they called it for 14 long days.

    I would think that a class action suit may be in order.

  • Scots cruisers

    We travelled all the way from Scotland to celebrate our Anniversary onboard Oceania Riviera 20 Mar – 3 Apr 2016. Luckily we were not Ill but echo all the other horror stories on this site. What has not been mentioned is the sewage smell on deck 9 and on outside of deck 14 which was blamed on air conditioning. After a few days all passengers were asked to complete a questionnaire as to what and where they had eaten on day one of the cruise which hints that possible food poisoning was being considered rather than noro virus. The results were never published. Senior Officers were noticeable by their absence and when you did manage to speak to one they were really unhelpful and non-committal. Passengers relied on the CDC website for accurate information. Towards the end of the cruise Captain announced no further cases had been reported but if this was the case then why were passengers still having to produce their cruise cards before obtaining food. Not the most memorable of cruises and NO WE WILL NOT REOMMEND RIVIERA TO ANYONE.

  • Susan Hunter

    My sister and I were on the March 20 cruise. She was sick and we were quarrantined 4 1/2 days. Missed 4 of the islands. Messy sanitizing (which is probably necessary), no library, eating off of disposable plates, missed many good meals, crew overworked. Second week was better. Wrote Oceania a detailed letter April 5 and still have not heard a word from them. They need to rebate those affected. Truly a mess.

  • Robert Kohlman

    My wife and I were also on the March 20-April 3rd RIVIERA “fecal fest 2016” , as we labeled it. Both of us got the symptoms within 20 minutes of each other. This occurred at 3:30 AM on Thursday en route to Aruba. We had dined at Jacques Wednesday evening, but ruled out that as we did not eat the same offerings. We were quarantined, then disallowed debarkation in Bonaire and Grenada. All previous comments mirror our feelings about this cruise. This was my post- retirement gift to myself and my wife. We have only been on two other cruises —Princess and Royal Carribbean—both were larger ships catering to younger families and a broader spectrum of cruise ship passenger. We never got sick on either of those cruises. My own theory is that Oceania is somewhat lax in it’s monitoring of passenger hygiene as evident by my personal observation of the behavior of some passengers and their apparent lack of personal hygiene practices and dress. Oceania seems to have created a floating nursing home. I am not trying to belittle those octogenarians and nanogenerians who seemed to make up the largest population segment of this cruise….God bless them ! If they have the fiscal and physical ability to do a cruise of this expense, then they should do so. But I witnessed way too many elderly passengers ignoring the hand sanitizer stations and hand washings after using the public restrooms. Also too many passengers were allowed access to dining venues in clothing less than acceptable according to the guidelines listed in Oceania’s brochures. If all I am going to get from Oceania is the letter of apology ( read disclaimer ) then they have seen the last of me. They should feel compelled to offer some form of compensation to those involved. It is just good business sense !

  • Ken Barber

    We got our “not our fault” letter today from customer relations and, of course, no compensation was awarded. What a surprise! Well, our best response is to walk and that’s what we plan on doing. We had 5 future cruises planned on Oceania over the next 2-3 years, but have decided to go on Holland America instead. At least on HAL, besides having better itineraries, they employ quality hygiene practices as soon as you board the ship. You should see the new hand washing machines they have when you enter the buffet area!! But, if nothing else, this Oceania cruise on the ms Quarantine gave us a memory we’ll be able to share with future cruisers for years to come.

  • Douglas Graham

    I have to add that this cruise was a cruise from hell. My wife who is a registered pharmacist and a person who has motion sickness stopped in the Infirmary to see if they had something for motion sickness. Bad move because she was told she had a Norovirus and was escorted back to her room. I was fit as a fiddle but our door keys were collected and we were “quarantined” After serving the incubation period we were still not permitted to move around the ship. I sent a note to Oceania corporate office complaining of being kidnapped, being held against my will, being threatened by the Captain with being disembarked, and never offered any due process. I met with the General Manager of the ship and the Head Conceriege for forty-five minutes and assured something would be done….
    Our port charges were kept for a port we were not permitted to enter. I believe this constitutes theft. Is this an opportunity for a good law firm to make some money and help some ripped on travelers?

  • Suzan Walsh

    Is there anyway we could all be put in touch with each other to make a joint complaint

  • John Threlkeld

    Thank You for your post.
    My wife and I along with another couple are scheduled to sail on the Oceania Riviera in August of this year
    for a two week cruise starting in Monte Carlo and ending in Venice. In light of the information on the Norovirus on the Riviera do we have a legal right to cancel and receive a full refund? Any other thoughts or advice would be welcomed.

  • rosemary deveglio

    I have been trying to get Oceania to give me a reasonable settlement for the March 20th to apr. 3 2016 cruise. We were treated like prisoners our keys taken away for 4 days. The services were horrible on the ship and we paid port charges for ports we could not get off on.They offered 25% off a Riviera cruise. This was “the trip from hell” I will never go back on that ship. Anyone have any success in getting something back?

  • Ken Barber

    We were also on the March 20th cruise and eventually got the same 25% off our next 2016/2017 Caribbean cruise-only fare. However, I’m not sure we will ever go on another Oceania cruise, even if they gave us 50-75% off. We’ve since cancelled all of our future Oceania cruises and rebooked them with Holland America. The price is a little cheaper, the food is just as good if not better, there is a lot more to do on sea days, the shows are much better, their itineraries are much more creative and ALL of their ships have a promenade deck so you can go for long walks without getting sunstroke! But most importantly, they take personal hygiene very seriously, especially the first 48 hours of the cruise, not just when CDC says you have to because 2% of your passengers have come down with norovirus. Heck, HAL even has hand washing machines now on the Lido deck which are really quite cool!

    John, from what I’ve read about the norovirus, it usually is much more prevalent in the winter months from Nov – Apr, so go have fun in the Med and don’t worry too much about it. Just remember to wash your hands pretty regularly and always sanitize your hands going in and leaving a dining facility. I know it sounds like overkill, but after awhile it will just become a routine thing.

  • Susan

    We sailed on the Riviera February 2-12 to the Caribbean.

    My husband and a friend both got Norovirus near the last few days of the cruise. When we contacted Medical, we found out the there were a lot of cases. We heard there were at least 70+ with Norovirus. The ship started videos on the TV about hand washing, etc. We were quarantined. Room service food was terrible, cold and tasteless, and the service was slow. . Our friend, became ill the night before we left the ship. They insisted on taking her to airport on the “Quarantine” bus, therefor spreading it to people at the airport on on the bus! How many Riviera guests became sick the next few days. Why wasn’t that incident listed on CDC?

    In May, we recently received a 25% off coupon.

  • Ken Barber

    Wow! That’s a good question, Susan, especially when they had another outbreak on the next cruise which sailed Feb 12th that was identified to CDC. That also explains why our steward said it was the 5th outbreak not the 3rd (officially) when it spread throuhout the ship on the March 20th sailing we were on. You have just reconfirmed why my wife and I will never take another Oceania cruise and continue to sway other cruisers to avoid Oceania as well.

  • Edith Yeager

    My husband and I are thinking about a cruise on Oceania in October. Have there been any outbreaks on Riviera since the March cruise?

  • Susan

    Has the ship overcome the problems? We are planning a May 2017 Adriatic charms cruise and just wondered if we should reconsider.

  • Florence

    We are thinking of a HNL to Miami cruise in March/April 2018 for 24 days on REGATTA
    Can anyone tell me about that cruise and with its high price for Penthouse am now wondering if its going to be worth it.
    Please reply.
    Thank you.
    Florence and Earl

  • Florence

    We are thinking of a HNL to Miami cruise in March/April 2018 for 24 days on REGATTA
    Can anyone tell me about that cruise and with its high price for Penthouse am now wondering if its going to be worth it.
    Please reply.
    Thank you.
    Florence and Earl