WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Over 300 passengers got sick on a Royal Caribbean cruise out of Florida last week.
- It is the second time in less than a month that passengers and crew became ill on one of the Royal Caribbean’s ships.
- The Independence of the Seas returned to Florida on Saturday after 332 passengers contracted a gastrointestinal illness.
There were 332 cases of gastrointestinal illness reported on a Royal Caribbean ship after a five-night cruise causing it to return Saturday to Port Everglades, Florida.
New Yorker Victoria Nolan said that she and six of 15 of her relatives aboard the ship fell ill. She said people were vomiting in elevators while heading to the ship’s medical facility. Nolan said she also went to the medical facility, but after realizing she had to wait for more than four hours for medical assistance, she decided to return to her room.
“It’s not their fault that it happened, but the way they handled it after people started getting sick made it 10 times worse,” she told WPLG-TV.
Passenger Marsha Homuska said that the crew worked hard to sanitize the ship during the outbreak, but the situation was just overwhelming.
“We went down to the medical facility and waited over an hour for help. They started running out of water and basic supplies,” Homuska said.
Royal Caribbean spokesman Owen Torres stressed that the number of people affected by the virus was only about 6% of the more than 5,000 passengers and crew onboard the ship, Independence of the Seas.
“Those affected by the short-lived illness were treated by our ship’s doctors with over-the-counter medication,” Torres said. “We hope all our guests feel better quickly.”
The cause of the illnesses was not immediately known, but Torres said Royal Caribbean conducted “intensive sanitary procedures to minimize the risk” of further issues. The ship underwent additional cleaning procedures before it left for its next cruise Saturday.
More than 200 people initially became sick after the cruise ship ended a two-week cruise from Singapore to Australia on Dec. 7.
Five passengers were treated at Royal Hobart Hospital, according to Mark Veitch, a physician and director of public health in Australia’s Tasmania state.
Royal Caribbean Cruises has 60,000 employees from more than 120 countries. These people have served more than 50 million guests over 40 years, according to its website.
Source: USA Today