A Royal Caribbean cruise's voyage was cut short when hundreds of passengers and crew members became very ill. The ship was returned to New Jersey following the outbreak.
The ship was three days into its 10-day voyage when hundreds of passengers started experiencing symptoms of a nasty stomach bug. The illness began spreading so fast that the Center for Disease Control was dispatched to the ship. Members of the CDC arrived in hazmat suits and immediately began working to disinfect the vessel.
According to health officials, the illness is believed to be a norovirus. It is a fast spreading stomach bug that thrives in close quarters. The Royal Caribbean ship carries more than 3,000 passengers and over 1,000 crew members. It is estimated that 20 percent of people onboard were sick.
Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean said in an official statement, “Our people responded very quickly very aggressively.” Fain insisted that outbreaks like this are rare however, the company will be taking the appropriate actions with this matter.
Fain went on to say, “We will be compensating the passengers. Our people really do feel very badly that something like this happens, but unfortunately this is a bad time of year.”
Some passengers believe Royal Caribbean waited to long to respond after the first passengers became sick on previous cruise last week. One passenger said, “They should have canceled the trip day three when this outbreak happened.”
According to CBS News, the ship docked on Wednesday in Bayonne, N.J. Upon arrival the ship underwent a sanitation program. Passengers onboard are expected to receive a 50 percent voucher for a future trip and a $400 refund.