The 3,000 passenger cruise ship, the Carnival Freedom, will undergo an extensive cleaning when the ship arrives back in Port Everglades on Sunday morning. Carnival Cruise Lines sent out an email to all the passengers of Sunday’s cruise that embarkation will not begin until 1:30pm so the ship can be thoroughly cleaned.
The ship is scheduled to leave Ft. Lauderdale, FL at 4:00pm Sunday (May 13, 2012) for a 6 night cruise stopping in Key West, FL, Grand Cayman Island, and Ocho Rios, Jamaica. There has been no official word from Carnival on whether the cruise will depart at a later time, although it is likely to be pushed back an hour or two to allow for proper embarkation.
Passengers have reported that virus like symptoms have spread not only on this current sailing, but also on sailings as far back as April 21, 2012.
Viruses like the norovirus can spread quickly on cruise ships with so many passengers and crew members in a confined space. Ships have hand sanitizer readily available for all passengers near the entrances to all restaurants and in other areas where germs can spread quickly.
Passengers who are on cruises should not rely only on the sanitizer, but they should also wash their hands frequently to keep viruses from spreading. Some symptoms of norovirus are vomiting, fever, headaches, and fatigue. Norovirus is also often called “food poisoning” or the “stomach flu.