This past weekend, Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas made news headlines across the county after the a norovirus outbreak left 650 passengers and crew members sick. The cruise line made the decision to cut the cruise to 8 days (2 days shorter than scheduled) so the ship can undergo an extensive cleaning in the home port of Cape Liberty in New Jersey.
Due to the shortened cruise and disruptions in vacations, Royal Caribbean announced that they will be giving compensation to passengers who are on the cruise ship.
All passengers will receive a 50% refund of their cruise fare and a 50% credit towards a future Royal Caribbean cruise. The passengers that caught the norovirus will also receive additional compensation for each day that they were confined to their staterooms. Passengers who have the illness are required to stay in their staterooms and are not allowed to roam the ship. (Another good reason to book a balcony cabin)
Since passengers will be arriving back in New Jersey 2 days earlier than they had planned, the cruise line will also reimburse passengers for any airline change fees or other costs from traveling home early.
Royal Caribbean stated that the there has been a drop in new cases of the illness and most passengers who were sick are now “up and about”. So far, there have been 595 (20%) passengers and 50 (4%) crew members who have reported being ill according to the CDC.
Once the Explorer of the Seas is back in port, the ship will undergo an extensive cleaning and there will be at least a 24 hour period where there will be no persons on the vessel. A team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will oversee the evaluation of the disinfection process.
On January 31, the Explorer of the Seas will head back out on a 10 night cruise with stops in San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Samana, Dominican Republic; and Labadee, Haiti.
Do you think that Royal Caribbean has done enough in giving passengers a 50% refund and 50% cruise credit? Sound off in the comment section below and let us know what you think.