Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas is battling a sickness onboard the cruise ship for the second straight week. Although the exact cause of the illness is unknown at this time, the suspected culprit is the norovirus.
So far, 97 passengers (4.5%) and 8 crew members (1%) on the currently sailing have come down with norovirus type symptoms. Symptoms of the norovirus are vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. Passengers and crew members who come down with these symptoms are quarantined to their staterooms.
The passengers and crew members have been treated with over the counter medications and Royal Caribbean has been using a special cleaning disinfectant since the outbreak began.
Last week, 111 passengers (5.2%) and 6 crew members (.76%) became ill on the same cruise ship.
Royal Caribbean has planned an increased cleaning and disinfection of the Grandeur when the ship arrives back in Baltimore on April 12, 2014. There will also be a staged disembarkation for active cases to help limit the spread of the sickness. They also plan a sanitation of the cruise terminal.
The cruise line is working with the Centers for Disease and Control and is collecting specimens that will be sent to the CDC lab. Two CDC Vessel Sanitation Program health officers and an epidemiologist will board the cruise ship on April 12 to conduct an environmental health assessment, evaluate the outbreak, and conduct an epidemiologic investigation.
Sickness such as the norovirus are easily spread on places as cruise ships where there are many people confined to a small area. The sickness is also quickly spread in schools, dorm rooms, and healthcare facilities.
Royal Caribbean is letting any passenger who is uncomfortable with cruising on the April 12-19 sailing reschedule for another cruise.
Cruise Fever will update this page if and when more information becomes available on this latest suspected norovirus outbreak.