Cruise NewsNorovirus outbreak hits Carnival Cruise Ship

Norovirus outbreak hits Carnival Cruise Ship

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.

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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.

Review of the Carnival Freedom

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Ben Souza
Ben Souza
Ben is a world traveler who has visited 40+ countries, taken over 70 cruises. He is one of USA TODAY's experts for their 10Best Readers' Choice Awards. His writings have appeared and been cited in various media outlets such as Yahoo News, MSN, NPR, CNN, Fox, and ABC News. Ben currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. Follow Ben on Instagram. Visit Ben Souza on Linkedin. You may email Ben at [email protected].
Cruise NewsNorovirus outbreak hits Carnival Cruise Ship


  1. I just returned from the Mar 4-9 sailing of Victory to the Bahamas out of Miami, & we had an outbreak as well. My roommate was hit 2 nights before we ended till she got home, & I got hit the night before it ended. It was like a field hospital in the infirmiry overnight & the theater as everyone disembarked.

  2. My wife got sick on the Freedom on Dec. 21. No appetite, fever,lightheaded,and cramps. The doctor says cruise lines are notorius for peole getting sick. Never say don’t worry!

  3. I cruised on Freedom the first week of October. I have now suffered 8 days of severe stomach trouble. I think it was due to the buffet of leftovers on the last day. Though the food was terrible and cold (unless it was supposed to be cold, like cheesecake) the whole week. On member of our party suffered with severe stomach upset the whole trip, but insisted it was motion sickness despite the low fever and body shaking.

  4. i am scheduled to go on a cruise in the near furture on the same ship, any one know of any more outbreaks. maybe i should cancel and use another cruise line.

  5. After I filled out a questionaire someone called me at home for more details. I rcd a certificate for 1 bottle of wine on my next cruise!!!!! I returned the certificate—- I am insulted. big time. Winnie Baffa

  6. Just got home from an 8 days cruise. I knew something was going on nearby. Cabin attendant wearing a paper mask . Ships Dr. going into quarantine cabins. Raised voices in middle of night.
    I noted filthy flooring on around buffet area.
    I wont sail with them again, quality is gone and their internet cafe is a rip off. Art auctions are also a big sham.

  7. We also sailed Freedom May 5-13, 2012. I was with a party of 8, which included 2 children ages 4 & 1 and a 79 year old grandmother. Seven out of 8 of us, came down with this during & immediately following the cruise, one after another. One of our party went to the infirmary & had restrictions, but nothing was said about what it was or what to do. I drove home from Florida to Connecticut after the cruise with near constant diarrhea & vomiting. I loved the cruise but find it extremely negligent that Carnival was aware of an outbreak & didn’t keep passengers better informed or pre-informed. I called Carnival’s 1-888-227-6482 & they ‘opened a report’ in my name for carnival. I do not know what that will do, but I didn’t get a choice about getting sick & thought that it greatly affected a vacation/ family get together- so I thought that they should at the very least be aware.
    I will cruise again, but i will take heightened precautions to limit contact & boost my immune system

  8. What Carnival did to their loyal cruisers, was CRIMINAL…………..not to be warned ahead of time,& at least be given a choice of sailing or not…………….The strong smell of bleach throughout the ship, & wet menus, also wet chips in casino shouldh’ve alerted us……… When asked about it staff just made jokes…….& laughed……….I must say though the cruise was not a good one……Quality of food has gone down……..Casino staff very arrogant……….no joviality at all……….The only good memory I have of the cruise is John Alexander our Head waiter & his assistants in the dining room. but still not enough to bring me back to sail on Carnival again….. Carnival & it’s family of ships has lost the Cuthbert Family…………..I will be posting my experience on Facebook & letting all my family & friends know…….STAY AWAY FROM CARNIVAL .

  9. We were there. My wife got sick Wednesday night but was able to get out of bed about 24 hours later. It was not fun for her. For the cruisers that reported their illness to the medical staff, I agree there should be some incentive awarded. Not sure how being informed ahead of time would have changed anything, unless one decided to cancel and forfeit. If Carnival had informed cruisers of the potential for sickness based on prior trips and offered an option to cancel with full refund, that may have been a fair option.

  10. I was on the cruise from May 5th to 13th. I got sick on Wednesday the 9th, and missed Aruba and Curacao due to the 24 isolation rule. I agree with Dave, it is disgusting that we were not notified about the virus when Carnival had recorded cases 2 weeks prior to our own cruise. Both my waiter and a member of the housekeeping cleaning are room got sick during my stay.

    The medical staff were not helpful, and they ignored my questions when I started asking about other the well being off other passengers on the ship. Would not do a Carnival cruise again.

  11. I got sick Thursday and was sick the rest of the cruise. The criminal thing is Carnival knew two cruises before we went and told no one. I will never sail Carnival again, I don’t care how good the price. It’s just not worth it.

  12. Carnival did not keep passengers abreast on how bad the virus outbreak was. My daughter got sick three days into the cruise & was to sick to finish an excursion. My husband was very sick he last 2 days of the cruise & was confined to our cabin for the rest of the cruise. I came down w/the virus on the way home and still not fully recovered. When we went to the medical center the staff were not helpful nor understanding. I feel carnival should contact each guest that was affected with some kind of refund or discount.
    Will not travel carnival again!!

    • I totally agree. I came down with the virus and missed the ports and was confined to my room. I am just now starting to feel a bit better. I saved and saved for this cruise only to sit in my cabin and feel horrible (the worst I have felt for sickness my entire life). I think Carnival should give some sort of refund or onboard credit for another cruise.

  13. I was one of the unlucky folks on this ship’s sailing last week (May 5 to 13) that caught the norovirus. Came down with it Thursday night. I’m home now, feeling better, but still running a low grade fever with loss of appetite. It was not fun! I do have to hand it to the medical center and the cabin crew for doing a professional job though. And yes, I used hand sanitzer AND washed my hands.

  14. Hand sanitizers (alcohol gels) do NOT kill or reduce the chance of getting norovirus!!!

    people are being misled by articles like this one.

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