A Jamaica-bound cruise ship was forced to return home a day early after up to 500 passengers contracted a norovirus infection.
The Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas was set to return to Port Canaveral on Saturday instead of its planned return Sunday due to the outbreak, Forbes reported.
The norovirus is a very contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea, according to The Centers for Disease and Control Prevention.
The virus can also cause fever and body aches in those infected.
Disgruntled passengers tweeted that due to the outbreak, they were required to stay onboard the ship after docking in Falmouth, Jamaica, The Associated Press reported. (Initial reports suggested the outbreak hit fewer passengers.)
“We think the right thing to do is get everyone home early rather than have guests worry about their health,” cruise line spokesman Owen Torres told the AP.
He said the early return would provide the cruise line with “more time to completely clean and sanitize the ship” before it leaves port on another voyage.
The incident attracted headlines around the world.
Passengers return after norovirus outbreak sickens nearly 500 people – 13WHAM-TV
The Oasis of the Seas docked in Port Canaveral Saturday — a day early –… https://t.co/cRI1F5SHLw
— Global News Archive (@immitateNews) January 13, 2019
Cruise ships have faced a number of other unfortunate events in recent months.
A 69-year-old Dutch woman fell off a different cruise ship, “MSC Preziosa,” just days before.
The woman fell overboard on Dec. 8, and authorities called off the search for her body Dec. 14.
A crew member from the Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas disappeared from the ship at a port in Cozumel, Mexico, on Nov. 22, the Herald reported in a separate article.
Mexican authorities have searched for the 27-year-old British national, but he has not been found.
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