The 2,416-passenger Vision of the Seas returned to Port Everglades last Friday with 105 passengers and 3 crew suffering from an illness believed to be norovirus.
All those affected were reported to have responded to over the counter medication with the ship undergoing a complete sanitisation on her arrival into port.
Friday afternoon trading saw Royal Caribbean shares drop by 2.9 percent believed to be a result of the outbreak.
A total of 16 norovirus outbreaks were reported on ships in 2012 with the U.S. Centre for Disease Control requiring vessels to report outbreaks when two percent or more of those on board contract a gastrointestinal illness.
I have to say that I’m quite surprised that shares took a tumble on the very afternoon that Vision of the Seas returned to Port Everglades but it does show how fickle shareholders can be when what I deem to be a mini-crisis hits.
It is an awful situation and I would have hated to be onboard during the outbreak but, there are millions of cases of norovirus around the world every year and, if every establishment that aided in the spread of the virus (including places of work, restaurants, hotels etc…), was listed as being the perpetrator and received negative press, then that would be all that we would read about in the news.
A ship is obviously more prone to such outbreaks given the amount of people living, eating and holidaying in one place and it just highlights how vigilant cruisers need to be when it comes to sanitising continually onboard. There really is no excuse when there are so many hand sanitising stations throughout the ship!
It also highlights the importance of reporting if you do have an upset stomach to the medical centre or even guest relations. I have sailed on many voyages where people complain to me about their stomach issues (sometimes over dinner no less) but still head out, eat, drink and party with everyone around them oblivious to the situation at hand.
I don’t see this as another slight on the cruise industry in any way, shape or form and it’s sad that people are comparing this to incidents like Carnival Triumph or the Costa Concordia tragedy.
Why can’t people just accept that cruising is booming and be happy with that?