Norovirus Sickens Over 200 Aboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship

Grandeur of the Seas file photo via Wikimedia Commons
Grandeur of the Seas file photo via Wikimedia Commons

A Royal Caribbean cruise from Baltimore to Jamaica was cut short after more than 200 people became ill with the norovirus.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms that 198 passengers and 9 crewmembers aboard the Grandeur of the Seas developed symptoms relating to the norovirus during a 9-day cruise to Jamaica. Onboard were 1,948 passengers and 786 crew, the CDC said.

In response to the outbreak, the ship returned to the Port of Baltimore on Monday, one day ahead of schedule. The ship was expected to undergo comprehensive sanitation procedures on Tuesday in consultation with the CDC.

According to the CDC, the outbreak marks the first of norovirus outbreak aboard a cruise ship in 2015. In 2014, the Grandeur of the Seas was hit with the norovirus on two back-to-back cruises in late March and into April.

The Grandeur of the Seas participates in the CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP), requiring that cruise ships report the total number of gastrointestinal (GI) illness cases – including zero – evaluated by the medical staff before the ship arrives at a U.S. port, when sailing from a foreign port.