Royal Caribbean International's cruise ship Vision of the Seas arrived at Port Everglades early Friday after several passengers and crew aboard had reported symptoms of gastrointestinal illness during a 11-night Caribbean cruise.
Cruise line officials said the short-lived illness is thought to be norovirus, and that the ship has since undergone extensive sanitation to prepare for its next departure.
Vision is set to depart on another 11-day Caribbean cruise later today.
The outbreak was reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta for further determination of the cause.
See Royal Caribbean's statement issued Mar. 8, below:
"Vision of the Seas experienced an elevated number of persons with a gastrointestinal illness on its last sailing. Over the course of that sailing, 105 of 1,991 guests and 3 of 772 crew members experienced the illness, thought to be norovirus. Those affected by the short-lived illness have responded well to over-the-counter medication being administered onboard the ship.
At Royal Caribbean International we have high health standards for all our guests and crew. During the sailing, we conduct enhanced cleaning onboard the ship, to help prevent the spread of the illness. Additionally, when Vision of the Seas arrived to Port Everglades, Florida, today, we conducted an extensive and thorough sanitizing onboard the ship and within the cruise terminal, to help prevent any illness from affecting the subsequent sailing.
Also, all guests received a letter at boarding that asks if they have experienced any gastrointestinal symptoms within the last three days. Similarly, if guests are uncomfortable taking their cruise, for reasons related to personal health or otherwise, our staff assisted them in rescheduling their sailing for another time.
According to health experts, each year as many as 300 million people worldwide are affected by Norovirus. Only the common cold is more prevalent.
Vision of the Seas is sailing a 10-night Caribbean itinerary that includes port calls to Tortola, British Virgin Islands; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Fort de France, Martinique; St. John’s, Antigua; and Basseterre, St. Kitts."