A Royal Caribbean Cruises ship that departed from Baltimore on a nine-night trip earlier this year has had 46 reported cases of gastrointestinal illness on board, according to company spokesman Owen Torres.
The Grandeur of the Seas cruise ship, which has nearly 2,900 guests and crew onboard, set sail on Jan. 2, with stops in Charleston, S.C., Orlando, Fla., and the Bahamas. The ship was originally scheduled to set sail back to Baltimore Thursday, but its return has been delayed until Saturday due to a mechanical issue, wrote Torres in an email to The Baltimore Sun.
“Those affected by the short-lived illness have been treated by our ship’s doctors with over-the-counter medication, and we hope all our guests feel better quickly,” Torres wrote, adding that no new cases had been reported as of Thursday morning. The cause of the illness, however, is unknown. Torres said lab tests need to be conducted to determine the exact cause, and that all guests and crew members have been encouraged to wash their hands often.
“We’re taking steps like intensive sanitary procedures to minimize the risk of any further issues. The ship will undergo special cleaning procedures before it departs Saturday for her next cruise,” he wrote.
This is not the first case of an multiple passengers falling ill during a Royal Caribbean cruise. According to USA Today, more than 300 passengers aboard a cruise ship sailing from Florida were affected by an onset of gastrointestinal illness during a five-night Caribbean Cruise in December. USA Today reported that the outbreak came just days after another ship, traveling from Singapore to Australia, saw more than 200 people fall ill during a two-week cruise.
Owens did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the multiple cases of illness during two cruises in December.