Published On: Thu, Jan 30th, 2014

Royal Caribbean cruise line, ‘Explorer of the Seas’ docks in NJ after nearly 700 ill

Royal Caribbean’s “Explorer of the Seas” docked in Bayonne, New Jersey Wednesday afternoon, two days early from it’s original itinerary due to a “suspected” norovirus outbreak that swept across the ship.

Over the course of the past several days, the cruise line saw the number of passengers and crew sickened with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea escalate to 684 total.

Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas cruise ship Image/Video Screen Shot

Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas cruise ship Image/Video Screen Shot

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) puts the totals at 630 of the total 3071 passengers (20.5%) and 54 of the total crew 1166 (4.6%). CNN reports that this is  the highest number of sick people reported on any cruise ship in two decades.

Royal Caribbean said in a press release yesterday:

Explorer of the Seas is on track to return home from its 10-day cruise at 2 p.m. Wednesday. The number of reported new cases of gastrointestinal illness has dropped sharply after a spike in the first days of the cruise, and most guests who fell ill are up and about.

After returning today a thorough “barrier” sanitization program will be performed on the entire ship to make certain that any remaining traces of the illness are eliminated. It will be the third aggressive sanitizing procedure the ship has undertaken since we became aware of the issue, and will additionally provide a window of more than 24 hours where there are no persons aboard the ship, which is a significant help. Guests scheduled for the next cruise on Explorer of the Seas can be confident that all possible measures will have been taken to prevent further problems.

On Monday, Royal Caribbean said they would  give  passengers a 50 percent refund of their cruise fare. In addition, all guests will receive an additional 50 percent future cruise credit. Those guests who had to be confined to staterooms by illness will receive an additional credit of one future cruise day for each day of confinement on this trip. In addition, they will also reimburse airline change fees and accommodations for guests whose travel home was inconvenienced by the change of travel plans.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page and the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show page.


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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Sydney 2012 norovirus strain confirmed as agent on ‘Explorer of the Seas’ outbreak - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] as GII.4 Sydney, has been confirmed by federal health officials as the etiological agent that sickened some 700 passengers and crew onboard Royal Caribbean’s “Explorer of the Seas” last week, according to a NBC News report […]

  2. Norovirus confirmed as etiology of ‘Explorer of the Seas’ outbreak - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Control and Prevention (CDC) has now confirmed the etiological agent of the outbreak that caused gastrointestinal illness in nearly 700 passengers and crew onboard the Royal Caribbean vessel, “Explorer of the Seas”, according to a Vessel Sanitation […]

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