Over three hundred passengers became ill on a Royal Caribbean cruise out of Florida with over 332 cases of gastrointestinal illness. The Independence of the Seas returned Saturday to Port Everglades, Fla., after a five-night cruise. Reports were made of passengers throwing up all over the ship while trying to get to the ships doctors.
The cruise industry has played down the impact of recent negative publicity caused by a spate of gastrointestinal illness at sea and the lingering spectre of the Costa Concordia.
Just three weeks ago, Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas made headlines as more than 600 of its passengers and crew were struck by norovirus during a 10-day Caribbean cruise.
Within days, that incident was followed by another aboard Princess Cruises’ Caribbean Princess, with more than 160 of its 3,104 passengers falling ill.
Both episodes made headlines, with comparisons being drawn with last year’s infamous “poop cruise” aboard Carnival Triumph.
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Royal Caribbean is singlehandedly killing your faint remaining desire to still take a cruise after the Costa Concordia. 300 passenger and crew members were suffering from vomiting and diarrhea as the ship sailed into San Juan, Puerto Rico on Saturday. It’s the the second major health incident for the cruise line in just a month. The Center for Disease Control is investigating, and the ship is being sanitized, thankfully.
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It’s been an annus horribilus for the cruise industry.
Highly publicised mechanical problems, an onboard fire, cancellations, deaths at sea and outbreaks of sickness have followed the Costa Concordia disaster to seriously mar the reputation of the otherwise booming industry.
Images of passengers living in filthy conditions and begging to be taken off a ship drifting at sea are not exactly the makings of travel wish-lists.
Nor are reports of passengers lying in corridors or being carried off ships because they’re too sick to do anything else; it’s a public relations nightmare.
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Finally, the Costa Concordia cruise ship’s Jan. 13 grounding off Italy, which killed several passengers, seems not to be deterring other seagoers. The two latter incidents sparked memories for me, neither of them tragic and one somewhat burlesque. Read More