Oasis of the Seas cruise cut short by gastrointestinal illness

Vessel Sanitation Program officers will board Oasis of the Seas when it returns early to Port Canaveral Vessel Sanitation Program officers will board Oasis of the Seas when it returns early to Port Canaveral PHOTO: Canaveral Port Authority

Royal Caribbean International's Oasis of the Seas is returning to Port Canaveral a day early, on Jan. 12, following an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness.

6% of passengers and crew impacted

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 385 of 6,285 passengers, or 6.12%, and 17 of 2,168 crew, or 0.78%, have reported being ill during the voyage, which began Jan. 6. The causative agent has not been determined.

Full refunds

Royal Caribbean is providing full refunds to all passengers.

'We think the right thing to do is to get everyone home early rather than have guests worry about their health,' the company said in a statement. 'Returning on Saturday also gives us more time to completely clean and sanitize the ship before her next sailing.'

Vessel Sanitation Program monitoring

The CDC's Vessel Sanitation Program has been monitoring the outbreak, and the ship's response, which includes increased cleaning and disinfection protocols.

Vessel Sanitation Program staff are scheduled to board the vessel on its return Saturday to assist with investigating the outbreak and to monitor the ship’s response procedures before new passengers embark on Jan. 13.

Posted 11 January 2019

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review