Cozumel., Q.R. — The island of Cozumel was left off the itinerary after a norovirus outbreak on a Royal Caribbean ship sickened almost 500 of its passengers.
Oasis of the Seas of Royal Caribbean had to suspend its voyage through the Caribbean after hundreds became ill due to a norovirus outbreak. The ship was forced to head home early after nearly 500 of its 8,000 passengers fell ill.
A spokeswoman for Royal Caribbean said that as of Friday, nearly 500 had become infected, a large swell in numbers from the initial 277 that were diagnosed only one day before. She reported that the last figure was 475 sick passengers.
Reports say that passengers began feeling sick after the ship departed from Port Canaveral in Brevard County, Florida on Sunday. Oasis of the Seas was scheduled to travel through the Caribbean including Cozumel, however, the cruise has been cut short as the ship is set to return to Florida today.
The cruise ship, which was coming from Jamaica, was expected in Cozumel Friday before returning to Florida Sunday. The company says all of the ship’s passengers will be refunded due to the outbreak.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, norovirus is a type of gastrointestinal illness and is “very contagious”, easily caught from infected people or by touching contaminated surfaces or eating or drinking contaminated foods.