Cruise Ends Early After Gut Bug Sickens 300
Diarrhea, vomiting force 10-day Royal Caribbean cruise back to shore
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2014 12:54 AM CST
Updated Jan 27, 2014 3:13 AM CST
The Royal Caribbean International's Explorer of the Seas is seen docked at Charlotte Amalie Harbor in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands.   (AP Photo/Thomas Layer)

(Newser) – A Royal Caribbean cruise liner is being forced to head to shore early after a stomach bug rapidly spread throughout the ship, resulting in hundreds of vomiting passengers. Some 303 people—281 of them passengers, which works out to 9% of the ship's guests—became sick with vomiting and diarrhea that match the symptoms of norovirus, reports the Miami Herald.

The Explorer of the Seas will return to New Jersey on Wednesday, two days ahead of schedule, to remove all traces of the highly infectious bug, which is spread by touch or by contaminated food and water, NBC reports. "We think the right thing to do is to bring our guests home early, and use the extra time to sanitize the ship even more thoroughly," a spokesman for the company says; it was cleaned twice along the way after the illness broke out. It's been a sickly month for cruise passengers: 66 became ill on another Royal Caribbean cruise, and 130 were sickened on the Norwegian Star.

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Showing 3 of 25 comments
Feb 3, 2014 10:52 AM CST
Someone else asked - Why does this keep happening? Cuz cruise ships hire the lowest of the low as their crews! Many are from third world countries with no vaccinations, and are walking time bomb disease carriers. ...they handle your food, folks!
Lou Bernardo
Feb 2, 2014 1:24 AM CST
People in general are slobs. They never wash their hands before eating and are in toilets, handling door handles, casino machines, on recreation decks, scratch their ass, pick their nose and then go to buffets and eat with their hands. No wonder they get sick.
Jan 27, 2014 7:47 PM CST
Sounds like a cruise is the perfect vacation for constipated people. Then, the question, "Where are you bound?" will elicit a two part answer.