Virus of the Caribbean, Or Why To Never Go On A Cruise Ship Part 4,926
March 8 (Reuters) - Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd said on Friday that its Vision of the Seas ship arrived in Port Everglades, Florida after 108 people fell sick with a gastrointestinal illness believed to be caused by a norovirus.
Royal Caribbean shares were down 2.9 percent at $34.35 in afternoon trading, while Carnival shares slipped 1.5 percent to $35.69.
The incident was the latest black eye for the cruise industry trying to find its footing again after several high profile mishaps.
Royal Caribbean said those sickened have responded to the over-the-counter medicine they were given. Some 105 of 1,991 passengers and 3 crew members of 772 aboard fell ill.
Norovirus outbreaks are fairly frequent on cruise ships. In December, some 194 passengers and 11 crew members aboard the luxury cruise ship Queen Mary 2 were sickened and suffered from vomiting and diarrhea.
In 2012, including the Queen Mary 2 incident, a total of 16 outbreaks on cruise ships were reported to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, up from 14 in 2011. Vessels are required to notify the agency when 2 percent of those on board develop a gastrointestinal illness.
Last month, thousands of passengers spent nearly five days on a disabled cruise ship operated by Carnival Corp in the Gulf of Mexico.
Carnival’s Triumph was returning to Galveston, Texas from Cozumel, Mexico, on the third day of a four-day cruise when an engine-room fire knocked out power and plumbing across most of the ship.
In January 2012, the Costa Concordia, also operated by Carnival Corp, ran aground off the Italian coast and killed 32 passengers.