With the new year already heading into the end of January, seasons will begin to transition from winter to spring prompting new vacation plans and weekend get-a-ways for the spring season. Royal Caribbean International, a premier cruise liner, is in the headlines for the first time in a while for something not so royal. More than 300 people comprised of crew members and passengers reported symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. According to CNN Reports, those affected by the illness were treated with over-the-counter medication and have responded well to the treatment. Explorer of the Seas left Cape Liberty, New Jersey, on January 21 and was scheduled to make stops in St. Thomas and St. Maarten.
The Explorer of the Seas was expected to make a stop in Haiti but had to skip the stop and proceed to San Juan, Puerto Rico to undergo extensive cleaning and sanitizing. The illness has yet to be identified by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) but after an in-depth investigation hopefully the unknown norovirus will be identified.
The cruise liner industry has also been impacted by the recent docking of the Norwegian Cruise Liner, Norwegian Star, after an unidentified illness was found on that ship which sailed from January 5 – January 19, 2014 according to the CDC.
With the spring season fastly approaching, the industry may be affected by the increase of at-sea illnesses on board these cruise ships. In hopes of retaining customers, Royal Caribbean International, will most likely lower rates for customers to appeal to their cruises for the upcoming seasons. Sanitation efforts will also be likely increase in order to prevent future illness aboard the cruises throughout the Caribbean.