Jamaica cruise cut short after stomach bug outbreak on ship

Marina113/Getty

Marina113/Getty

- More than 150 passengers aboard the Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas cruise ship have been struck by an outbreak of Norovirus, according to Florida Today.

A spokesman for Royal Caribbean spoke to Florida Today, stating that "As of today, 167 cases of gastrointestinal illness have been reported since Sunday, representing 2 percent of the almost 9,000 guests and crew on board".

The boat is turning around to return to Port Canaveral.

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Norovirus is a highly contagious disease, the symptoms of which include vomiting and diarrhea.

He says the ship will return to Port Canaveral on Saturday.

The Oasis made it's first scheduled stop in Haiti for a buffet lunch, but when it arrived for its second, in Jamaica, crew members did not allow passengers to disembark.

Royal Caribbean on Thursday said 277 passengers and crew were ill, but the number jumped on Friday.

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Erica Sattler, a 22-year-old passenger from NY who is celebrating her mom's birthday on the ship, said she and her family support the cruise line's decision to cut the trip short.

"It was pretty upsetting that we weren't able to get into Jamaica at all", Perrin said. "Then we were supposed to be in Mexico tomorrow, which we were really excited about, and it turns out we're going back to Florida instead".

The company said it hoped that returning home early would give the company time to fully sanitize the ship before its next outing.

"Our guests sail with us to have great vacations, and we are sorry this cruise fell short", Torres said.

All of the ship's guests will receive full refunds.

Officials with Royal Caribbean said they are waiting for lab results to determine whether the illness is norovirus, the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the United States. "The latest that I can share with you here is that we have had a total during the cruise here somewhere around 475 people affected".

"The virus spreads very easily and quickly from infected people to others, and through contaminated foods and surfaces", the CDC explains.

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