15 of the Worst Infection Outbreaks on a Cruise

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Going on a cruise is a popular option for a vacation. Some cruises last for a week others almost a month. Being on a cruise is living a lavish life at sea, while making stops at different countries all over the world. A cruise can be for a couple looking for a family getaway or for a family looking to create memories. While most people think about all the fun a cruise is, they fail to realize the dangers of being at sea. Infection outbreaks is a reality and has been happening more often as the years go by. Diseases like E Coli, Swine Flu, Shigella, Cyclospora, and the most common Norovirus can easily find there way on a cruise ship infecting the crew and the passengers.

Crown Princess April 2014 In April 2014 the Crown Princess cruise was one of two cruise ships to be infected. The cruise was a weeklong voyage along the coast of Southern California and Mexico that experienced an outbreak of norovirus. The Crown Princess pulled into port in San Diego with more than 100 passengers and crew ill with the gastrointestinal bug. Only 11 passengers choose to disembark, the rest of the passengers continued the scheduled itinerary.

Royal Caribbean April 2014 Also in April of last year the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Grandeur of the Seas experienced an outbreak of norovirus. This was the second consecutive trip the same ship had an outbreak of the same illness. The ship was heading to the islands from Baltimore when more than 100 passenger were affected. The back-to-back outbreaks seem to suggest that the ship was not cleaned thoroughly enough or that a sick crew member brought the illness back on board.

Royal Caribbean January 2014 In January of 2014 another Royal Caribbean cruise ship returned home with a bad outbreak. Nearly 700 crew members and passengers fell ill aboard the Explorer of the Seas cruise liner. This was the highest number of sick people reported on any cruise ship in two decades, according to date shown by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some passengers suggested that the outbreak may have been worse than reported.

Crown Princess Nov 2014 More than 4,100 people were aboard the Carnival’s Crown Princess Cruise line when the norovirus spread across the ship. Only 172 people were infected by the time they docked in California after the 28 day cruise. One of the two ships that were infected earlier that year was the Crown Princess, who had 129 passengers with the virus.

Carnival Glory October 2010 The Carnival cruise ship, Glory had case of the gastrointestinal illness, norovirus. The CDC reported that 113 of 3003 passengers and 20 of 1169 crew members were infected with the illness. The cruise ended when the ship arrived at New York City on October 16th from a 7 day voyage. This norovirus is really something serious.

Carnival Spirit April 2009 Whenever there is over two percent of a cruise ships population speculated to be sick or displays symptoms of an illness it is an outbreak. A red flag is raised action most be taken quickly. In April 2009 the Carnival cruise liner, Spirit ended its seven day trip in Florida with 57 out of 1163 crew members (5%) and 208 out of 3253 passengers(6.39%) sick with gastrointestinal illness.

Carnival Conquest December 2011 The Carnival cruise ship, Conquest was on the short end of an outbreak in 2011. A testimony from a passenger revealed that there was an outbreak of vomiting and diarrhea starting on the cruise. Her husband got sick two days later and was asked to stay in cabin on isolation. A day later she became sick, along with lots of other people and were left to fend for themselves. Another passenger remembers the final day at sea, all the crew was wearing gloves and none of the passengers were allowed to get their own plate or food at the buffet and they were constantly wiping down everything and making announcements about hygiene.

1989 Breakout of Shigella In October 1989, an outbreak of gastroenteritis occurred aboard a cruise ship in the Caribbean. The 818 passengers and 518 crew members were screened for symptoms. 72 passengers and 12 crew members reported having diarrhea. Multiple-antibiotic-resistant strain of Shigella was found in 19 of the ill passengers and two ill crew members. Thirteen people were hospitalized. The source of the outbreak was the German potato salad that was being served.

Dawn Princess December 2014 New Zealand Herald reported about 200 cruise ship passengers were confined to their cabins after the norovirus bug struck the Dawn Princess while on a trip around New Zealand. This report came just last month. After alerting the local health authorities, it made its way to Australia. When the ship docked it was found out that the ships crew downplayed the amount of people sick. Yahoo later reports that at least 50 percent of the 1800 passengers were ill.

Summit, Celebrity Cruises September 2013 The CDC reported 307 of 2112 passengers and 14 of 952 crew members had been infected with gastrointestinal illness. The Vessel Sanitation Program worked with Health Canada officials as the ship sailed in to Canada. VSP provided personnel to conduct a epidemiologic investigation, which found that the outbreak was norovirus. The 14 day cruise ended as scheduled in October in Bayonne, New Jersey.

Superstar Virgo June 2011 In 2011, About 100 passengers on a cruise from Singapore to Vietnam suffered food poisoning. Passengers on the Superstar Virgo became ill after the ship docked in Vietnam. Symptoms, of the infected included vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever and chills. The ship returned to Singapore due to the outbreak. Passengers described the experience as “chaotic.” It was later confirmed that the quality of the food on the ship was the reason behind the breakout.

Swine Flu Outbreak 2009 In June 2009 the H1N1 virus or better known as the Swine Flu had everyone on high alert. It didn’t matter if you were on land or at sea. A Caribbean cruise was spoiled by a swine flu outbreak. Fears of an pandemic’s spread and prompted the cancellation of a 26-nation sports festival in Aruba. The Ocean Dream was stopped after three crew member tested positive for Swine Flue and 11 passengers showed symptoms. The ship was not allowed to continue to Grennada and Barbados.

Cyclospora Outbreak In 2010, an outbreak of cyclosporiasis affected passengers and crew members on two voyages of a cruise ship that departed from and returned to Fremantle, Australia. There were 73 confirmed cases and 241 suspected cases of Cyclospora infection. An investigation showed that the source of the infection was the consumption of contaminated produce on the ship.

Balmoral January 2010 Fred Olsen Cruise Lines had a world cruise using there Balmoral ship. The cruise started in Dover, England and after visiting several countries, was supposed to finish the trip in Los Angeles, California. 15 days before reaching L.A., passengers began to get sick. Some where along the trip norovirus sneaked its way on board. 293 passengers and 17 crew members were infected making the total 310 people.

Mercury February 2010 Celebrity Cruise ship, Mercury left Charleston, South Carolina of February 15. A week into its voyage 326 of the more than 1,800 passengers on the ship began complaining of upset stomachs, vomiting and diarrhea.  27 of the 850 crew members also reported symptoms. Doctors and nurses boarded the ship in St. Kitts and confirmed norovirus was the reason for everyone’s sickness.


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