More than 210 people came down with a gastrointestinal illness aboard two Caribbean cruises that ended in South Florida today.
Royal Caribbean officials delayed the scheduled departure this afternoon of the Freedom of the Seas from the Port of Miami for additional sanitizing after norovirus sickened passengers and crew aboard the world's largest cruise ship for the second consecutive week. About 110 passengers and crew became ill this week during a seven day Caribbean cruise and more than 380 did the week before.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommended holding the ship in port. The agency will oversee the repeated cleaning of “high-touch'' surfaces such as door handles, railings and elevator buttons. Two additional doctors and 45 more cleaning staff will board the Freedom of the Seas for its next Caribbean voyage from Miami, now scheduled to begin Tuesday.
The Sun Princess, operated by Princess Cruises, is also undergoing a thorough cleaning after docking at Port Everglades today. About 100 passengers and crew members became sick during its ten day Caribbean voyage.