In the last two weeks, two cruise liners have seen their elegant guests turned into diarrhea zombies trapped aboard floating tins of squalor. The worst of the incidents peaked on Sunday when Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas limped into port with 564 of its 3,050 or so passengers having fallen ill. The guests were suffering from symptoms that sound like norovirus, mainly perpetual diarrhea and vomiting. "I started with upset stomach and vomiting, and that lasted all night and into the morning," a passenger told CNN.
The situation on the Explorer was so serious, that the Centers for Disease Control were consulted. And according to the CDC, around 18 percent of passengers and four percent of the crew members were sick. That outbreak was severe enough that Royal Caribbean decided to bring back the ship early and sanitize the boat.
"After consultation between our medical team and representatives of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we think the right thing to do is to bring our guests home early, and use the extra time to sanitize the ship even more thoroughly," the cruise line said in a statement.
The Explorer's woes come on the heels of another Royal Caribbean cruise being turned into a floating sick barge. On January 17th, the Majesty of the Seas came home early citing an "elevated number of persons with a gastrointestinal illness." The cruise line said that 66 of the ship's 2581 passengers (around two percent) were showing symptoms. "I spent like the whole night on the toilet," a passenger told WPLG-tv.