Norovirus suspected on Royal Caribbean ship

Majesty of the Seas returns to Miami with 68 sick

MIAMI – Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas returned to Miami on Friday with what the cruise line is calling an "elevated number of persons with a gastrointestinal illness."

Cruise line officials say that 66 of 2,581 guests and 2 of 844 crew members experienced the illness, thought to be norovirus.  

"I spent like the whole night on the toilet," passenger Frank Weinger told Local 10's Liane Morejon. "It was terrible."

Weinger said he didn't even get to enjoy Nassau because he spent the day sick in his stateroom.

Passengers say they were handed letters, warning about the illness, and were told over the intercoms to practice good hygiene.

"Those affected by the short-lived illness responded well to over-the-counter medication administered onboard the ship," according to a statement released Friday morning. "When Majesty of the Seas arrived to Port Miami, Florida, today, we conducted an extensive and thorough sanitizing onboard the ship and within the cruise terminal, to help prevent any illness from affecting the next sailing."

Guests boarding the ship for Friday's cruise will receive a letter asking if they have experienced any gastrointestinal symptoms within the last three days.

"We are concerned," said Sergio Mendoza, who is set to said with his family Friday afternoon. "We all bought medication and we'll make sure that we are more cautious."

"If guests are uncomfortable taking their cruise, for reasons related to personal health or otherwise, our staff assisted them in rescheduling their sailing for another time," according to the statement issued Friday morning.

According to health experts, each year as many as 300 million people worldwide are affected by norovirus. Only the common cold is more prevalent.

Majesty of the Seas just completed a 4-night Caribbean itinerary that includes port calls Nassau and CocoCay, Bahamas, and Key West, Florida. It left again Friday afternoon.

About the Authors:

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.