More than 20 percent of passengers sailing on Carnival's Celebration last week were afflicted with symptoms common to the dreaded Noro-virus. The outbreak, which occurred during the ship's five day journey to the Western Caribbean from Galveston, is significant not only because of the large numbers of folks afflicted (the Centers for Disease Control considers just three percent an outbreak) but also because Carnival is awarding compensation.
Carnival says that those who reported symptoms of the illness are being offered a choice of a full refund or future cruise credit (in the amount they paid). Both may be applied to a four- or five-night cruise through 2005.
In the meantime, the ship sailed, as scheduled, on Saturday, after a vigorous cleaning and sanitizing. Folks boarding on February 14's trip were offered the chance to cancel-without-penalty. Ship officers are staying in close touch with Centers for Disease Control officials and a repeated outbreak has not been spotted.