Last week, we reported on the gastrointestinal illness that struck 272 passengers and 38 crewmembers onboard Royal Caribbean's Vision of the Seas, a ship based in Brazil and catering to South American passengers. This week, 47 travelers onboard are again experiencing symptoms, causing Brazilian authorities to recommend extra sanitation, which will delay the ship's subsequent cruise.
Brazil's National Agency of Sanitary Surveillance (ANVISA) is asking for a 24-hour sanitation process when Vision of the Seas returns to Santos on March 12. (As Vision of the Seas is based in Brazil and does not cruise from U.S. ports, Brazilian health authorities, rather than Atlanta's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are the ones involved.) Therefore, the three-night sailing departing that day will be delayed and depart Santos on March 13 instead. The new itinerary includes a Sunday call at Ilhabela before returning to Santos on Monday, eliminating the planned call at Buzios. ANVISA does have the authority to cancel the now two-night sailing if the ship doesn't meet its standards, but as of now, the authorities believe the ship will be ready to sail at 6 p.m. Saturday.
Passengers on the March 12 (now March 13) sailing will receive an onboard credit equal to one third of the cruise fare paid. Alternately, guests can cancel and receive a future cruise certificate equal to the cruise fare paid. Royal Caribbean is not issuing refunds.
ANVISA has determined that the gastrointestinal illness on Vision of the Seas' March 1 cruise was indeed caused by the Norovirus. For more information on this illness and how to keep yourself healthy on your next cruise, see our article on Norovirus - What You Need to Know.
--by Erica Silverstein, Senior Editor
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Royal Caribbean Cruise Delayed After More Noro-Like Illness
March 12, 2010