December 2, 2002
‘Tis the season -- for Norwalk Virus -- as late fall’s crop of outbreaks spreads to yet another cruise line. Medical officers on Carnival’s Fascination, which returned early this morning to Miami after an otherwise routine three day cruise to the Bahamas, reported to health authorities that nearly 200 passengers had gotten sick. Carnival says the ship today will undergo the usual intensified cleaning efforts and plans to sail away again tonight on its scheduled four-day western Caribbean itinerary. One major option Carnival’s offering to passengers slated to sail today: travelers who arrive at the pier and then decide they don’t want to sail will get a full refund. Meanwhile, Holland America’s Amsterdam, which basically set-off the whole Norwalk crisis after continuing to sail after at least four voyages reported higher-than-normal illness counts, is back in business; the ship, which took a “cruise off” to “break the cycle” departed from Port Everglades last night. Amsterdam is on its way to a 10-day southern Caribbean cruise.