Cruise News Shorts: A Norovirus Shot, Theft at Sea Fine and More Cruise News

September 21, 2012
(1:00 p.m. EDT) -- Every week we catch wind of so much cruise news, we don't always know what to do with it all, but a few standout bits usually catch our attention. Here are a few cruise developments we think you might like to know about.

Going On a Cruise? Roll Up Your Sleeve First
No more worries about yucky tummies at sea! A vaccine that combats norovirus may be in the works after clinical trials at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York was deemed successful. Results of the research were revealed at a San Francisco conference of scientists this month, reported. Head researcher John Treanor said participants in his study built antibodies against two norovirus subtypes within a week of being given the first of two does of the experimental vaccine. Additional trials are currently underway at the pharmaceuticals company that funded the study.

Who Stole the Cookie From the Cookie Jar?
A Royal Caribbean passenger was kicked off Explorer of the Seas for theft, the cruise line confirmed to Cruise Critic. According to Bermuda paper the Royal Gazette, the passenger admitted to stealing nearly $2,800 worth of spa products, as well as another passenger's Sea Pass Card, which he used to buy cologne. He was detained by Bermuda authorities just two days into his cruise and fined $3,000 for the thefts by the Bermuda government. The man had boarded the ship on Monday, September 10. When the ship arrived at King's Wharf on September 12, police officers boarded the ship to search his cabin, where the stolen items were discovered.

Reflection Makes Waves
Celebrity Cruises' last Solstice-class ship has left the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. Celebrity Reflection crossed the Ems River in about 10 hours during its conveyance. It will now conduct a series of sea trials before undergoing all finishing work in Emshaven, The Netherlands.

Extreme Makeover: The Serenade of the Seas Episode
Serenade of the Seas will go under the knife later this fall as the next Royal Caribbean ship in line for extensive renovations. Several Oasis-class experiences will be added during the ship's monthlong dry dock, including a new lineup of specialty restaurants comprising Giovanni's Table Italian restaurant, Izumi Asian eatery and the Chef's Table experience. Also being added are the Concierge and Diamond clubs, as well a Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, an outdoor movie screen and shipwide digital signage. New dining packages will enable passengers to test the new culinary offerings for less. The Royal Choice Dining package ($55 per passenger) includes dinner at Chops Grill, Giovanni's Table and Izumi, while the Chef's Table Dining package ($130 per passenger) includes all of the specialty restaurants, as well as the Chef's Table. Two additional dining packages are on offer for Giovanni's Table specifically.

Heck No, We Won't Go
Though protesters want cruise ships to stop docking in Venice, they recently did all they could to prevent ships from leaving. On September 16, protesters took to small boats and occupied the lagoon waters in the vicinity of the Venice pier, delaying three ships from departing, Seatrade Insider reported. Costa Fascinosa, MSC Opera and MSC Musica all decided to delay their departures "for safety reasons." Once the protest ended, the ships were able to depart. The protest was just the latest salvo in a struggle by many Venetians to stop cruise ships from coming into the port.

--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor