Rhapsody Experiences Outbreak

July 28, 2003
Over 70 passengers onboard last week's Western Caribbean cruise on Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody of the Seas came down with an obviously communicable 24-hour stomach illness. Given the contagious strain of an unidentified virus -- Royal Caribbean says that it was brought onboard, unknowingly, by a 14-year-old passenger -- the ship immediately went into Norwalk-style crisis mode and appears to have halted its spread.
Sanitation and cleaning protocols immediately went on high alert, ship medical officers contacted the Centers for Disease Control and Royal Caribbean's own health specialists, and Rhapsody of the Seas' crew did a stronger-than-usually-necessary cleaning during the ship's turnaround at Galveston on Sunday.
According to a Royal Caribbean spokesman, the illness is not present on the ship's following sailing, now in its second day.