Royal Caribbean International Statement Regarding Explorer of the Seas
January 27, 2014
Explorer of the Seas is on track to return home from its 10-day cruise on Wednesday. The number of reported new cases of gastrointestinal illness has dropped sharply after a spike in the first days of the cruise, and most guests who fell ill are up and about.
The drop in new cases is encouraging. However, it is not unusual in an outbreak to still have smaller, secondary spikes. That is why, after discussions with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and our medical team, we decided the most prudent course for the health of our guests and crew was to bring the cruise home on Wednesday, two days earlier than planned.
We are glad to see many guests are feeling better. Still, in the end, the exceptional disruptions caused by the early wave of illness meant that we were unable to deliver the vacation our guests were expecting. Therefore, we have decided that all guests on this week’s cruise will receive a 50 percent refund of their cruise fare. In addition, all guests will receive an additional 50 percent future cruise credit. Those guests who had to be confined to staterooms by illness will receive an additional credit of one future cruise day for each day of confinement on this trip. We will also reimburse airline change fees and accommodations for guests whose travel home was inconvenienced by the change of travel plans.
After returning to home port on Wednesday, Jan. 29, we will perform a thorough “barrier” sanitization program on the entire ship to make certain that any remaining traces of the illness are eliminated. It will be the third aggressive sanitizing procedure the ship has undertaken since we became aware of the issue, and will additionally provide a window of more than 24 hours where there are no persons aboard the ship, which is a significant help. Guests scheduled for the next cruise on Explorer of the Seas can be confident that all possible measures will have been taken to prevent further problems
We will be cooperating with authorities and conducting our own internal assessments to make sure we are doing all we can continue to promote the health and safety of our guests and crew.
Explorer of the Seas departed Cape Liberty, New Jersey, on Tuesday, January 21. She was scheduled to call to Labadee, Haiti, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; and Philipsburg, St. Maarten. She missed her scheduled port calls in Labadee, Haiti and Philipsburg, St. Maarten.
Update: The latest report from the Centers for Disease Control can be found here: http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/vsp/surv/outbreak/2014/january21_explorer_seas.htm
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