Sea Sickness Gets New Meaning with Norovirus on Cruise Ships

Norovirus cruise shipSea sickness has taken on a new meaning, thanks to the repeated eruption of norovirus on cruise ships. If you’re suffering from emetophobia, you’re surely already familiar with the horrific sickness which typically results in stomach cramps, nausea, body aches and yes, the dreaded vomiting.

Norovirus on the Baltic

A report of norovirus on board a Carnival cruise ship hit in December, complete with a catchy headline from UK’s The Guardian that called the vessel a “plague ship.”

More than 400 folks returned from their 10-day Christmas cruise across the Baltic with telltale norovirus symptoms, although the cruise ship’s PR people tried to tone it down. They said only six of the more than 1,800 passengers had symptoms of anything, and those symptoms came from mild gallstones.

Norovirus on the Caribbean

A more recent bout also thought to be norovirus hit closer to home in March, according to ABC News. More than 100 Royal Caribbean cruise line passengers returned to the ship’s Florida port exhibiting those telltale symptoms emetophobics so dread.

Public relations people from this ship admitted that 105 of the more than 1,600 passengers returned sick, along with three cruise staff members. The ship had been on an 11-night cruise and, the PR folks also made sure to note, was able to stay on schedule despite the malady.

Ideal Conditions

Putting a large number of people in close quarters on a cruise ship creates an ideal environment for norovirus to spread. Cruising all over the seas and stopping at various ports along the way additionally gives the virus a larger base of folks to infect. With such a captive audience and wide client base, so to speak, the virus can go wild.

Norovirus can spread through contact with infected people as well as contaminated food, water and surfaces. It may also make traditional sea sickness sound like a day in the sun.


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