Health officials are reporting some 277 passengers and crew onboard Royal Caribbean’s vessel, Oasis of the Seas, have fell ill with vomiting being the predominant symptom.

Public domain image/Maryland Pride
Public domain image/Maryland Pride

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 266 of 6,285 (4.23%) passengers and 11 of 2,169 (0.51%) crew were sickened.

While media reports state the cause of the outbreak as norovirus, CDC officials report the causative agent as being “unknown” as of Jan. 10.

The ship left left Port Canaveral on a seven-day Western Caribbean cruise on Sunday. The ship will return to Port Canaveral on Saturday, one day ahead of schedule.

Royal Caribbean spokesman Owen Torres said all of the ship’s guests will get a full refund.

One passenger tweeted Wednesday: Sitting in port at Falmouth Jamaica due to some passengers having the NoroVirus. Jamaican Port Authority will not let us off the ship and The Oasis of The Sea is not communicating well with passengers. We are on standby.

Royal Caribbean International and the crew aboard the ship reported the following actions:

  • Increased cleaning and disinfection procedures according to their outbreak prevention and response plan.
  • Collected stool specimens from passenger and crew gastrointestinal illness cases and sent them to laboratory for testing.
  • Sent multiple daily reports of gastrointestinal illness cases to the Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP).
  • Consulted with VSP about sanitation cleaning procedures and reporting ill cases.