The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that 131 passengers and 14 crew members aboard Disney Cruise Line's Wonder ship fell ill to the norovirus last week. The typical symptoms of the norovirus are very unpleasant and include projectile vomiting and diarrhea.
Whatever policies and procedures Disney typically utilizes to prevent this type of disaster failed on this cruise, and I am sure they are scrambling to figure out where the procedure broke down. In December, the ship had registered a nearly perfect CDC inspection score. Disney cruise ships are among the cleanest and safest and enjoy usually high scores when the CDC inspects their sanitary conditions. However, the Wonder is the second oldest ship in the Disney fleet, and perhaps it is time to for Disney to consider an overhaul.
While the official cause has yet to be determined in this case, typically outbreaks like these start with passengers spreading fecal-based germs on surfaces like door handles, tables, and stairway railings. The Wonder is the tenth ship to report an outbreak so far in 2016.
The other ships, their lines, cruise dates, and the outbreaks' causes:
TAKING A CRUISE THIS SUMMER?
Are you thinking of taking a cruise this summer? Our cruise ship accident lawyers strongly recommend you review the CDC's Green Sheet before booking your cabin. The Green Sheet provides the CDC scores for every cruise line and each cruise ship that ports in the United States.
Cruising can be a wonderful way to relax and see the world, but it is important to do some research about your potential vessel in order to avoid some of the health risks associated with cruise-ship travel.
For example, Carnival's Ecstasy is a ship we would advise you to avoid. The Ecstasy was inspected by the CDC on March 31, 2016, and found to have numerous serious health-jeopardizing deficiencies with how it operated its potable water supply, food preparation, and its recreational water park. Mold, food waste, inadequate monitoring, and failure to post warning signs were all documented by the CDC. As of today--more than a month after the inspection--Carnival has yet to file its corrective report with the CDC.
We believe that the majority of cruise ship-related accidents and illnesses can be avoided. However, when cruise lines put their profits ahead of passenger safety, people can get seriously hurt.