(NEW YORK) — The Royal Caribbean cruise ship that had to cut its voyage short after more than 600 people on board came down with gastrointestinal symptoms is scheduled to return to port on Wednesday.
Upon its arrival in New Jersey, the Explorer of the Seas will be sanitized for a third time.
“[W]e 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,” Royal Caribbean said in a statement to ABC News Monday night.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 595 passengers and 50 crew members have reported being ill. The most predominant symptoms have been vomiting and diarrhea.
The first cases of illness were reported less than 24 hours after the ship left New Jersey for the Caribbean last Tuesday. That led to the vessel skipping its planned stops in Haiti and St. Maarten, and heading back to the U.S. two days early.
Due to the “exceptional disruptions caused by the early wave of illness,” Royal Caribbean says all passengers aboard the Explorer of the Seas 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,” the cruise line said in its statement.
Royal Caribbean says most of the passengers who had fallen ill are now “up and about.”
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