Nearly 230 Sick on Mariner of the Seas

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. – Nearly 230 people aboard a cruise ship fell ill with a gastrointestinal illness during a weeklong Caribbean voyage, the company said Saturday.

The illness, believed to be a norovirus brought onto the Mariner of the Seas by a passenger, struck 221 of the ship’s 3,660 passengers and six of its 1,202 crew members, said Royal Caribbean spokesman Michael Sheehan.

Sick passengers started complaining of vomiting and diarrhea Wednesday and were treated with over-the-counter medication, he said.

Most would likely be recovered by the time the ship docked Sunday morning in Port Canaveral as scheduled, Sheehan said.

The cruise included ports of call in the Bahamas, Virgin Islands and St. Maarten.

This is the second outbreak aboard the Mariner of the Seas this year. In January, the ship reported a norovirus that sickened 276 passengers and 27 crew members.

Noroviruses affect about 23 million Americans annually, and 16 incidents of the illness have been reported on cruise ships so far this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control.