Investigation Update on the Rhapsody of the Seas

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean Cruise Line

Cruise Ship: Rhapsody of the Seas

Voyage Dates: August 24-31, 2012

Number of passengers who have reported being ill during the voyage out of total number of passengers onboard: 153 of 2,129 (7.19%)

Number of crew who have reported being ill during the voyage out of total number of crew onboard: 6 of 812 (0.74%)

Predominant symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea

Causative agent: Norovirus

Actions: In response to the outbreak, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and the crew aboard the ship have taken the following actions:

  • Increased cleaning and disinfection procedures according to their outbreak prevention and response plan,
  • Made announcements to notify onboard passengers of the outbreak, encourage case reporting, and encourage hand hygiene,
  • Collected stool specimens from ill passengers and crew for submission to the Health Canada lab in Victoria, BC on August 30, 2012,
  • Made daily reports of gastrointestinal illness cases to the VSP,
  • Consulted with CDC on plans for:
    • Next cruise passenger notification procedures,
    • Disembarkation plans for active cases, terminal and transport infection control procedures, and
    • Additional management monitoring, and documentation of planned cleaning and disinfection protocols.

CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program is collaborating with Health Canada’s Travelling Public and Conveyances Program, which sent two inspectors to meet the ship in Victoria, BC prior to the ship’s arrival in Seattle, WA on August 31, 2012. The team monitored the ship’s super sanitation barrier and assisted in the shipment of clinical specimens to a lab in Canada for testing.

Page last reviewed: August 31, 2012 (archived document)