The last cruise ship we traveled on and had the pleasure of reviewing was the Independence of the Seas and this was last summer, which passed with flying colors other than some children that were out late and making a lot of noise, it was an amazing experience.
Today we can break some exclusive news that has come to us thanks to a few reports, which were received by email and pointed us to a Norovirus outbreak on Independence of the Seas this month. It’s alleged that the Norovirus outbreak happened during the last week, and some cruise passengers that got back to Southampton yesterday state there was an “outbreak of Norovirus during the second week” of the cruise.
Initial reports are very positive from passengers that returned on February 24, 2012. While yet to be officially verified it’s alleged that the Independence of the Seas crew “pulled out all the stops cleaning everything down“, and officers made sure crew cleaned the lifts, hand rails, tables, chairs, and more with “disinfectant packs on their backs“.
It seems that Independence of the Seas were on-the-ball when it comes to taking action, although it’s said by one passenger that there was a “reduced choice service” at the Windjammer buffet for a few days. Other rumors point to a deep clean taking place after they were in port; again this has not been confirmed.
We’ve contacted Royal Caribbean and asked for an official comment, which considering it’s a weekend we shouldn’t hear back until next week. We’ll update this article when we hear more from their press office.
When we cruised with Independence of the Seas last year they were always prompting you to clean your hands and had gels on hand at doors to food areas, which shows they do all they can unlike some other cruise companies. Current feedback for Independence of the Seas and Royal Caribbean International is very positive.
At the time of writing we’ve not heard back from RCI although we’ll update you as soon as we get word.
Update: We’ve had an email from someone who has family currently on Independence of the Seas and they state that the sail away was delayed, which adds to the possibility of a deep clean yesterday to stop the virus from remaining onboard.
Update 2: Royal Caribbean International has provided a statement, which can be seen below the article here.