Norovirus outbreak on Oasis of the Seas

Image result for Oasis of the Seas

More than 270 passengers have reportedly fallen ill with Norovirus on Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas.

Passengers were kept on board for hours after it docked at Falmouth port in Jamaica on Wednesday (January 9).

The ship was on a seven-night cruise through the Caribbean, but passengers have been told they will have their cruise fares refunded in full following the outbreak.

A Royal Caribbean spokesperson told Travel Weekly: “Oasis of the Seas will return to Port Canaveral [in Florida] a day early after an episode of gastrointestinal illness.

“A total of 277 guests and crew members have been affected since the ship departed on January 6 — about 3.3 per cent of the people aboard the ship.

“All of the ship’s guests will receive full refunds of their cruise fare paid.

“We think the right thing to do is to get everyone home early rather than have guests worry about their health. Returning on Saturday also gives us more time to completely clean and sanitize the ship before her next sailing.

“Our guests sail with us to have great holidays, and we are sorry this cruise fell short.”

Passenger Alan Thomas tweeted: “Oasis of the Seas, Royal Caribbean. We’re docked at Falmouth Jamaica. Level 3 Norovirus outbreak. 100+ passengers and a crew member sick. Cancelled shore excursion. Waiting to see if Jamaican authorities let us off the ship.#refund #lostvacation #disappointed #royalcarribean.”

Oasis of the Seas, Royal Caribbean. We’re docked at Falmouth Jamaica. Level 3 Norovirus outbreak. 100+ passengers and a crew member sick. Cancelled shore excursion. Waiting to see if Jamaican authorities let us off the ship. #refund #lostvacation #disappointed #royalcarribean

— Alan Thomas (@alan_thomas13)

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Miami Expecting 52,000 Cruise Passengers in One Day

Norwegian Getaway

PortMiami is hosting an estimated 52,000 cruise passengers on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018.

This sets a one-day record for passenger traffic at PortMiami, the port said, in a statement.

PortMiami will be welcoming the following cruise vessels:

  1. Carnival Cruise Lines Carnival Horizon
  2. Carnival Cruise Lines Carnival Magic
  3. Disney Cruise Line Disney Magic
  4. FRS Caribbean San Gwann
  5. MSC Cruises MSC Divina
  6. Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Getaway
  7. Oceania Cruises Oceania Riviera
  8. Royal Caribbean International Empress of the Seas
  9. Royal Caribbean International Allure of the Seas

It’s definitely a busy time for PortMiami,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “I want to welcome all cruise visitors to Miami-Dade County and encourage them to explore all that our community has to offer. Cruise passengers are essential to the continued growth and development of the tourism industry in Miami-Dade and contribute millions of dollars to our local economy annually. That includes air travel, hotel nights, entertainment and shopping. I want to thank the more than 52,000 passengers we’re expecting this Sunday for selecting Miami as a destination.”

“PortMiami is home to the world’s most renowned cruise lines,” said Chairwoman of the Economic Development and Tourism Committee Rebeca Sosa. “Last year the Cruise Capital of the World handled more than 5.6 million cruise passengers, welcoming each and every one with open arms and a smile. We’re more than ready for the 2018-2019 cruise season!”

With long waits for new builds, current ships get new cabins

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MS Enchantment of the Seas refurbishment/lengthening in 2005

By Tom Stieghorst |Jul 30, 2018.

Ship renovations are big business and getting bigger as cruise lines face long waits at shipyards to build new vessels.

Celebrity Cruises recently announced it will spend $500 million, up from an original target of $400 million, to modernize its fleet and harmonize it with the new class of ships coming, beginning with the Celebrity Edge.

The Edge is coming in November. There are three more copies coming in 2020, 2021 and 2022. So there’s no lack of new capacity for Celebrity. But if it is interested in adding more, getting space at a shipyard is increasingly competitive: major slots already being booked into 2027.

Likewise, at sister-brand Royal Caribbean International, there are newbuilds lined up, starting with the Spectrum of the Seas in 2019. But like Celebrity, Royal is also on a renovation tear. It has budgeted $900 million to upgrade 10 ships over the next four years, but it wouldn’t be surprising if the end amount of its Royal Amplified program is closer to $1 billion.

The first of those ships, the Independence of the Seas, received a total of 107 new cabins in the process of its renovation, which ended up costing Royal $110 million. In addition to a big block of cabins added above the gym, Royal squeezed a few more cabins here and thereby converting areas from other users.

For example, Royal got rid of a cigar smoking venue, moved the library into the former cigar lounge and then carved four cabins from the old library space.

The Mariner of the Seas, the next ship to get amped up, got a $120 million makeover for the short cruise market out of Florida, raising its capacity from 3,114 to 3,344 at a drydock in The Bahamas.

By adding cabins during drydock, Royal Caribbean is swelling its overall fleet capacity in an under the radar way. It is also taking advantage of the availability of renovation shipyards around the world, which although busy, are not as busy as the European yards where ships get built from scratch.

Some of the new entrants that are clogging the shipyard order books, such as Viking Ocean Cruises and Virgin Voyages, are not much competition for drydock space because their ships are all either under construction or are too new to need much work.

So look for the established cruise lines to do more quiet capacity expansion as they upgrade their ships along the way.