There was an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness aboard the Disney Wonder last week, with about 100 people sickened, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Ninety-two passengers –3.4 percent – fell ill, with vomiting being the predominant symptom, the CDC reported. Five out of 991 crew members were sick.
A cause has not been determined. A CDC Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officer was making plans for an environmental health assessment when the ship returned Sunday from a cruise to Nassau, Key West and Castaway Cay, according to the agency’s website.
“Our primary focus was on taking care of our guests and crew,” Disney Cruise Line said in a statement. “We have a comprehensive plan that outlines protocols for managing this kind of situation and closely follow CDC guidelines for preventing the spread of common stomach-related illnesses.”
Disney Cruise Line and the crew told the CDC they have increased cleaning and disinfection procedures and collected stool samples for testing. Passengers on the Wonder cruise that left Sunday for a 14-day Panama Canal cruise will also not be able to serve themselves at buffets; instead cast members will do that.
The CDC has reported nine other outbreaks on different cruise lines. Most of the causes were norovirus.
“Disney is one of the few cruise lines which do not routinely suffer from gastrointestinal outbreaks,” maritime lawyer Jim Walker wrote on a blog about the incident.
The last time there was a serious outbreak on a Disney ship was in 2002, when hundreds were sickened on two Disney Magic cruises out of Port Canaveral.
The Wonder is the second oldest cruise line in Disney’s fleet. The Wonder, which began sailing in 1999, is scheduled now for dry dock in September for a makeover.
Unfortunate events like this do happen, but based on the track record of Disney, it is not very common. The Disney Wonder first sailed back in 1999, and it will be getting some upgrades later in 2016. View the video above to get a view and feel of this wonderful ship.
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