According to passengers aboard, the Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas would indeed be returning to port at Cape Canaveral on Thursday, a day earlier than planned. The passengers who were traveling to Jamaica were informed they would receive a full refund on their fares.
It has been reported that as many as 227 guests and crew suddenly came down with a severe outbreak of the norovirus. A spokesperson for Royal Caribbean stated that there were only 167 cases of the stomach flu actually reported as of Wednesday aboard the ship, Oasis of the Seas. However, that number quickly rose to 227 individuals affected by reports issued Thursday.
Social media accounts of those passengers on the ship stated they were forced to remain on board the ship on Wednesday, when it docked in Falmouth, Jamaica for what was billed as a day of excursions. According to a spokesman for the cruise line, they felt it was best to keep all passengers onboard so that they could cut the cruise a day short. They also stated that this was the best alternative to worrying about individual passengers health.
Royal Caribbean stated the Oasis of the Seas is due to return to Cape Canaveral, the port from which it sailed, cutting short a seven-day Caribbean cruise which included Jamaica. The spokesman also emphasized that this is the best procedure, as with the cruise returning one day earlier than expected, the cruise line will have more time to clean and disinfect the ship before its next scheduled sailing.
This is the not the first incident of the norovirus on a cruise ship, however, the reported numbers of individuals affected is pretty high. Cruise ships reportedly struck with various types of illness seem to be becoming the norm as more and more people choose to sail the high seas.