After an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas sickened hundreds of passengers, the cruise line has offered travelers full refunds for the cost of the cruise fare.
But cruise passengers generally have very little recourse if they get sick during a vacation.
The Oasis of the Seas will return to Port Canaveral, Fla., a day early after gastrointestinal illness sickened 277 guests and passengers since the ship departed on Jan. 6, Royal Caribbean told MarketWatch on Friday. That number has reportedly grown to nearly 500 people since then.
In a somewhat unusual move, the cruise line has decided to provide travelers with full refunds of their paid cruise fares. The 7-night Western Caribbean voyage on the Oasis of the Seas starts at $626 per person before taxes and fees for an interior stateroom.
‘This is just crazy. We’re hunkered down in our room because I’m so scared of getting sick.’
—Cruise Critic member Raycin
In addition to a full refund of the cruise fares, a letter allegedly delivered to the ship’s passengers noted that the company will provide up to $200 per person for re-booked domestic flights, up to $400 per person for international flight change fees or up to $200 per stateroom for one night’s stay at a hotel. Consumers need to contact Royal Caribbean to receive those reimbursements. (The company did not immediately confirm whether the letter was accurate.)
The cruise line also said it will be refunding internet and beverage packages and prepaid gratuities on a prorated basis for the day the cruise won’t be sailing.
Passengers have noted in message boards on the travel site Cruise Critic that the ship’s crew was taking extra