The first American cruise ship to Cuba in more than 50 years returned to Miami Sunday morning — with a whole lotta vomit and diarrhea on board.
The Fathom Adonia docked right before 6:30 a.m., ending its historic week-long voyage that brought Americans to Cuba for the first time since the countries re-established diplomatic relations. And upon its return, it was a historic horror to behold, with the vessel now needing a “thorough scrubbing,” as the Miami Herald put it.
The cruise company, Carnival, confirmed that 14 of the ship’s 700 passengers were sickened during the much-touted trip. Travelers were warned to use healthy doses of hand sanitizer, and the ship’s crew spent the last days of the trip cleaning dining rooms and tables, according to reports.
Ship captain David Box said the passengers suffered from stomach ailments “possibly suggestive of Norovirus,” according to the Herald, though Carnival has not confirmed a cause.
Still, the ship’s medical director also blamed Norovirus, an easily transmittable infection, in a letter sent to passengers on the trip’s final day.
“We suspect that the virus may have been inadvertently introduced on board by embarking travelers,” the letter said.
“Norovirus, as you are now aware, is extremely contagious and easily transmitted from person to person, especially if meticulous attention is not paid to personal hygiene.”
The company said all 14 sick passengers were treated on the ship and recovered.
“It was a non-issue for nearly everyone on board,” Carnival spokesman Roger Frizzel insisted to the Sun-Sentinel on Sunday.
The Fathom Adonia — after its cleaning — is scheduled to make trips to Cuba every other Sunday.