The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reported 60 passengers (5.27% of 1,138) aboard Holland Ameriaca's ms Maasdam were ill with vomiting and diarrhea. 11 of 578 crew members were also stricken with gastrointestinal illness.
MS Maasdam was on a 2-week Southern Caribbean itinerary round-trip from Fort Lauderdale FL. The ship was scheduled to depart yesterday from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Charleston, South Carolina on a 15-day cruise to Quebec (Montreal).
CDC has not figured out whether the outbreak was due to norovirus, contaminated water or food, an ill crew member, or brought aboard by a sick passenger and spread through inadequate cleaning or poor hygiene.
This is the 7th GI outbreak this year falling within the parameters of U.S. CDC. Only ships with over 3% of the passengers ill, calling on a U.S. port, are listed. In 2014 there were 9 outbreaks versus 7 in 2015 for just 4 months.
So far this year, The CDC has awarded 11 cruise ships perfect scores. The winners are are: Carnival Pride and Carnival Miracle; Celebrity Infinity; HAL's Eurodam, Noordam and Ryndam; Ruby Princess and Island Princess; Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Jewel; Seadream I of Sea Dream Yacht Club.
The CDC surprise ship cleanliness exam is conducted twice per year, with 100 being a perfect score. All passenger ships calling at any U.S. port are required to undergo the procedure. 55 ships have been inspected since January 1, 2015.