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Norovirus outbreak sickens 277 on Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas

Key Points
  • Cruise line spokesman Owen Torres told The Associated Press "we think the right thing to do is get everyone home early rather than have guests worry about their health."
  • He says the ship will return to Port Canaveral on Saturday. It sailed from there Sunday on a seven-day Caribbean cruise.
  • Passengers took to social media on Wednesday, tweeting they were forced to stay onboard after docking in Falmouth, Jamaica, for what was supposed to be a day of excursions.
Cruise ship anchored off the shore of Grand Cayman Island, Royal Caribbean cruise liner Mariner of the Sea
MyLoupe | Universal Images Group | Getty Images

Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas is returning to a Florida port a day early and giving passengers full refunds of their fare after 277 guests and crew members were hit with an outbreak of Norovirus as it sailed to Jamaica.

Cruise line spokesman Owen Torres told The Associated Press "we think the right thing to do is get everyone home early rather than have guests worry about their health."

He says the ship will return to Port Canaveral on Saturday. It sailed from there Sunday on a seven-day Caribbean cruise.

Passengers took to social media on Wednesday, tweeting they were forced to stay onboard after docking in Falmouth, Jamaica, for what was supposed to be a day of excursions.

Torres says returning a day early gives the cruise line "more time to completely clean and sanitize the ship" before it sails again.

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Key Points
  • After achieving a three-year goal to double earnings and record a double-digit return on invested capital, Royal Caribbean Cruises told employees they will receive 5 percent bonuses.
  • The results were helped by higher onboard spending and lower cruise operating expenses in the crucial holiday season.