-- A honeymoon vacation turned into a nightmare for one family when 10 members caught a norovirus while abroad a seven-day cruise to the Bahamas, the affected Philadelphia newlyweds said.
Ashley Morris said she, her husband, her two children, her parents, nieces and sister-in-law were sickened while abroad the Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas cruise last week.
“My family is suffering now,” Morris told ABC Philadelphia station WPVI-TV Monday.
Morris had heard rumors aboard the ship about a fast-spreading virus on the second day of the cruise, she said. Workers in masks and protective gear were seen sanitizing the narrow hallways of the ship, according to Morris, but the virus had already began to spread.
"Some hand-sanitizing stations, they didn't have any sanitizer available to us. They were out of soap at certain sinks, there were no sanitizing stations at the elevators," Morris said of the ship that returned Sunday.
Her family accused the ship’s managers of doing too little to stem the spread of the virus, which is transmitted by touching others or germ-covered surfaces.
"You call Royal Caribbean and they want medical documentation," Morris told WPVI. "They're not compensating anyone in any way until medical documentation is given."
Royal Caribbean said it was aware of 98 reported cases of gastro-intestinal illness symptoms, which represents about 2 percent of the 4,905 guests and crew were on board.
“Those affected by the short-lived illness are being treated by the ship's doctors and responded well to over-the-counter medication, and guests were encouraged to ensure hand hygiene standards remain high at all times to prevent the spread of any illness during the remainder of the cruise,” Royal Caribbean said in a statement to WPVI.
“There have been numerous reports of multiple strains of gastrointestinal illnesses in the community in Australia in recent months.”