November 30, 2022

300 become ill on cruise ship – updated

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140126140331-sot-royal-caribbean-passenger-cruise-ill-00000412-story-topBy Leslie Holland, CNN

(CNN) — More than 300 people on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship have become ill during a voyage, the Centers for Disease Control said on its website.

According to the statement, 281 of the 3,050 passengers and 22 of 1,165 crew members of Explorer of the Seas reported vomiting and diarrhea.

In a statement to CNN, Royal Caribbean International said those who fell sick have responded well to over-the-counter medication being administered on board the ship.

Janet Diaz, spokesperson for Royal Caribbean International, told CNN that the ship skipped a planned stop in Haiti on Saturday and sailed directly to San Juan, Puerto Rico, where it underwent an extensive sanitizing.
Hundreds get sick aboard cruise ship

The agency said the cause of the illness was unknown.

Diaz told CNN the use of special cleaning products designed to kill norovirus will continue to be used throughout the voyage. All responses are being coordinated closely with the CDC, she said.

Noroviruses spread easily and are a common cause of gastroenteritis, which produces vomiting and diarrhea, according to the CDC.

A CDC health officer and epidemiologist will board the ship in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, on Sunday to conduct an investigation, a health assessment and evaluate the response, the CDC release said.

Explorer of the Seas left Cape Liberty, New Jersey, on January 21 and is scheduled to make stops in St. Thomas and St. Maarten.

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Royal Caribbean Ship to Return Early for Sick Passengers

Roberto Schmidt Photo - getty ImagesBy Dan Hart and Kevin Miller From Bloomberg

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) said one of its ships will return home from the Caribbean two days early after hundreds of passengers and crew became sick.

Almost 19 percent of passengers on board the Explorer of the Seas — 577 out of 3,050 — had gastrointestinal illnesses such as diarrhea, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on its website. Forty-nine of the 1,165 crew members also were sick, said the CDC, who sent officials on the ship yesterday in the Virgin Islands to assess the situation.

The outbreak “appears to be” the norovirus, Adam Goldstein, chief executive officer of the Royal Caribbean International line, said today on a conference call, referring to the contagious stomach bug. “This has been a difficult situation.”

The ship left Cape Liberty, New Jersey, on Jan. 21 for a 10-day cruise in the Caribbean and now will return Jan. 29. Royal Caribbean said the ship, once home, will undergo a complete sanitization, its third since the outbreak began.

“The right thing to do is to bring our guests home early, and use the extra time to sanitize the ship even more thoroughly,” the Miami-based company said yesterday in a statement. “Our doctors tell us symptoms are consistent with that of norovirus, but that they are awaiting the results of tests to confirm that diagnosis.”

Photographer: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

Ship Outbreaks

Bernadette Burden, a CDC spokeswoman, said agency personnel were meeting with the ship’s crew and medical staff in St. Thomas to get an updated case count, as well as review and validate the initial reports of sickness.

“This isn’t an unusual occurrence,” Burden said in a telephone interview. “We often meet up with cruise ships in mid-voyage.”

Last year, at least nine vessels — including ships operated by Royal Caribbean’s Celebrity Cruise line and Carnival Corp.’s (CCL) Princess Cruises — were struck by illness outbreaks, according to the CDC. Seven were caused by the norovirus.

The norovirus can be spread from an infected person to food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. It causes the stomach or intestines, or both, to become inflamed, leading to pain, nausea and diarrhea, according to the CDC. The seven outbreaks of the virus reported to the CDC in 2013 affected 1,238 passengers, according to the Cruise Lines International Association.

Passenger Compensation

Passengers on the Explorer of the Seas will be compensated, Goldstein said on today’s call, without providing further details. The incident won’t affect the company’s first-quarter results, he said.

Separately, Royal Caribbean today reported fourth-quarter profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates and boosted its full-year forecast. Adjusted earnings per share for 2014 will be $3.20 to $3.40, up from a prior projection of $3.06, the company said in a statement, without mentioning the Explorer. The average of analysts estimates compiled by Bloomberg was $3.19.

Fourth-quarter profit excluding restructuring and other charges totaled 23 cents a share. Analysts projected 19 cents.

The stock rose 0.7 percent to $47.45 at 11:44 a.m. in early trading and had increased 39 percent last year.

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Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Beats Estimates; Lifts Outlook (RCL)

By Shauna O’Brien From

On Friday, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) released its fourth quarter financial results, which came in above analysts’ estimates. The company also announced that it has boosted its outlook for 2014.

RCL’s Earnings in Brief

RCL reported earnings of $7.02 million, or 3 cents per share, compared to a loss of $392.80 million, or $1.80 per share, last year.
Adjusted earnings were 23 cents per share, which came in above analysts’ estimate of 18 cents per share.
Revenue for the quarter was $1.85 billion, in-line with analysts estimates.
The company raised its outlook for 2014 to a range of $3.20-$3.40 per share, from its prior outlook of $3.06-$3.19 per share.
CEO Commentary

Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO of RCL noted:”Six months ago we said we thought we had reached an inflection point and these figures clearly bear that out. It has been a challenging year, but the fact that we have achieved our guidance from a year ago nicely demonstrates the strength of our business. Despite the lingering impact of 2013′s negative media coverage on 2014, the year – and what it portends for future returns – is looking highly promising.”

RCL’s Dividend

RCL paid its last quarterly dividend of 25 cents on January 2. The company is expected to announce its next dividend in February. In September, RCL raised its dividend from 12 cents to 25 cents per share.

Stock Performance

Royal Caribbean shares were up $1.97, or 4.18%, during pre-market trading Monday.

The Bottom Line
Shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) have a 2.12% yield based on Friday’s closing price of $47.13.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) is not recommended at this time, holding a DARS™ Rating of 3.2 out of 5 stars.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks, as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here.

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