Back home to New Jersey for 'sick' cruise ship.

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Back home to New Jersey for 'sick' cruise ship.

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The liner ‘Explorer of the Seas’ has had to return to port in New Jersey two days earlier than expected. It was the end of a dream cruise that turned into a nightmare as a gastro virus spread through the liner.

Of the 4,200 crew and passengers on board more than 600 are reported to have been struck down with severe symptoms of a virus which proved to be highly contagious.

“I went down stairs and saw them in the medical centre. There was a lot of people downstairs, it took hours. I went down in the morning and there was like 300 down there at that time. I went back after lunch and there was still 300 down there,” recalled one of the passengers Bill Rakowicz.

Sue Rogutski who was on board praised the cruise line for their work.

“Though it was a bad situation all round, and it was very bad, Royal Caribbean bent over backwards to provide everything we needed. The problem was it happened so quickly and there were so many cases, they weren’t ready for what happened,” she said.

Health experts had boarded the ship on Sunday but were unable to determine the cause of the outbreak. The cruise line said it believes the winter vomiting bug norovirus was to blame.

Some passengers complained the compensation being offered by the ship’s owners was inadequate.