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With a vacation like this, you’ll want to stay home

By Shannon Keane, Copy Editor (skeane3@uic.edu)

Vacations are pretty nice. Unlimited sun, warmth, and all the food you can eat. Beaches, sand, and a break from one’s reality are pretty much all one can ever ask for when it comes to vacation. As someone who just got back from one as well, I can say honestly that one can never have too much vacation.

Until you get sick.

The vacation that I just got home from, a cruise in the Caribbean, was just that. Besides my sister’s wedding, which was on the Wednesday that week, we spent our days laying around drinking free smoothies and enjoying the warmth that was much better than what has been lovingly referred to as “Chiberia.” The cruise was on Princess, a popular cruise line in America. But if it had been on Royal Caribbean, I probably would be telling a very different story.

Royal Caribbean’s floating resort called “Explorer of the Seas” returned home Wednesday carrying over five hundred sick passengers.

According to CNN, crew members and cruise goers alike experienced the terrible sickness that hit the ship last week. Waiting lines for onboard clinics were over three hours long, and passengers were surely not outside in the sun; instead, they were confined to their rooms, away from any source of food or water, left laying in their beds, too weak to carry on.

Passengers could not even hold it together. “I saw at dinner one woman had vomited into her napkin,” one passenger told CNN.

Royal Caribbean has issued an official apology about the issue and promised passengers that they will be reimbursed for part of the cost they paid, as well as credit for every day they spent in confinement. But after an experience like this, it seems like none of these people are ever going to set foot on a cruise ship again.

While I’m very glad I read about this issue AFTER I got back from my trip, it seems to me that a problem like this could have been very preventable. Call me crazy, but it’s a resort’s job to make sure that its patrons and customers are full satisfied, and not sick. And to me, a cruise ship is just like a floating resort. While Royal Caribbesn has insisted that the problem will “never happen again,” I just can’t believe it happened in the first place.

Not all passengers were angry about their experience, however. One joked that it was the best trip he’d ever been on, simply because he lost five pounds. Another passenger was also interviewed by CNN saying that she had a very good time.

I still believe Royal Caribbean should be held more accountable for the issue at hand. But I guess right now I should just be thankful my sister’s wedding included tears, sunshine, and happiness, and not a sick bride who couldn’t leave her stateroom.

For more info, visit http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/29/travel/royal-caribbean-illness/

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