SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - Crews were sanitizing each deck Thursday after nearly two dozen passengers became ill on board the Royal Caribbean Azamara Quest.

The 14-day cruise left from Costa Rica and about halfway through the trip, several people began feeling ill. Overall, 22 passengers and 2 crew members came down with a gastrointestinal illness.

Despite the inconvenience, many passengers spoke highly of the way the crew handled the situation.

“Some people were vomiting, diarrhea -- the natural things, but actually they handled it so well, we washed our hands all the time. They were, very, very good,” one passenger said.

Royal Caribbean released the following statement:

When Azamara Quest arrived in San Diego, California (per her scheduled turn) she had four (4) guests reported with gastrointestinal symptoms within the past 48 hours. Over all we have had 22 guests and 2 crew members with gastro-intestinal symptoms. All other guest have recovered and were treated by our ship's doctors and responded well with over-the-counter medication.

Meanwhile, we are taking steps to do a full barrier sanitation cleaning of the ship before she departs on Thursday, February 8 for her next cruise.

We encouraged our guests and crew to wash their hands often, which health experts recommend as the best defense against stomach viruses, which each year affect as many as 300 million people worldwide-only the common cold is more prevalent.


Owen Torres, Manager, Global Corporate Communications, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

By the time the ship docked, Royal Caribbean says there were only four people who were still showing symptoms.

The ship is scheduled to head out on another cruise after it has been completely sanitized. It’s still unclear what caused the gastrointestinal issues.