Royal Caribbean-owned Azamara Quest arrives in San Diego with passengers sickened by virus

Posted at 11:13 PM, Feb 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-08 17:51:21-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A cruise ship carrying passengers stricken with a gastrointestinal virus arrived in San Diego Thursday morning.

On Wednesday, San Diego Port officials confirmed to 10News that several passengers on board the Azamara Quest were sick with a virus.

The Royal Caribbean-owned ship arrived at the Embarcadero just before 5:30 a.m. Thursday. 10News learned that 22 passengers and two crew members contracted the virus.

Royal Caribbean officials said those with the virus were treated on the ship and they responded well to medication.

The Centers for Disease Control will need to conduct tests to confirm if the passengers have norovirus, according to a Royal Caribbean spokesman.

The ship was on the last stretch of a 15-day, 14-night, one-way cruise from Costa Rica to San Diego. The trip included eight stops, with their last port in Cabo San Lucas four days ago.

Some passengers told 10News the ship was alerted of the outbreak about halfway through the cruise and reminded everyone of the importance of sanitizing.

Passenger Audrey Potter said, "They were constantly reminding about sanitizing. They were always there sanitizing. They had nice cloths in every restroom so you could grab the handles without contaminating your hands."

Avoiding the illness can be difficult for passengers on a cruise ship since there are close living quarters, shared dining areas and a rapid turnover of passengers.

The Azamara Quest holds up to 781 passengers and 408 crew.

At this time, it's unclear how the outbreak started.

Officials told 10News the ship is maintaining its schedule and will be thoroughly cleaned before departing Thursday afternoon for the next cruise.