Sussex County Couples Recount Experience Aboard "Sick" Royal Car - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Sussex County Couples Recount Experience Aboard "Sick" Royal Caribbean Ship


MILLSBORO, Del.- Two Sussex County couples were looking to beat the winter blues with a tropical getaway, so they decided to take a cruise. It just so happened to be a cruise aboard Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas. Yes, that Royal Caribbean. They were among the hundreds who came down with what is believed to be norovirus. Of the four of them, and all but one got sick, shortening what was supposed to be a relaxing, ten-day cruise.

The Phillips' and Pinchots of Millsboro are what you might call cruising experts.

"We usually go about this time of year to escape the coldness," noted Sara Phillips.

This was the first time the neighbors all shipped out together.

"We were really anticipating you know, rest and relaxation," said Dee Pinchot.

It quickly became apparent that they were in for anything but.

"The boat was so rocky, everyone was getting sick from motion sickness. And then the following day, everyone starting breaking out with this virus," explained Sara, who was one of the lucky ones. She managed to avoid getting sick. Her husband, Bob, and the Pinchots, not so much. 

"I was so bad, I was dehydrated and they gave me two units of, I guess water, IV's," Charles Pinchot said.

"They wanted us both to stay in the cabin, more or less quarantined," added Dee.

The Explorer of the Seas turned into something of a ghost ship, with people like Dee and Charles stuck in their rooms, shows canceled, and nothing to do but wait for relief and land.

"We couldn't even enjoy anything," remarked Dee. 

"How long is this going to last, and where are we going to be going next, you know," Sara added. "The next step. There's not a lot you can do when you're 800 miles out." 

Both couples agree that the staff did they best they could to handle the situation.

"Everywhere you went, someone was wiping elevator buttons, bathrooms, all day," said Sara. "The railings. They were constantly wiping, and people were standing around everywhere with the disinfectant to put on your hands."

"I mean, they were thorough," noted Dee. "But it was something that you weren't going to get rid of like that."

Their one complaint:

"They should have made the decision to turn around and come back before they did," Sara said. "When they bypassed the first island, they should not have gone on to another one. They should have turned around at that point."

Even still, both couples say this experience will not stop them from cruising again.

The couples, along with everyone else on the cruise, are being compensated by Royal Caribbean for their shortened trip.

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