The first US cruise ship to visit Cuba in decades returned to Miami on Sunday with a potential Norovirus outbreak. The ship departed Miami a week earlier, arriving in Havana the next morning and then continuing on to Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. The vessel was operated by Carnival affiliate Fathom who issued a statement confirming 14 passengers had gastrointestinal illnesses but denied that it was Norovirus. Carnival issued the following statement to the Daily Mail:
Following our arrival to Havana, we had 14 individuals (out of more than 1,000 on board) during the course of the remainder of the cruise who reported stomach symptoms. The doctor reported yesterday that all were recovered and no new cases were reported. There also was no indication or verification that it was tied to Norovirus and all the passengers departed today from the ship in Miami in good health. It is an important reminder to be cautious of the foods and water when visiting any new country. The vast majority of the guests drank and ate freely of all of the local tastes of Cuba without incident.
The ship will operate week-long trips to Cuba twice per month from Miami which will include assorted cultural, humanitarian, and educational activities on land and at sea.