Mysterious Cruise Ship Plague Has Ruined Caribbean Vacay for 281 People

Stepping aboard an ocean liner and putting your life in the hands of a captain who, at least on a Disney cruise, might be an actor with some off-Broadway experience dressed in a Goofy costume, takes a lot of faith, especially considering how many no good, terrible things have happened on cruise ships recently. At this rate, cruises will soon have to bill themselves as "fantasy" vacations for hardcore post-apocalyptic fantasists who dream of, say, being trapped on Earth's last remaining ark as a zombie plague spreads like wildfire from cabin to cabin.

That's more or less (it's way more) what it must be like to be trapped aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise where 281 passengers have, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fallen seriously ill. In a statement on Friday, the CDC said that 22 of the ship crewmembers are also sick, with people on the ship reporting such lovely vacation symptoms as vomiting and diarrhea.

Since authorities aren't entirely sure what's causing the illness, CDC officials will have to board the ship today when it docks in St. Thomas and do some on-the-ground investigating. The cruise boasts a total of 3,050 passengers, and 1,165 crew members, all of whom will no doubt be prodded and swabbed thoroughly before they get to step off the boat.


Let this serve as a lesson, then, to all those people trying to escape the polar vortices this winter — there is no escape, only cold, snow, and flummoxed meteorologists.

Image via AP