At least 145 people on board the Disney Wonder cruise ship from April 27 - May 1 reportedly suffered a gastrointestinal illness while traveling to the Bahamas.
According to the CDC, 131 passengers were officially reported as ill during the trip, almost 5 percent of the total number of passengers on board. Additionally, 14 of the crew members also suffered from the illness. As of May 4, a cause has yet to be determined for the outbreak, which was characterized by frequent diarrhea and vomiting.
Disney cruise lines very rarely suffer from serious gastrointestinal outbreaks, according to Cruise Law News. The last such outbreak occurred in 2002, during which 163 passengers and 12 crew members suffered from vomiting and diarrhea on the Disney Magic, the Daily Mail reports.
Although Disney Cruise Line stated their "primary focus was on taking care of [their] guests and crew," the Orlando Sentinel notes, some passengers said the incident was not well managed and that the number of affected people has been underreported.
"We completely understand that people get sick but the way it was [handled] was awful," Patrick Murphy commented on Cruise Law News. "Unqualified people working the infirmary. The gloves the crew wore, were only for their protection not ours. Gloves were not changed if they came in contact with a passenger they continued wearing the gloves, possibly passing the virus off to others."
" ... [B]y Day 2 everyone had started to figure out what was going on because the self service stations had become staffed stations," NewYork Pax recalled, whose son reportedly suffered from the outbreak. " ... [N]o announcement was made until the morning of Day 3 about a health problem on board."
"I myself witnessed the infirmary turn away three people who came down and said they had it two days earlier but because they were not symptomatic they were told they were good and just continue to hydrate," Murphy added. "I would not doubt they were closer to 10 percent or higher."
Others said the passengers were to blame for the outbreak, not Disney.
"This outbreak didn't start on the boat," Jeremy Millard wrote. "People are lazy and don't fill out the papers accordingly to get on the boat."
"We've sailed almost 30 times," Ian MacPherson wrote. "13 on Disney. Disney takes the most precautions of the ships we've sailed."
Disney is handling refunds and credits on a case-by-case basis, the Orlando Sentinel reports.