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Email about Legionnaires


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Dear Majesty of the Seas Guests:


Royal Caribbean International is working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to investigate two confirmed cases and one possible case of Legionnaires’ disease (a type of pneumonia) that may be associated with travel aboard the Majesty of the Seas in July and October 2015.


Starting with the first case identified, Royal Caribbean took steps to protect the health of guests and crew, including shutting down the whirlpool spas, treating the water with extra chlorine, and conducting extensive water sampling on board the ship. This testing confirmed that bacteria are present in samples taken from the water used for showering. It is not known whether the ship’s shower water was the source of the bacteria that caused the infections and our investigation is ongoing.


Legionnaires’ disease is caused by the bacterium Legionella and is not spread from person to person. When freshwater that is contaminated with Legionella is breathed into the lungs (as a mist or vapor), it can cause pneumonia. People cannot get Legionnaires’ disease by drinking water unless it “goes down the wrong pipe” into the lungs instead of the digestive tract. Most people who are exposed to Legionella do not get sick, but the risk increases with age or for people with underlying health conditions (see back of this letter for more information).


In order to prevent additional illness and identify anyone else who may have been diagnosed with pneumonia after traveling aboard the Majesty of the Seas, we ask the following:


If you have already traveled aboard the Majesty of the Seas and get sick in the two weeks after your cruise:


o Please see attached facts for information regarding symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease.


o Seek medical attention, and show this letter to your doctor so that he/she can prescribe appropriate antibiotics if needed.


o Request Legionella testing (by urine test and respiratory culture).


o If you test positive for Legionella, ask your doctor to report your illness to your local or state health department as soon as possible after your diagnosis.


If you are planning to travel aboard the Majesty of the Seas:


o We believe the risk of Legionnaires’ disease is low but not zero because this ship has undergone two rounds of treatment with chlorine.


o Your individual risk may be elevated if you have any of the risk factors listed on the attachment. Unfortunately, we cannot estimate your individual risk. If you have any risk factors, you may want to consider rescheduling your cruise for a later date.


o If you use a respiratory therapy device with a humidifier (e.g., CPAP or BiPAP), do not fill it with tap water; use distilled or boiled water instead.


Both Royal Caribbean and CDC are working to protect the health of the guests and crew aboard the Majesty of the Seas. If you have questions about Legionnaires’ disease, you may contact your local or state health department or CDC at 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-6348). You can also learn more about Legionnaires’ disease at http://www.cdc.gov/legionella. For travel-related questions, please contact Royal Caribbean

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No one can say what you should do, other than yourself.


A few notes about legionella and ship's sanitation. The most common source of legionella is hot tubs, which is why most, if not all, ships have disconnected the air jets in public hot tubs.


The next most common source are shower heads. The shower heads are supposed to be taken off and sanitized in a bleach solution monthly, as per the USPH. This is caused by the water that remains in the shower head between showers, and the air in there, where the bacteria grows. It is then aerosolized by the shower head nozzles. Sanitizing shower heads will normally deal with this.


A rarer source is the water pipes themselves. Since the water is treated with chlorine, this chlorine tends to build a film on the inside of the pipes, and legionella bacteria can grow under this film. When the water is shut off for maintenance, this film can break down, and the bacteria released into the water, again causing problems only in the shower. What the ship has done over the last few cruises, resulting in the delayed boardings, is to super-chlorinate the water and flush this through the lines to break down the chlorine scale (this is what is done nightly in hot tubs, for the same reason).


As RCI has stated, the ship's water piping has been treated with super-chlorination twice, so the odds are that the bacteria has been remediated, but there is always a chance. There is a chance of infection in your home shower as well, probably about the same. If the USPH/CDC did not think it was safe for passengers, they would not have allowed additional cruises.


While a serious disease, as stated by RCI, not everyone exposed to legionella gets sick, but if you have risk factors, you should consider those.


Again, this becomes a personal choice. The above are facts about legionella, I have no data on what has been done onboard, but I know the USPH protocols. Would I sail? Yes. But that is my own personal decision. Everyone needs to do due diligence and make their own decision. I make no recommendation for anyone but myself.

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Just got an email about majesty of the seas maybe have legionnaires. What should I do? I leave on Monday


Talk to your family Dr. Do some research on your own. All information provided to you can help you make the right decision for you and your family.



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I just returned today and left the Majesty around 9 AM only to receive this email around 4:20 pm. Since boarding the ship on the 9th we noticed that both hottubs were indeed closed. However, didn't think much of this since this is my first cruise and I figured they were just broken.


After 4 days at sea (and multiple showers), I'm am a bit concerned to say the least. Mostly I'm pretty outraged that there were no signs, no announcements and no email until today, after I'm off the ship, when clearly this was confirmed and known since October, and I booked in July.


Any one else feel like they rolled the dice with our health??? .What do you guys think? I would have canceled the cruise having known this and now am questioning that motion sickness i felt on the boat.

Edited by Ablitz
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I'd really would to know from Royal Caribbean how they can let people on board a ship with even a possibility of being contaminated. Now having read back on this forum, after the last cruise that arrived back on the 6th they were already handing out information regarding legionaries. This was not done before or during the entire cruise from the 9th - 13th and the hot tubs were closed when we boarded. It really seems like they knew the entire time we could be susceptible to a bacteria that could be very harmful. And that isn't a risk I wanted to take. I really hope everyone's okay.

Edited by Ablitz
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My dad is a diabetic, my mom had a compromise immune system and my twins are only 4. I would feel guilty if anyone was to get sick.


I'd think about calling and asking for a full refund. I didn't see them list that as an option in the letter you posted.:mad::(

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My dad is a diabetic, my mom had a compromise immune system and my twins are only 4. I would feel guilty if anyone was to get sick.



I know it's frightening but u have more of a chance of contracting noro virus than legionnaires if Royal are aware of it and have treated the water accordenly you should be fine it's a bacteria that manly lives in shower heads and stagnant water if you run your shower for 5-10 minutes on the hottest temperature possible before you shower you should be ok also if you and hubby shower before the kids and your mum and dad traces are gone from the water check out the cdc web site for info and speak with your health provider in Ireland it's the family doctor make an informed decision this is a good article and ring Royal as well http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/legionnaires-disease/basics/definition/con-20028867 I know that this ship had a long turn around time last weekend so this may be why

Edited by judymag
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They don't want to lose $$$. So they make it optional for you to sail or not.



Oh crap ring your health care provider and ask there advice you should be allowed full refunds because your mum and dad have weakened immune systems contact your insurance co also sorry can't be more assistance

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