The Explorer of the Seas, a cruise ship on which 600 hundred passengers and crew members fell ill, is due back in the Bayonne, N.J., the port it departed from last week. In five days, East Rutherford, N.J., will be hosting the Super Bowl
A spokesman for The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says the Explorer of the Seas is due to dock Wednesday afternoon (as in THIS afternoon) in Bayonne. The Royal Caribbean ship had to cut short a 10-day cruise after more than 600 passengers and crew members fell ill with vomiting and diarrhea.
Officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention boarded the ship during its U.S. Virgin Islands port call to investigate the illness. But tests have not yet confirmed the cause. The ship’s medical team has said the symptoms were consistent with norovirus. The ship left Bayonne Jan. 21.
Ordinarily, at this time I would be discussing Obama’s State of the Union address. However, New Jersey is five days from hosting the Super Bowl at Giants Stadium (or whatever its corporate name is) in East Rutherford, on Feb. 2nd. We can discuss Barackus Obamus’ haughty speech another day.
Does anyone besides myself see a bit of a problem with this? Thousands of people are flocking to the New York metropolitan area to see this game. In fact, many are already here. And the Port Authority is about to unleash 600 very sick people into the area with an extremely contagious virus into the area. East Rutherford is four exits north of Bayonne on the New Jersey Turnpike.
The passengers and the crew of the Explorer are to be greatly pitied. Nothing like a stomach flu to ruin your vacation. Undoubtedly, they want to get off that ship and go home. But surely they can find some other port than one in Northern New Jersey which is about to host hundreds of thousands of people for the biggest game of the year.
Why can’t the ship dock in Philadelphia, instead? What is the Port of Authority and the Center for Disease Control thinking? Have they looked at the calendar? Have they looked at a map of northern New Jersey. Do they realize how close Bayonne is to East Rutherford, not to mention New York, where many of the pre-game parties and television specials are being held? And, too, many of those passengers will be flying out of Newark/Liberty International Airport – the same airport the Super Bowl fans will be flying into. Has the Port Authority considered that?
Will somebody, for mercy’s sake, speak to the authorities and reconsider what they’re doing?