Royal Caribbean
A total of 277 passengers and crew members have become ill from the norovirus aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. A picture shows the Royal Caribbean's 'Symphony of the Seas' during its presentation in Malaga on March 27, 2018. Getty Images/JORGE GUERRERO

A Royal Caribbean (RCL) cruise ship is facing an outbreak of the norovirus, leading to 277 passengers and crew members getting sick.

The seven-day cruise through the Caribbean was aboard the Oasis of the Seas, which is making a return trip to Port Canaveral, Florida, one day earlier than planned because of the outbreak. The ship will arrive at the port on Saturday.

“We think the right thing to do is to get everyone home early rather than have guests worry about their health,” said Rob Zeiger, chief communications manager for Royal Caribbean. “Returning on Saturday also gives us more time to completely clean and sanitize the ship before her next sailing.”

Royal Caribbean is offering a full refund to passengers.

As of Wednesday, at least 167 cases of the norovirus had developed aboard the vessel. The number escalated to 277 by Thursday, according to Royal Caribbean officials. Guests affected by the norovirus are being treated by the ship’s medical team with over-the-counter medication.

The norovirus is a stomach virus that can cause a range of symptoms including diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. It is transmitted by direct contact with a person infected with the virus, consuming water or food that is contaminated or by touching a contaminated surface and then the mouth without washing hands in between.

NBC's WESH-2 reported that passengers of the cruise took to social media, stating their unhappiness with having to stay on the ship after it docked in Falmouth, Jamaica for a day that was planned for excursions.

As of this afternoon, Royal Caribbean stock was up 0.38 percent.