Just a few days after RCCL’s Explorer of the Seas returned to port after illness struck 700 passengers, and the third time this month, a norovirus has broken out on cruise ship. This time the disease hit about 165 passengers aboard Princess Cruises’ Caribbean Princess which triggered aborting the voyage that was headed to Belize. This is the last thing the beleaguered cruise industry needs after two years of many mishaps from ships that capsized to passengers disappearing.
According to early morning TV news reports and online news sources, the Caribbean Princes returned to Bayport Cruise terminal in New Jersey last night (Jan. 30) after about several passengers reported feeling ill with symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea and nausea. Princess Cruises reported the situation to the CDC who is sending representatives to oversee sanitation of the ship before it sets sail again on February 1.
According to Khou.com, “Princess later confirmed that passengers were ill:
“Caribbean Princess returning early has experienced an increase in the number of cases of gastroenteritis among passengers, which has been confirmed to be norovirus, a common but contagious illness which is widely circulating throughout North America. Because of the increased sensitivity surrounding norovirus by both cruise lines and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in this winter season, we notified the CDC who will be boarding on Friday to ensure all appropriate measures are followed for an extensive sanitation of the ship prior to the next cruise departing February 1.”
A late report by the Houston Chronicle on line stated that “ The Caribbean Princess arrived at Port of Houston's Bayport Terminal at 9 p.m. Thursday more than 24 hours sooner than scheduled. Passengers left the ship early this morning, Jan. 31. Investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention planned to board the vessel for a public health probe.”
The Caribbean Princess was carrying 3,104 passengers and 1,149 on a seven-day western Caribbean cruise that departed on January 25.
Find out more about the predicted startling spread of the norovirus by viewing the video. You can help keep it from spreading in hotels, stores and on cruise ships by following strict hygiene guidelines.