Princess Cruise Line has decided to bring the Crown Princess cruise ship back to port 2 days early after another outbreak of gastrointestinal illness. The 3,080 passenger cruise ship is returning to Ft Lauderdale from a cruise to the Southern Caribbean for an extensive 2 day cleaning.
The cruise line reported that 114 passengers and 59 crew members became sick with vomiting and diarrhea, symptoms of norovirus. This is after the ship had over 400 passengers and crew become ill last week. The ship was disinfected when it arrived in port on Saturday morning and caused the current cruise to be delayed by a couple hours.
Princess Cruise Line release the following statement, “”We sincerely regret having to cut short our passengers’ cruise vacations because of this highly unusual situation”. The decision to bring the ship back 2 days early came after a consultation with the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
The 2 day cleaning will consist of additional cleaning crews and multiple sanitizations of cabins.
The cruise line will offer full refunds to all of the passengers on board and will help in arrangements with flights home. The cruise line will also cover any change flight fees and hotel accommodations if they are necessary. The passengers will also receive a 25% credit good for a future cruise.
The norovirus is extremely contagious and is easily spread in confined places like cruise ships, schools, dormitories, and hospitals. It is the second most common illness after the common cold. A wave of sickness has hit several cruise ships in the past week as this is peak season for the virus.
If you are going on a cruise, here are some tips on staying healthy and avoiding sickness while on the ship.
The Crown Princess is scheduled to depart with the next scheduled cruise to Aruba and the Bahamas on Saturday, February 11. Carnival Cruise Line is the parent company of Princess.