A Princess Cruises ship will return to Florida three days early due to a gastrointestinal illness outbreak on the cruise ship. 299 (9.9%) passengers and 22 (1.9%) crew members have reported being ill on the current 14 day cruise to the Southern Caribbean.
The 321 passengers on crew members on Caribbean Princess are experiencing symptoms similar to norovirus (vomiting and diarrhea). However at this time, the CDC has not confirmed the exact cause of the illness. It is important to note that this illness outbreak is not related to coronavirus in any way.
Princess Cruises provided the following statement regarding the illness outbreak on Caribbean Princess:
“Caribbean Princess, which had been on a 14-day cruise in the Caribbean, has curtailed its voyage out of an abundance of caution due to guests reporting symptoms consistent with a mild case of gastrointestinal illness. Those individuals are being treated by the onboard medical team, and there are no cases of coronavirus identified among guests or crew.
The ship, with 4,196 guests and crew, is now sailing back to the Port of Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, and is scheduled to arrive at the port at 7:00 AM Eastern Time on Thursday, February 13.
This is a highly unusual development and we share the disappointment of our guests. However, the health and safety of our guests and crew is our top priority, and in working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it was decided out of an abundance of caution, in this specific instance, to discontinue the cruise.
All guests will receive a 50% refund on their voyage and a future cruise credit valued at 50% of their cruise for this inconvenience.
Caribbean Princess will resume its schedule with a February 16 departure from Port Everglades for a round-trip Circle Caribbean cruise.”
In response to the outbreak, Princess Cruises and crew aboard the ship reported the following actions:
- Increasing cleaning and disinfection procedures according to their outbreak prevention and response plan.
- Making daily Captain’s announcements and distributing written health advisories to passengers.
- Sending daily reports of gastrointestinal illness cases to VSP.
- Collecting stool specimens from passenger and/or crew gastrointestinal illness cases and sending specimens for testing.
Caribbean Princess was originally scheduled for a 14 night cruise to the Southern Caribbean with port stops in St. Maarten, St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Martinique, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Bonaire, and Aruba.