Julie Benson, spokeswoman for Princess Cruises a unit of Carnival Corporation’s American division announced passengers and crew members on board two different Princess Cruise Line ships, Florida bound, were hit by a norovirus. The Ruby Princess and the Crown Princess were both stuck this past week upon their return from the eastern Caribbean. The ships issued ’emergency notifications’ to future passengers, stating their departure will be delayed due to the norovirus, to sanitize the ship.
Both the cruise ships, Ruby Princess and Crown Princess, are in trouble to neutralize the norovirus due to the concentration of large groups of people onboard.
A stomach virus has stricken people on a third American cruise ship.
About 200 passengers got gastrointestinal problems, which causes vomiting and diarrhea. Princess Cruises did not immediately return a call and email seeking further details. Earlier in the weekend, two Princess cruise ships were forced to undergo a complete disinfection at their home port of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, after dozens of passengers and crew fell ill.
The Crown Princess has already headed back to sea. About 158 people were infected by the virus on that ship.
In a statement issued Sunday, another spokesman for Princess Cruises said the Ruby Princess, which had set sail for the Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale on Jan. 29 had returned to port for a sanitizing process after 90 passengers and 13 crew members were struck with the highly contagious norovirus.
Vacation-goers were told their cruise would be delayed a few hours while the ship was being sanitized.
Norovirus (or Norwalk agent), which usually lasts from one to three days, is debilitating for the very young, the very old and those with weakened immune systems; norovirus is an RNA virus (taxonomic family Caliciviridae), it causes approximately 90% of epidemic nonbacterial outbreaks of gastroenteritis all over the world.
It is easily spread through contact with infected people, items they touch, such as food in buffets, and human waste.