Passengers on the Crown Princess are coming home early from a Caribbean cruise, thanks to a second nasty outbreak of gastrointestinal illness.
Nearly 60 crew members and 114 passengers have reported illness on the current voyage, according to Princess Cruises. The ship was cleaned for the current sailing after nearly 400 people became ill on the last voyage.
The new outbreak means the ship will return to port in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Thursday, two days early, for an extensive two-day cleaning, Princess Cruises said in a statement.
"We sincerely regret having to cut short our passengers' cruise vacations because of this highly unusual situation. We will, of course, be refunding their cruise fare, arranging flights home, including covering change fees if air was not booked through Princess, providing hotel accommodation if necessary, and offering a 25% future cruise credit," the cruise line said.
Princess is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Vessel Sanitation Program to combat what officials suspect is norovirus.
Norovirus causes symptoms including diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain, according to the CDC. It is spread from person to person through contaminated food or water or by touching contaminated surfaces.
The enhanced cleaning will include "thorough sanitization of all public spaces and surfaces including soft furnishing and carpets, railings, door handles and the like," Princess said, and staterooms will be cleaned more than once before the next guests board.
The next cruise is set to depart as scheduled on Saturday. A second Princess cruise ship, the Ruby Princess, also experienced a recent outbreak of gastrointestinal illness. More than 100 cases of illness were reported during a sailing that returned to port over the weekend.
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