Cruise Ship Returns to Florida Early After Norovirus Outbreak

A Princess Cruises ship was forced to abandon the rest of its sailing for the second time this month after hundreds of passengers and crew members were diagnosed with norovirus.

According to CBS Miami, the Caribbean Princess was on a 14-day voyage when around 228 passengers and 17 crew members reported the vomiting and diarrhea symptoms associated with norovirus.

As a result, the ship was forced to return to Port Everglades Saturday morning, skipping a stop in Aruba and returning home one day earlier than originally planned.

The Caribbean Princess was also forced to return early to the Florida port on February 13 after it was denied entry to ports at Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago due to passengers and crew members also reporting norovirus symptoms.

A Carnival Corporation spokesperson said the ship returned to its homeport after health officials confirmed tests of the sick passengers and crew members were cases of norovirus, not the coronavirus spreading around the world.

The cruise line announced it would refund impacted passengers for a day through a refundable onboard credit, a 25 percent future cruise credit of the cruise fare paid and one-night hotel accommodations.

A Caribbean Princess spokesperson released a statement to the Orlando Sentinel:

“Caribbean Princess has ended its 14-day Caribbean cruise one day early, out of an abundance of caution, due to guests reporting symptoms consistent with mild cases of gastrointestinal illness and confirmed through onboard testing to have been caused by norovirus.”

“Those individuals are being treated by the ship’s medical team, and there are no cases of coronavirus amongst guests or crew. Norovirus is a common stomach illness prevalent throughout the winter season.”

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