Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Caribbean Princess cutting cruise short due to fog and illness

Caribbean Princess cutting cruise short due to fog and illness

Princess Cruises has been forced to cut short the current voyage onboard Caribbean Princess because of impending weather forecasts and a suspected outbreak of norovirus.

The vessel is scheduled to return to US waters today, one day earlier than had been intended in the itinerary, because of a heavy build up of dense fog that is expected to descend along the US coast tomorrow and for most of the weekend.

It will also require extra time for sanitisation under the watchful eye of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, after passengers reported symptoms of the vomiting bug to the ship's medical bay. According to reports, five passengers are sick with nausea and diarrhoea at present, however some 165 passengers and 11 crew are believed to have fallen ill during the course of the trip.

That represents five per cent of the 3,104 guests aboard Caribbean Princess and less than one per cent of the 1,148 staff members, which is someway short of the eye-watering number of sick reported aboard Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas this week, when more than 20 per cent of the 3,071 passengers reported with symptoms.

However, this represents the third confirmed outbreak of norovirus already this year. Last year by way of comparison, there were nine outbreaks in total. In order to stay on track with its accelerated timeline, the ship, which has been sailing since January 25th, was forced to skip a planned call at the port of Belize.

Princess said in a statement: "Because of the increased sensitivity surrounding Norovirus by both cruise lines and the CDC in this winter season, we notified the CDC who will be boarding on Friday to ensure all appropriate measures are followed for an extensive sanitation of the ship prior to the next cruise."

Passengers will be provided with overnight accommodation in local hotels once the ship arrives in port, as well as a future cruise credit worth 20 per cent of their fare and a one-day allowance to put towards meals and other costs.