Issues continue for Princess Cruises as another cruise ship is hit with a gastrointestinal outbreak in the Caribbean and is forced to cancel a cruise.
Caribbean Princess Gastrointestinal Outbreak
While Princess Cruises is dealing with the Coronavirus outbreak aboard Diamond Princess in Japan, the line is also now dealing with a mild gastrointestinal outbreak on the Caribbean Princess cruise ship in the Caribbean.
The cruise line has not revealed how many guests or crew have been sick from the outbreak, but there are 4,196 passengers onboard and the outbreak is severe enough for the voyage to be canceled. Those impacted by the bug are being treated by the medical staff on the Caribbean Princess. It must be noted that there have been no cases of the Coronavirus on board this ship; this medical cancellation this is completely separate.
Princess Cruises stated:
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.
The ship was denied entry into Trinidad at Port of Spain on Monday, February 10, 2020, due to the outbreak and the ship will not be calling at any more ports including Bonaire island and Aruba.
Caribbean Princess is sailing a 14-day cruise that departed Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on February 2, 2020. The vessel is now heading straight back to her homeport and is scheduled to arrive at Port Everglades at 7:00 AM on Thursday, February 13, 2020. The following 14-day Caribbean cruise, scheduled to depart the port on February 16, 2020, will go ahead as normal.
The cruise line is giving passengers a 50% refund and a future cruise credit of 50% to make up for the inconvenience of the shortened voyage.
A gastrointestinal bug can easily spread on cruise ships, just like on land, and usually causes vomiting, diarrhea, and upset stomach. Cruise lines have procedures in place for these types of things and will apply restrictions when dining onboard along with extra sanitation in public areas. After passengers have disembarked, the ship will undergo even more stringent cleaning and sanitation processes before the next voyage begins.
This comes as sister ship Diamond Princess has 135 confirmed cases of the deadly Coronavirus (COVID-19) and is under quarantine for 14 days in Yokohama, Japan. You can read the latest about that ship right here.