We have now received an official statement from Princess Cruises:
Over the last few days aboard the previous sailing of Star Princess, there was a higher than expected number of cases of gastrointestinal illness among guests caused by norovirus. Norovirus (also known as the “stomach flu”) is the most common cause of gastrointestinal illness in the developed world and causes widespread outbreaks on land.
When the previous voyage ended today, five guests had active symptoms. There were 2,590 total guests sailing on this voyage.
In order to interrupt the spread of illness, we proactively initiated an extensive sanitation campaign onboard that was developed in conjunction with several international health authorities. This included such measures as thorough disinfection of high-touch surfaces like hand railings, door handles and elevator buttons; encouraging passengers to use correct hand washing procedures and enhancing this with the use of hand sanitizing gels placed throughout the ship; isolating ill guests in staterooms until they are non-contagious; encouraging guests to use their own stateroom’s bathroom facilities; and providing regular verbal and written communication about steps they can take to stay well while onboard.
The Star Princess which is operated by Princess Cruises has been hit by a Norovirus outbreak during its 15-day Hawaiian Islands cruise.
The news in Canada is reporting there has been a Norovirus outbreak aboard the Star Princess. The virus broke out during the 15-day cruise to the Hawaiian Islands and the site mentions that passengers were taken from the ship by Ambulance and another flown home. It’s not clear how many guests and crew got hit by the sickness bug but it could be at least 60 people.
The Norovirus is not deadly and can also be found on land. The virus is also known as gastrointestinal illness which can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Due to the high amount of people in a limited amount of space the virus can spread easily. Most cruise lines do offer hand sanitizing around the ship at all times but not all guests use it.
The 108,800 gross ton cruise ship arrived back at its homeport in Vancouver, Canada but the ship didn’t depart for its next scheduled cruise until the evening on October 4. Extra cleaning and sanitation was done by the ship’s crew so that the Norovirus would not spread during the next voyage.
The Star Princess last had a Norovirus outbreak back in April 2015 where over 135 people aboard got sick. Cruise Hive has contacted the cruise line for further details and will update this post once we get a response. It’s worth taking a look ‘Ways Not To Get Sick With The Norovirus While Cruising‘ for some tips how to stop the spread.