Cruise ship with Norovirus returns to port
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A cruise ship has returned to port two days early after another virus outbreak at sea.
This is the third outbreak on board a Princess cruise ship that has returned to port with hundreds of sick passengers and crew on board.
The Crown Princess cruise ship returned to port at 6:30 a.m. Thursday. Out of the more 3,000 on board, 226 passengers and 63 crew members became ill with the highly contagious virus.
Passengers who contracted the virus talked about their experience as they exited the cruise ship. Not even a full say out to see and Maria Lentini started coming down with symptoms. "All of a sudden, I woke up Monday morning and I was queasy, and I was quarantined, and I had diarrhea and vomiting," she said. "It was horrible. It was really a horrible experience."
"We've been on a lot of cruises, and this has been the worst," Joyce Eller, another sick passenger, said. "
Once they showed symptoms, passengers were quarantined to their rooms. "After I started vomiting, yes, I was quarantined to my room," Eller said.
Other passengers believed the staff did a great job handling the sick passengers. "It was a lovely crew," said Larry Lamoureux, "and the captain told the truth what was going on. That's why everybody was happy. The service was excellent, and they went out of their way."
"I think they did a fabulous job at trying to keep everybody happy and under control, under the circumstances," said Phyllis Kedra.
The ship left the port last Saturday after crews spent close to a full day cleaning the ship from top to bottom. Passengers expressed their concerns before the ship left the port late Saturday night. "We're not annoyed because we know they are taking extra precaution to make sure that everything is clean and disinfected," said Ruth Pretty.
The Crown Princess had returned to port last Saturday with more than 400 sick people. Passengers on board that voyage said the crew did everything possible to keep the gastro-intestinal virus from spreading. "We could not touch anything, basically," said Mary Lou Peterson. "I didn't touch the handrails, even on the elevators. We made sure we had cloth or something to push the buttons."
On Sunday, the Ruby Princess also returned from sea. It was the second Princess cruise ship hit hard by the Norovirus with as many as 100 on board stricken by the illness. It too was scrubbed down and sent back to see with a new load of passengers. "Of the 34 of ours, only one got sick and she was only sick for a day and a half," said Linda Wilkinson.
With ship docked, an even more thorough scrub down is planned before it sails again this weekend. Cleaning crews arrived just before noon, Thursday to start the two-day cleaning process. The CDC and Princess Cruise Line will monitor the process.
A number of passengers noted that they will get full reimbursed for their cruise and their flights back home. Princess Cruise Line has also offered a 25 percent credit on future cruises with the company.
(Copyright 2012 by Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)