“Sick” Ship Cleaned And Sent Back Out To Sea

FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The second of two Princess Cruise Line  ships which reported an outbreak of norovirus has once again departed Port Everglades on a regularly scheduled cruise.

The Ruby Princes arrived at the port early Sunday morning with 92 passengers and 13 crew members infected with the virus which is a highly contagious gastrointestinal illness.

Jack Chen, a visitor from Los Angeles who got sick, said it was awful.

“I think this is a very bad experience for me. This is the first time enjoying the Princess cruise but it was a terrible experience,” said Chen.

Chen said he and other passengers started getting sick the second day in the cruise.

“And then we hear the announcement about some kind of virus, but we’re not sure how we got the virus,” said Chen.  “Maybe some kind of food poisoning, I’m not sure.”

Chen said when he went to the medical center for help he and his wife ran into a problem.

“Unfortunately they were only open two hours a day, from 4:30 to 6:30, and they wanted us to go back to the stateroom and wait for their call.  We told them we were waiting in the stateroom for seven, eight hours and nobody called us, nobody saw us,” said Chen.

When Chen went back to the medical center, he said the doctor told he was treating 60 to 70 a day.

By mid-Sunday afternoon the crew had finished their disinfecting of the ship and it left on its next regularly scheduled cruise early Sunday evening.

On Saturday, the Crown Princess docked at the port following a seven day cruise. A total of 364 passengers and 30 crew members reported getting sick.

The cruise line sent warnings to passengers leaving Saturday and Sunday that the outbreak will briefly delay their trips so the ships can get a stem-to-stern cleaning and disinfection.

“It will be necessary for the ship to undergo a prolonged and additional disinfection in Port Everglades on Sunday,” the line said in its message to passengers of the Ruby Princess, a copy of which was supplied to cbsmiami.com.

As passengers scheduled to depart Saturday and Sunday arrived they were taken to the Broward Convention Center to await boarding. While there they were given letters explaining the illness aboard, what was being done to clean the ship and telling them their departure would be delayed.

They were also asked to complete documents asking if they had any symptoms of a cold of gastrointestinal illness. Standard practice is for passengers who admit to symptoms to be given a medical exam, and possibly be denied boarding, in an effort to control another possible outbreak.

Cruise ships have struggled with containing the threat of the norovirus, which is common in the general population but which spreads more easily among large groups in concentrated areas, like found in a cruise ship.

The disease is passed by contact with infected people, items they touch, such as food in buffets, and human waste. Most cruise lines have hand sanitizer stations aboard, and regularly urge passengers to use them.

However, it’s easy for the disease to spread even in clean environments.

Princess Cruise is owned by Doral-based Carnival Cruise Lines.

Comments

One Comment

  1. firefly says:

    these cruise ships are a terrorist dream to spread a contagous disease throughout the country. sure hope homeland security has a plan on this potential threat.

  2. mel says:

    Most people don’t realize it , but most of the workers/food handlers on these cruise ships are people from 3rd world countries who don’t wash their hands after going to the restroom or before they touch your food. Either that or they taint your food on purpose because they hate Americans.

    1. Cypress says:

      Mel you are a stupil little person. These viruses are brought on board by people like you who are too dumb or selfish to stay home when they are sick. Maybe the gov’t should inspect all passengers for any type of illness before they board. Those found with an illness could then be disposed of (shot maybe?).

    2. cruise-crew-member says:

      Mel, you’re comment is ill-informed. Yes, a LOT of the crew members are from what you so callously call “3rd World Countires”, but with 50-60 different nations working on ships, do you REALLY think that they hate americans? Americans are some of the biggest cruise-ship customers around.
      Also, crew are THOROUGHLY trained in the correct food handling procedures. Infact, many of the ships get regular USPH checks of 100%.
      So, take your small-mindedness and insular views elsewhere.
      That is all :o)

  3. RANDRAND says:

    ALL AFFECTED ZOMBIES—ERRR-PASSENGERS—WERE DISPOSED OF AT SEA—–ERRR-TRAETED AND RELEASED ON SHORE—-ALLLLL IS WELLLLLL!

  4. RANDRAND says:

    SURELY YOU ARE JESTING ABOUT A PLAN FOR HOMELAND DEFENSE INSPECTING THE FOOD! EVEN IF THE FOOD WAS DUMPED AT SEA-THE SHARKS WOULD SWIM AWAY FAST! THE FOOD ON CRUISE SHIPS-YOU SHOULD NEVER EAT—THE STORAGE AND PORT OF DISPERSAL OF THE STORED GOODS MAY WELL BE OUTSEDE OF THE COUNTRY! THE RATS HAVE COMPLAINED ABOUT THIS FOR YEARS—!

  5. Ellen says:

    There were three, not two, ships with norovirus this past weekend. Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Sea left New Orleans a couple of hours late Saturday because of the same illness. Coincidence? Food source?

  6. Crew(from a 1st world country) says:

    I have worked on cruise ships for 5 yrs and Im not from a 3rd world country. In fact in my time at sea I know for a fact those that don’t wash there hands for the recommended time are the passengers (holiday/lazy mode). Also the crew eat the same food made in the same place so don’t suggest they would taint it because they hate americans. Americans are who pay for them to work there and support there families at home. Every single day those that work on ships are reminded and trained in sanitization thats why there are not many crew with this virus. 3400pax, 364 sick. 1100 crew 30 sick You do the math.

  7. NewCruiser says:

    My husband and I were on the Ruby after it was disinfected! We had a great week….excellent food,,,excellent service.
    No complaints anywhere!
    Too bad the people on the ship who were sick weren’t taken better care of. Gotta feel bad for them.
    I hope Princess Cruise Lines makes it right and gives those people all free cruises.

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