Cruises disrupted by disease outbreak

| 12/02/2020 | 16 Comments
Caribbean Princess

(CNS): While one of Princess Cruise Line’s ships is stuck in quarantine at the Japanese port of Yokohama following an outbreak of the novel coronavirus on board, another ship in its fleet is heading back to the US, having been denied entry into Trinidad and Tobago after more than 350 passengers began suffering with a suspected outbreak of norovirus.

Japanese health officials confirmed Wednesday that there are 39 new cases of the coronavirus on board the Diamond Princess, bringing the total to 174 cases, including ten crew members. A Japanese official who participated in the initial quarantine checks on the ship is also suffering from the virus and is being treated in hospital.

Those who have tested positive are allowed to leave the ship for treatment, but the rest of the 3,700 passengers and crew must remain on board under quarantine until at least 19 February.

The Diamond Princess is said to be the location of the largest coronavirus outbreak outside of mainland China. There have so far been more than 45,000 cases of the disease and 1,100 deaths worldwide, the vast majority of which are in mainland China.

Meanwhile, the Caribbean Princess is heading back to the Port of Everglades in Fort Lauderdale early with 3,000 guests and 1,100 crew on board after more than 350 passengers showed symptoms of norovirus, including vomiting and diarrhea. The ship left on a two-week Caribbean voyage on 2 February.

Norovirus spreads through close contact with another person, coughing and sneezing and touching the same surfaces or food as someone who has the illness.

A Princess Cruises spokesperson said, “Caribbean Princess, which had been on a 14-day cruise in the Caribbean, has curtailed its current voyage due to guests reporting symptoms consistent with a mild case of gastrointestinal illness. The affected guests are being treated by the onboard medical team and there are no cases of coronavirus identified among the guests or crew.”

The cruise line is offering all guests on board a 50% refund on their voyage and a future cruise credit valued at 50% of their cruise.

At least 89 passengers on board Saga Cruises’ Spirit of Discovery were also reported to have fallen ill with norovirus and the ship was refused entry into Gibraltar on Saturday, 8 February. The luxury ship, which has 868 passengers and 513 crew on board, had been cruising around Italy and Spain.

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Category: Business, Health, health and safety, Tourism

Comments (16)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I hope our politicians take this crisis serious and put health and lives first before the almighty dollar. Another reason is to block these cruise ships from visiting is their air conditioning systems. I’m certain even if they clean the fixtures, the A/C systems are contaminated with the virus.

  2. Anonymous says:

    RIP the cruise industry and Alden/Moses dreams 😂😂😂🙌

  3. Anonymous says:

    Cruise ships are no different to hotels. A large number of people sharing dining room areas and gym’s also swimming pools, entertainment areas etc., etc., we’ve had cases here in the U.K. of people affected that have come from hotel vacations in Singapore and even Doctors surgeries in the U.K. it’s like any other virus that spreads. What about long haul airline flights? Airports too. People are in even closer proximity than on cruise ships.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wrong, it’s much closer proximity than a hotel and a much longer duration than a flight. In addition the numbers involved are far, far greater. You’re simply making silly excuses for the cruise ships here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Err I can walk outside a hotel and catch an Uber to the airport. Try walking off a cruise ship.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Cruise ships = Mass transit vehicles for diseases

  5. Anonymous says:

    Cruise ships are disgusting! Why we continue to let these cheap Petri dishes come here is beyond me. Yuck!

    • Anon says:

      @2:49 – it’s called money! As long as the cruise ships are paying their port entry fees and whatever else they are charged, the government will allow them in. Even if that means the public is exposed to any virus they might bring with them.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am surprised our brilliant health leader did not let them dock in Cayman.

  7. Anonymous says:

    These cruise ships are incubation chambers for colds, flus, intestinal viruses and many other illnesses. Cooped up for days, weeks on end with the food spread out and so many people passing by coughing sneezing and touching all over the place is not at all healthy. Instead of building more piers we better start looking for a different pillar of the economy!! VOTE NO!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Be interesting to find out how may cruise bookings and planned cruise bookings are being cancelled right now.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yep take a 7 day cruise, and run the risk that they let on a corona virus infected passenger and you are facing 14 days plus confined to cabin quarantine. Or that any passenger develops symptoms for some illness and every port in the world blacklists you and wont let you off. Yay. Or just go to an all inclusive beach resort instead.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Simple situation – you pack a lot of people into a confined space, sharing things like communal dining areas, and any infection that’s been bought in will spread pretty quickly.

    • Anonymous says:

      One of the big problems with containing norovirus is the combination of projectile vomiting and violent diarrhoea – often occurring simultaneously. It’s completely uncontrollable at times and you can’t just wipe that up and move on, particularly in carpeted areas. It would be very interesting to find out how the cruise ships clean up the cabins and other affected areas afterwards.

      • Anonymous says:

        Whilst entertainingly graphic, the issue with nonavirus is not people being splattered with diarrhoea or vomit, largely confined to toilet spaces where people are either in private cabins or toilets where others are on guard, but the silent transmissions of handlings and touching – handshakes, touching doorknobs and common spaces.

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