Virus sends Sun Princess passengers packing

Feb 6, 2003
Author: P&S

Almost 2,000 passengers have been flown home ten days into a 15-day cruise on board the 77,441-gt P&O Princess Cruises’ ship Sun Princess, following an outbreak of a highly contagious stomach infection on the luxury ship.

Sun Princess was forced to end her current 15-day cruise at Hawaii instead of continuing on to Los Angeles after more than 300 passengers fell ill.

More than 600 passengers and about 70 crew have been affected by similar outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness since the start of January. The ships involved have included the Sun Dream of Sun Cruises, Royal Olympic Cruises’ Olympia Voyager, Carnival Cruises’ Carnival Spirit, and NCL’s Norway.

The reporting of outbreaks of contagious disease on board cruise ships is now mandatory to the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Meanwhile QE2 succeeded in passing her re-inspection by the CDC and received a clean bill of health after having failed by a single point on a routine health inspection in early January. On that occasion CDC inspectors found evidence of cockroach infestation in various sections of the ship, as well as mould in food preparation areas and corroded ventilation systems.

CDC marks their health inspection on a rate out of up to 100, with a minimum of 86 required for a pass. QE2 achieved 85 on the first inspection. During 2002 the stately but aging liner became the first passenger ship to complete 5 million nautical miles.

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