2 Fla. Cruise Ships Stricken by Norovirus
Princess Cruises announces outbreak on Crown Princess, Ruby Princess
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2012 10:09 AM CST
Ruby Princess arrives in Fort Lauderdale.   (PRNewsFoto/Princess Cruises)

(Newser) – If this isn't enough to make you cancel your cruise plans, nothing will: Almost 500 people are sick after coming down with Norovirus on two Florida-based Princess ships. The 499 cases of the illness, which causes diarrhea and vomiting, were reported when the ships returned to Fort Lauderdale this weekend. The Crown Princess had 364 stricken passengers and 30 ill crew members after a Caribbean cruise that ended Saturday; the Ruby Princess had 92 sick passengers and 13 sick crew members when its cruise ended yesterday.

"We're working in close cooperation with the CDC to identify the cause," says a Princess spokesperson. CDC investigators have boarded both vessels and monitored the cleaning process; the Crown Princess already returned to sea and the Ruby Princess was due to embark again yesterday afternoon. Both stricken cruises had around 3,000 passengers onboard, CNN reports. The next set of passengers on each ship was warned of the outbreak, the spokesperson says.