Less than a week after a suspected norovirus outbreak forced an early return to port for Royal Caribbean‘s (RCL) Explorer of the Seas cruise ship, another cruise liner has cut short a cruise.
On Thursday, Carnival‘s (CCL) Caribbean Princess sailed back to Houston, a day ahead of schedule. About 160 of the more than 3,100 passengers on the Caribbean Princess have been stricken with gastrointestinal distress, which is also thought to be the result of a norovirus outbreak. Royal Caribbean said the early return of the Caribbean Princess to port was prompted by weather forecasts and not the illness, USA TODAY notes.
However, the extra time in port will allow the company to subject the Caribbean Princess to a thorough cleaning. Houston’s port is forecast to experience heavy fog over the weekend, potentially closing it to shipping traffic.
Norovirus usually produces severe vomiting and diarrhea; symptoms usually persist for about three days. It is considered highly-contagious and is thought to be responsible for half of all gastrointestinal sickness in the U.S. Norovirus infections typically soar in January.
About 20% of the 3,071 passengers on the Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas were sickened by the outbreak, which prompted the ship to return to its N.J. port two days ahead of schedule.
Despite the recent incidents, gastrointestinal illnesses on cruise ships ave declined from more than 30 in 2006 to just 9 last year.
Both CCL stock and RCL stock fell more than 1% in Friday morning trading.