Gastro breaks out again on Sun Princess cruise ship docked in Brisbane
About 140 passengers on the Sun Princess cruise ship have come down with gastro, a fortnight after a similar outbreak on the vessel during a previous cruise.
The Sun Princess returned to Brisbane about 7:00am after its 14-day trip around New Zealand.
Queensland Health said 140 people were ill, but passengers estimated that number was higher.
Some have complained that the ship should have delayed the voyage after 90 people suffered from norovirus on the ship’s prior trip to Papua New Guinea.
ABC journalist Kathryn Perrott, who was on the cruise with her brother, left the vessel in New Zealand.
“We were so scared of getting the norovirus, there were people obviously sick,” she said.
“My brother was particularly not keen after getting sick in the past.”
“It was increasingly common to see those hazmat suits cleaning rooms during the cruise.”
“It got to the point where there was an announcement over the loudspeaker from the captain saying that there was a high spike in norovirus cases on board the ship again.”
“That’s when my brother and I decided to go home.”
Perrott and her brother paid to fly home and were told by the cruise line that they would not be offered any compensation.
Andrew Carter and his wife Charmaine spent their life savings on the cruise.
Mr. Carter said staffs have refused to talk about compensation.
“They listen but don’t do anything and they say it’s not our responsibility. Weren’t interested.”
Ken Fox said the outbreak had ruined his holiday, and he called on health authorities to step in and close the ship.
“I think it’s time Queensland Health got on board and cleaned it up because it was rampant before we got on,” he said.
He and his wife had not fallen sick but said they had an adverse reaction to the extensive use of disinfectant being used by staff in hazmat suits to clean the ship.
Public toilets ‘showed no signs of outbreak’:
One of the passengers, Margaret Stewart, said anyone who became unwell was confined to their cabin.
She did not notice any problems in public toilets and said they were all clean.
“I think the staffs were working hard to do everything and disinfect everywhere, especially before we went in to eat,” she said.
“The bug was there before we boarded and it must have broken out again.”
Princess Cruises says deep clean underway:
A statement from Princess Cruises said only a small number of the 2,000 passengers were ill.
“On any given day during the cruise 12 to 15 of the 2,000 guests were in self-isolation while symptoms ran their course before they returned to their usual cruise activities,” it said.
“At no stage during the cruise were a large number of guests ill at any one time.”
A deep clean of the ship is underway.
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